Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Coming down Vine Street at 7:15 a.m., I heard NPR scrambling to get a story together on Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. It had happened, they said, only an hour earlier. Though we Church wonks have speculated on this for years, it’s the first papal resignation since the 1400s and we’re all caught off guard. This was one unleaked piece of news.

A routine day has become an urgent one. The March of St. Anthony Messenger is already at the printer (monthlies work ahead) and April is well into production. There will be some major reshuffling. Luckily, Fr. Pat has been writing and occasionally rewriting a piece on Pope Benedict in case of a sudden death, and we’re holding a few Vatican articles for future issues. That will be a start.

But this will be a print-social-media-first. When John Paul II passed away, we ran an AmericanCatholic.org feature page. That took much of a morning. Yet within minutes of Benedict’s announcement the net lit up with Twitter feeds and Facebook posts.  So this will be a different ride.  To be continued.

Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring


About the Author

John Feister is editor in chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. He has a B.A. in American Studies from University of Dayton, and master's degrees in Humanities and in Theology from Xavier University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, and was previously an adviser to the Communications Committee of the U.S. Catholic bishops (2000-2006). His latest book, Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives is available from the Franciscan Media catalog. He has cauthored four books with Richard Rohr (Franciscan Media), and coauthored, with Charlene Smith, the biography of Thea Bowman (Orbis books).