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Jesuits Interview Pope Francis

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Pope FrancisA Big Heart Open to God

An exclusive interview with Pope Francis, conducted by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, was released simultaneously in 16 countries around the world in 12 languages on September 19. Here in the US, the Jesuit publication America magazine broke the story online and devoted an entire issue to it.  “It is unprecedented certainly in the history of America magazine, and probably in the history of papal communications, so it’s a very exciting day,” America’s editor-in-chief Jesuit Fr. Matt Malone told National Catholic Reporter.

Jesuits provide commentary

Around the world, major secular and Catholic media covered the interview and many Jesuits in the New England, New York and Maryland Provinces were asked to provide commentary. Here are some highlights:

Fr. Myles Sheehan, SJ, provincial of the New England Province writes: “What a surprise!  An announcement about an embargoed article coming from America, followed by the news that the article was an interview of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, done by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ! Fr. Spadaro is the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal, and this role put him into contact with Pope Francis.  I got to know Fr. Spadaro back in 2002 during my Tertianship in Milford, Ohio.  Fr. Spadaro visited me later in Chicago, Illinois, where I was then assigned.  And I got to return the favor in 2010 when I had dinner with him and his community at the residence for the writers of La Civiltà Cattolica.  Bravo Antonio!”

Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor at large at America magazine, unpacked the text to illustrate why Pope Francis is so beloved in his appearances on CBS News, CNN, BBC, NPR , the Washington Post, and the Colbert Report.

Fr. Thomas Worcester, SJ,  a historian and professor at College of the Holy Cross, and Fr. James Bretzke, SJ,  a professor of theology at Boston College, were quoted  in the Boston Globe by reporter Lisa Wangness, who wrote  “ the extrordinary interview that electrified the Catholic world. “

Fr. Bruce Morrill, SJ, professor at Vanderbilt University, said the interview illustrated how “the beautiful priority for Pope Francis is pastoral love”  in the Christian Science Monitor and on the local NBC affiliate.

Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ, wrote in his piece in National Catholic Reporter, “I’ve never been prouder to be a Jesuit, prouder of my church or more surprised by the Spirit.”

President of Fordham University, Fr. Joseph McShane, SJ,  appeared on the Charlie Rose Show  and Fr. John Shea, SJ, director of campus ministry at Lincoln Center, was on WCIX. Connections and links are available on Fordham Notes.

Fr. Peter Folan’s  post  “Consultation, Collegiality and Creativity: What Pope Francis Learned about Authority” is included in the series of reflections  from  Jesuits on staff at The Jesuit Post.

Fr. Francis X. Clooney, SJ  writes “After the Pope’s interview: three hard things” in America magazine

Read more in the media roundup at America magazine

The interview was published in the following journals of the Society of Jesus: Thinking Faith (Britain), Stimmen der Zeit (Germany), Mensaje (Chile), Études (France), Viera a život (Slovakia), La Civiltà Cattolica (Italy), America (United States of America), Brotéria (Portugal), Choisir (Switzerland), Orizontes (Greece), Razón y fe (Spain), Sic (Venezuela), Signum (Sweden), Streven (Belgium), A Szív (Hungary) and Obnovljeni život (Croatia). (Source Independent Catholic News).

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