Saint Joseph’s Experts Available to Comment on Pope’s Resignation

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI made a surprise announcement on Monday, Feb. 11, that he would resign the Holy See on Feb. 28. A new pope will be named after Easter. Saint Joseph’s University experts are available to comment on this historic development.

  • C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., a Jesuit priest and president of Saint Joseph’s University, said "Pope Benedict's resignation certainly is an historical event. As a theologian he knows that his actions are innovative. As a pastor he recognizes that his decision is in the best interests of his flock. And as a priest he senses that God has called him to serve the Church in a new mission. Most significantly, as a Christian he has listened prayerfully and discerned God's will. The fact that he announced this historic decision on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes suggests that the Pope is identifying his frailties with the infirm and vulnerable. In this respect, even his resignation reveals his intimate identity with Christ." Fr. Gillespie has written extensively on Catholicism and spirituality. He can be reached for comment by calling the Office of University Communications at 610-660-1222.
  • William Madges, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is a theologian with expertise in the areas of papal elections, church history, Vatican II and Pope John Paul II. Madges is also one of the creators of “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” a nationally touring exhibit that examines the pontiff's groundbreaking contributions to improving relations between Catholics and Jews. Madges can be reached by calling the Office of University Communications at 610-660-1222.
  • Alison Williams Lewin, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of history, is a historian with expertise on Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 during the Great Western Schism. Lewin can also comment on Church history before the mid-fifteenth century, which includes resignations from two earlier popes. She can be reached for comment at 610-660-1743, lewin@sju.edu, or by calling the Office of University Communications at 610-660-1222.
  • Philip Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of theology and director of the Institute of Jewish-Catholic Relations, is a theologian with expertise in Christian-Jewish relations. Cunningham can comment on Pope Benedict’s legacy in interfaith relations. He can be reached for comment at pcunning@sju.edu or by calling the Office of University Communications at 610-660-1222.


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