On Monday, Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI made headlines by announcing his resignation due to health concerns, and he will step down from his position at the end of the month. The first pope to take such action in nearly 600 years, many national — and international — media outlets called upon papacy experts from the Holy Cross community for perspective.
On NPR’s All Things Considered, Rev. Thomas W. Worcester S.J., professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, cited a nefarious papal resignation of the past. Occurring in 1415, the resignation was more of a referendum, as Pope Gregory XII was essentially voted out of his position.“Benedict is quite courageous to do this because he didn’t have a good precedent for it,” Fr. Worcester said. “[H]e now establishes a precedent that I think could be healthy for the church,” he continued.
In a post for the Washington Post’s religion blog On Faith, Mathew Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, also commented on the pope’s landmark announcement. Reflecting on Benedict XVI’s legacy, Schmalz said that his “papacy has been marked by personal humility and a continuing reassertion of papal authority worldwide.”
In USA Today, Schmalz further reflected on Benedict XVI’s legacy, saying, “I think everyone recognizes, whether they agreed with him or disagreed with him in terms of doctrinal positions, that he was who he was. That he wasn’t trying to be a different person as pope than he was as a cardinal, as a bishop, and as a priest.” According to Schmalz, “[L]etting go of papal power has never been framed in such a powerful way…There is indeed power in letting go.”
In the Telegram & Gazette, Thomas Landy, director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College, said that he expects the College of Cardinals will quickly elect a new pope. Alluding to complex travel itineraries, he said, “It’s just really about getting the jet tickets in hand.”
Selected news coverage:
Internationally, Holy Cross faculty members were quoted in Pravda, Slovakia’s largest newspaper, and De Volkskrant in the Netherlands.
This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.
Holy Cross Chapel Artist Series: Music of Christopher Willcock, S.J.See More > 12/04/2014
Christmas Tree Lighting presented by the Purple Key SocietySee More > 12/11/2014
College Choir and Chamber Singers Present Advent Festival of Lessons & CarolsSee More >
‘Remembering The Jesuits Whose Murders Brought An End To Salvadoran Civil War’
WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, reported from San Salvador, El Salvador, during the commemoration of six Jesuit priests murdered by the Salvadoran army 25 years ago in the...11/14/14
‘Astrophysicist Tyson sells spirit of science: Cosmos superstar shines at HC’
WBUR | Telegram & Gazette | Worcester News Tonight
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson lectures to a packed house at the College of the Holy Cross last night, where more than 2500 people were in attendance. The talk, titled...11/07/14
Biology Professor’s Research on Extinct Dodo Bird Makes International Headlines
International Business Times | Yahoo! News | Wired
With new insight on perhaps one of the most distinguished animals to have gone extinct in human history, Leon Claessens, associate professor of biology at the College of the...