More than a half-dozen news outlets, including the NBC News web page, the San Francisco Chronicle, KGO-TV, KPIX-TV, KTVU-TV, KCBS radio and KGO radio, reached out to several Saint Mary's communicty members for faculty insight on, and student reaction to, the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
With the breaking news about the pontiff's resignation, reporters for the morning KGO radio newscast spoke with History Professor Brother Charles Hilken, and morning reporters at KCBS radio spoke with Communication Professor Fr. Mike Russo about Pope Benedict's decision to step down because of advancing age and failing health. Brother Charles specializes in medieval history, the history of the papacy and papal elections. A former contribitor to CBS News, Fr. Mike Russo provided analysis for CBS during the papal transitions in 1978 and 2005.
The two professors were called on again for the stories for the evening TV newscasts of KTVU, KGO and KPIX, which explored the likelihood of the next pope coming from America and included comments from SMC students and scenes of the regular evening 5:15 p.m. Mass in the College's chapel. Brother Charles was also quoted on nearly a dozen NBC news websites from New York to Los Angeles in a story about the unlikely selection of an American pontiff.
Additionally,Theology and Religious Studies Professor Tom Poundstone spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle from Paris (a stop on his way home from a Jan Term trip to Rome) about the likelihood that the next pope will be selected from Europe. Poundstone's academic research includes the legacy of Pope John Paul II and the political role of the Vatican.