Posts Tagged ‘Pope Benedict XVI’

Jesuit Scholastic Reports from Rome on History-Making Week

All eyes were on Rome this week as the Holy Father offered his final blessing to the faithful, and cardinals from around the world gathered in advance of the Papal Conclave. Through it all, Jesuit scholastic Mike Rogers, who is studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, has had a front-row seat for a week he will never forget.

Rogers, a New England Province Jesuit, was missioned to study in Rome in 2010. As all of his classes are taught in Italian, he studied the language for three months before beginning theology classes. On June 8, he will be ordained at Fordham University in New York. He has been enthusiastically sharing his impressions of the Pope’s final week in Rome with friends and family around the world and spoke today with National Jesuit News.

Click below for the audio interview with Mike Rogers.

Father James Martin on the Papal Resignation in The New York Times, on The Colbert Report

Jesuit Father Jim Martin on The Colbert ReportJesuit Father James Martin, editor at large at America magazine, appeared on The Colbert Report last night where he and host Stephen Colbert discussed the pope’s resignation, the papal election process, ex-pope etiquette and the unlikelihood of choosing an American pope.

Fr. Martin also has an op-ed, “The Change Upon Christ’s Rock,” in The New York Times today on Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy:

“Paradoxically, Benedict might also be best remembered for how he left the papacy. In becoming the first pope to resign since 1415, he demonstrated immense spiritual freedom, putting the good of the institution, and of a billion Catholics, before power or status. This most traditional of popes — who in his role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had often been criticized for exercising too much power — has done one of the most nontraditional things imaginable.”

Read the op-ed at The New York Times website and watch Fr. Martin on The Colbert Show below:

Jesuits React to Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI waving“I didn’t see it coming,” said Jesuit Father Stephen Sundborg about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, echoing the thoughts of many Catholics. Pope Benedict’s announcement that he will resign on Feb. 28 makes him the first pope to step down in over 600 years. Here are some reactions and commentary from U.S. Jesuits on the pope’s resignation:

Fr. Sundborg told KOMO News Radio he thinks it means that “this is a very thoughtful pope. He sees he doesn’t have the energy to carry on as pope beyond what his current age and strength is. I think people will respect this [decision].”

Fr. Sunborg went on to say that he thinks Benedict will be remembered as “the pope theologian.”

“He was an expert at the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago. He wrote very extensively about the Gospels. He tried to re-engage culture in a positive way.” Listen to all of Fr. Sundborg’s comments at the KOMO News Radio website.

Jesuit Father George Coyne, a former director of the Vatican Observatory who teaches at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., said Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down because of poor health is in keeping with the pope’s character.

“I think it was a very courageous move, a very good move,” said Fr. Coyne, who knew Benedict as a cardinal for many years. “I think he had a very personal conviction that he could not carry on the job because of general health conditions.”

Benedict “lived through the aging of John Paul II, and I think that very much influenced him,” Fr. Coyne said. “He didn’t want to see the church go through another period like that.” For more from Fr. Coyne, visit

Jesuit Father James Martin, of America magazine, tweeted, “The Holy Father’s resignation is a selfless and noble act done for the good of the Church he has loved and served for his entire life.”

On America’s website, Fr. Martin also wrote about the pope’s legacy: “His most lasting legacy, I would suggest, will not be in the various ‘newsworthy’ acts of his papacy that were highlighted in the media so often … but something far more personal: his books on Jesus. Far more people will most likely read those moving testaments to the person who is at the center of his life—Jesus of Nazareth—than may read all of his encyclicals combined.”

Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen also wrote about the pope’s legacy on America magazine’s website, noting some of the pope’s contributions during his tenure:

“His encyclical Caritas in Veritate, with its affirmation of structural reform as ‘political charity’ and his call for a global authority to regulate the financial sector, may be the most radical since John XXIII’s Pacem in terris 50 years ago. Though not a diplomat himself, he conducted extraordinary visits to Turkey, Britain and the Holy Land. His address to the British leadership in Westminster Hall was both a diplomatic and personal triumph.”

Jesuit Father John Fitzgibbons, president of Regis University in Denver, told the Denver Post that the news was shocking in its impact, but he believed there had been signs.

“I think the Holy Father, Benedict, has signaled in a number of ways he’ was very open to a more humane response to the human realities behind such offices,” Fr. Fitzgibbons said.

Fr. Fitzgibbons said Benedict will be remembered for carrying on John Paul II’s “glowing understanding that this is a worldwide church, and he moved further away from Euro-centrism by appointing cardinals that came from all over the world.”

As for what happens next, Jesuit Father Thomas Reese offers a helpful Q-and-A on the papal transition, conclave and election of new pope on America’s website.

U.S. Jesuit Wins Ratzinger Prize

Jesuit Father Brian E. DaleyJesuit Father Brian E. Daley, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of two winners of the 2012 Ratzinger Prize sponsored by the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation. Established in 2010 to promote studies in theology and philosophy, the prize is considered the “Nobel of Theology.”

“I was amazed when I was informed that I would receive this honor,” said Fr. Daley, who a historical theologian specializing in the early history of Christianity. “It’s a privilege and an honor for the Society.”

Fr. Daley and the other winner, Remi Brague, a French professor of the philosophy of European religions at Ludwig- Maximilian University in Munich, will receive their prize from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Oct. 20.

Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who heads the scholarly committee that selects the winners, called Fr. Daley “a great historian of patristic theology.” Cardinal Ruini also said Fr. Daley “has published an impressive — and I mean incredible — number of scientific articles on patristic theology, but also studies on the life and spirituality of the Society of Jesus, as well as on theological and ecumenical themes of current interest.”

Fr. Daley called his vocation a “wonderful blessing” and is grateful that he has been able to combine his priestly ministry with his academic interests and teaching career. Fr. Daley traced his interest in the early church fathers to a research paper during his freshman year at Fordham University in New York. It’s important to study the roots of the church to help us to understand today’s church, according to Fr. Daley.

Fr. Daley is the author and editor of numerous articles, books and publications, including “The Hope of the Early Church,” “On The Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies,” and “Gregory of Nazianzus.” He is also a consulting editor of the English edition of the magazine Communio, which then Cardinal Ratzinger co-founded in 2003.

In addition to teaching and writing, Fr. Daley serves as the executive secretary of the Catholic-Orthodox Consultation for North America.

Learn more about this year’s Ratzinger Prize at Catholic News Service, and listen to a podcast at the New York Province website to find out more about Fr. Daley’s research, current projects and life in the Society.

Pope Benedict Appoints Jesuit a Bishop of Bogota, Columbia

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment Jesuit Father Juan Vicente Cordoba as the new bishop of the Fontibon district in Bogota, Columbia.

Born in Quito, Ecuador in 1951, Fr. Cordoba went on to study philisophy, technology and history at Bogota’s Pontificia Javeriana University, before specializing in clinical psychology at Rome’s Pontificia Gregoriana University.

Cordoba has held numerous academic positions, including rector of San Pedro Claver College in Bucaramanga, and dean of the faculty of medicine at Bogota’s Pontificia Javeriana University.

Cordoba remains secretary general of the Colombian Episcopal Conference as he replaces Enrique Sarmiento as bishop, who the Vatican confirmed handed in his resignation on the grounds of age.