Priorities for the New Pope
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Date and Time
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Priorities for the New Pope: What Does the Church Today Need Most?
At some point in the near future, a Vatican official will emerge onto the balcony outside St Peter’s Basilica and declare the immortal words Habemus Papam – "We Have a Pope." The appointment of a new successor to St. Peter is always a time of great energy and excitement in the church but perhaps this election will generate more enthusiasm than many in recent times because the church stands at what is truly a kairos moment for its future. With Pope Benedict’s effective retirement, regardless of who his successor will be, the curtain comes down on an ecclesial era – a time, across decades, of great division and dispute within the church. The church has faced multiple crises and challenges, from the clerical abuse crisis to financial scandals, from the bitter "culture wars" of right and left to great disagreement over moral issues and theological discourse and schools of thought. The cardinal-electors will soon gather to decide upon the next pope, the supreme pontiff – a papal title which means the great bridge-builder. In the 21st century the church cries out for a spiritual leader who will build bridges – across the church, between Catholicism and other churches, between Christianity and other faiths and between the church and the wider global community.
This panel will explore the legacy of Benedict XVI, as well as the top priorities of his successor, and will include ample time for questions from the floor.
- Todd Salzman, PhD, Professor of Ethics at Creighton University and USD alumnus
- Susie Babka, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies, USD
- Andrew McMillin, MA, Associate University Minister, University Ministry, USD
- Bernard Kelly, CSSp, PhD, Spiritan priest and former missionary
- Elizabeth Loomis, SHCJ, Sister in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
- Tom Reifer, PhD, Associate Professor, Sociology and Affiliated Faculty, Ethnic Studies, USD