Saint Mary's College Professors Speak on Bay Area News Broadcasts About Pope John Paul II's Death

Saint Mary's College Professors have been appearing on Bay Area news broadcasts speaking about the death of Pope John Paul II, the papal transition and the future of the Catholic Church.

Shortly after the pope's death on April 2 and continuing through his funeral on April 8, the Rev. Michael Russo, a Saint Mary's College communications professor, provided expert analysis on various CBS network newscasts from Rome.

On March 31, 2005, religious studies professors Paul Giurlanda and Tom Poundstone were interviewed on Channel 5 Eyewitness News at 11, offering their views on the possibility of church reform under a new pope. On April 1, professor Giurlanda appeared in the studio on Channel 5 Eyewitness News at 11 to discuss the legacy of Pope John Paul II and history professor Brother Charles Hilken was interviewed on campus about the process of electing a new pontiff.

On April 3 on the 10 p.m. broadcast of KTVU Channel 2 and again on the April 4 KTVU 7 a.m. show Mornings on Two, Brother Charles talked about the rituals surrounding the mourning of Pope John Paul II and the upcoming papal transition.

On April 4, KGO-TV did a report about what it means to be blessed by the pope. The report featured Saint Mary's College freshman Tori Busick, who was blessed by Pope John Paul II in San Francisco in 1987. Professor Poundstone provided commentary about the meaning of a papal blessing.

On April 8, Brother Charles and professor Giurlanda appeared on Channel 5 Eyewitness News at 11 to offer insights into recent polls showing that American Catholics would like to see several significant church reforms under a new pope.

On April 11, professors Giurlanda, the Rev. Michael Russo and Ed Tywoniak were interviewed on the 6:30 p.m. newscast of KGO-TV about the Vatican's decision to allow Cardinal Bernard Law to preside over a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica for the late Pope John Paul II. The decision was controversial among some American Catholics because Law resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston amid a child sexual-abuse scandal and disclosures that he covered up the crimes of priests.