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February 28, 2023

The Francis Factor at Ten Years

A Tenth Anniversary Celebration on a Decade of Dialogue and Leadership

Event Series: Francis Factor Dialogues

Showing the The Francis Factor at Ten Years Video

The Initiative’s inaugural Public Dialogue in 2013 was on “The Francis Factor,” examining how Pope Francis' new leadership of the Catholic Church might shape our Church and nation. A decade later, this landmark dialogue focused on the mission, message, and impact of Pope Francis after 10 years and into the future. This Public Dialogue was part of the Initiative’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration and was an occasion to welcome the leadership of Kim Daniels as director and recognize John Carr as he moves into a new role as founder. 

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia opened the evening with a brief conversation with Kim and John on the past and future work of the Initiative. Then there was a conversation on “The Francis Factor at Ten Years” with four outstanding leaders: Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., E.J. Dionne, and Helen Alvaré.

The participants in this gathering explored these and other questions:

  • How has Pope Francis’ leadership challenged and changed the Church, the world, and each of us? 

  • What have been Pope Francis’ successes and shortcomings? 

  • What has been the response of different groups, especially in the United States, to Francis’ papacy? 

  • What are Pope Francis’ current priorities and future challenges? 

  • How has Pope Francis’ mission and message shaped the work of the Initiative over its first decade? 

Kim Daniels, director of the Initiative, and John Carr, founder of the Initiative, moderated the dialogue.


View a list of articles, statements, and other resources for this dialogue.


Tony Powell/CNS. Pope Francis with young boy at Catholic Charities Luncheon in Washington, DC, on September 24, 2015.


Cardinal Wilton Gregory

Cardinal Wilton Gregory

Cardinal Wilton Gregory is the archbishop of Washington and the former president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He is the former archbishop of Atlanta and the first African American U.S. cardinal. 

Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J.

Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J.

Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., is the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and the leader of the Humanitarian Respite Center for families fleeing violence in Central America. Pope Francis has praised her for her work with refugees and immigrants to the United States.

E.J. Dionne

E.J. Dionne

E.J. Dionne is a columnist at the Washington Post where he has written on Pope Francis and how he affects U.S. public life. He is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
Helen Alvaré

Helen Alvaré

Helen Alvaré is a professor at George Mason University’s Scalia Law School, a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, and an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on pro-life and other matters.