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Jesuits Offer Insight into Papal Resignation

Monday, February 11th, 2013

On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced he would resign the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St Peter effective February 28, 2013.  Several Jesuits have offered additional insight on the Pope’s decision, the history behind Papal resignations, and what the next steps will be for the Roman Catholic Church.

Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, issued a Letter to the Society of Jesus on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Fr. Thomas Worcester, SJ, a professor at College of the Holy Cross, spoke on NPR’s All Things Considered with Melissa Block about the rarity of papal resignations and the “Western Schism” that last caused a Pope to step down in 1415.  Listen to the audio of this segment on-demand via NPR’s website.

America Magazine posted a guide to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Papal transition, the Conclave, and the election of the next Pope.  The article was compiled by Fr. Thomas J. Reese, SJ, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center.

Fr. James Martin, SJ wrote in America Magazine about the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, saying, in part, “His most lasting legacy… [will be] 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.”

Fr. Martin also appeared on The Colbert Show speaking about the Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and published an op-ed piece in The New York Times reflecting on Benedict’s legacy.

National Jesuit News published the article Jesuits React to Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation, featuring the reflections of several Jesuits on the Pope’s decision.

Fr. Bruce T. Morrill, SJ, professor of Catholic studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, TN spoke on Fox News about what issues the papal conclave will look at when choosing their next leader.

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