skip to main content

Fordham Community Reacts to New Pope


UPDATE: Click here for March 15 media appearances by Fordham theology faculty.

UPDATE: Click here for March 14 media appearances by Fordham faculty, including Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham.

Fordham’s Theology faculty and Jesuit community were featured prominently in the news this week, but none-so-frequently as during the brief, two-day Conclave and its moving result.

Early on the morning of March 13, Michael Peppard, Ph.D., professor of theology, correctly predicted a short conclave in his Commonweal blog when photos showed a seagull perched atop the papal chimney.

“In the Roman world, the flight of birds has always been pregnant with meaning,” wrote Peppard. “As somewhat of an expert in ancient Roman divination myself (as scholar, not practitioner), here’s my best take.  The white bird signals white smoke later today.”

In February, Terrence Tilley, Ph.D., Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Chair in Catholic Theology, had given his own best [and correct]guess to news outlets as to which direction the church would go.  “As far as who will replace [Benedict], popes contrast with their predecessors. He’s an academic. We will probably get somebody who’s stronger in pastoral and administrative work. That’s the only guess that makes sense.”

As soon as the news of a new pope hit the social media sites, churches around the globe began to toll, including Fordham’s own University Church. (clip courtesy John Gownley)

The 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church is also the first Jesuit pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., archbishop of Buenos Aires. He will be called Francis. According to the Catholic News Service, “his style is low-key and close to the people.  He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as ‘Father Jorge.'”

With the new pontiff named, the official papal Twitter feed, @Pontifex, has now become active again.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, appeared on newscasts to weigh in on the significance of the historical elevation. Father McShane appeared on Charlie Rose on March 13 and as a guest of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on March 14. (see below)




Comments are closed.