The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts on the Papacy

  On Feb. 26, Catholic University hosted a conference call for reporters with University faculty members Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies; Kurt Martens, associate professor of canon law; Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism; and Christopher Ruddy, associate professor of historical and systematic theology. Click on the video above to listen to the conference call.

The following faculty experts at The Catholic University of America are available for media interviews related to the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he plans to step down Feb. 28. He is the first pope to resign since 1294.

A list of clips in which these faculty experts have been quoted on the pope’s resignation can be found by clicking here

Pope Benedict XVI’s Legacy

  • Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, can discuss Pope Benedict’s legacy. He is an authority on early Christian liturgy and eastern Churches (Orthodox and Catholic). He can talk about Pope Benedict’s contribution to the Eastern churches, as well as general topics related to the Vatican.

    To arrange interviews with Father Morozowich, contact Victor Nakas in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or
  • Christopher Ruddy, associate professor of historical and systematic theology, is an expert on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, the papacy and bishops’ conferences, ecclesiology, the Catholic Church’s role in public life, and ecumenism. He has served as adviser-consultant to several departments of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This semester he is teaching a graduate course on Pope Benedict.

    Contact Ruddy at 202-319-6506 or

Vatican Ceremonies and Liturgy

  • Monsignor Kevin Irwin, the Monsignor Walter J. Schmitz, S. S. Professor of Liturgical Studies, can discuss the progression of Pope Benedict’s views on human stewardship of natural resources in his major discourses of moral teaching.

    Monsignor Irwin was a frequent commentator for the media on liturgical matters related to Pope John Paul II’s death and funeral and Pope Benedict XVI’s installation Mass and visit to the United States in 2008. He is currently in Rome and available for phone interviews.

    Contact Monsignor Irwin at
  • Rev. Mark Morozowich (see Legacy above)
  • Andreas Widmer, director of entrepreneurship programs in the School of Business and Economics, served as a Swiss Guard under Pope John Paul II from 1986 to 1988. He returns to the Vatican every year to serve during the swearing-in ceremony of new members of the guard.

    In addition to speaking about ceremonies at the Vatican, Widmer can also comment on the New Evangelization, in particular how it can be applied in the business world, and economic development from a Catholic perspective.

    He is the author of The Pope and the CEO, John Paul II’s Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard (Emmaus Road Publishing 2011).

    Contact Widmer at
  • Rev. Michael Witczak, associate professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology, specializes in the history of theology and Eucharistic celebration, sacramental theology, history of liturgy, and liturgical celebration of the saints. Previously, he served as consultant to the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy.

    Father Witczak holds a doctorate in sacred liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, and is a member of several liturgical societies, including the Society for Catholic Liturgy. He was awarded the Archbishop’s Vatican II Award for Service in Liturgy in 2001 by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Sal Terrae Award for Service to the Church in 2007 by the Salesianum Alumni Association.

    Contact Father Witczak at 202-319-6889 or

Papal Elections

  • Hellen Mardaga, assistant professor of New Testament studies, can discuss the theological viewpoints of the papabili. She is an expert on the New Testament, the Gospel of John, the synoptic gospels, the vocabulary of Luke, and New Testament philology.

    Contact Mardaga at 202-319-6885 or
  • Kurt Martens, associate professor of canon law, is an expert on papal elections, the Roman Curia, hierarchical recourse and procedures, and the structures of the Church. He is a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Canonical Affairs.

    Contact Martens at 202-319-6415 or
  • Kenneth Pennington, Kelly-Quinn Chair of Ecclesiastical and Legal History, is an expert in Church history and canon law.

    Contact Pennington at 202-319-5150, 202-319-6264, or

Religion and Culture

  • Andrew Abela, dean of the School of Business and Economics and associate professor of marketing, focuses his research on the integrity of the marketing process, including marketing ethics, Catholic social doctrine, and internal communication. He is the co-editor of the Catechism for Business, to be published this year, and winner of the 2009 Novak Award given by the Acton Institute for “significant contributions to the study of the relationship between religion and economic liberty.” He can discuss topics of natural law and commerce for the good of society.

    Contact Abela at 202-319-5290 or
  • John S. Grabowski, associate professor of theology and religious studies, is a professor of moral theology. He can discuss the teachings of Pope Benedict, particularly how they compare to those of Pope John Paul II and those in relation to marriage, the family, and sexuality.

    Contact Grabowski 202-319-6509 or
  • Mary Leary, associate professor of law, served as the head of delegation for the Holy See in 2008 at the Third World Congress Against the Exploitation of Children and Adolescents. She is the former deputy director and policy consultant for the Office of Legal Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the former director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse (NCPCA).

    Contact Leary at 202-319-6612 or
  • Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of politics, is on the Core Group for the Department of State’s Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy, charged with making recommendations to the Secretary of State and the Federal Advisory Commission on how the US government can better engage with civil society and religious actors in foreign policy. She served as a fellow at the Commission on International Religious Freedom, where she is working with the Foreign Service Institute in creating new training and education materials on religion and foreign policy.

    Love teaches graduate and undergraduate international relations courses at Catholic University and the Pentagon. Her recent books include Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda (4th Edition, 2011), Morality Matters: Ethics and the War on Terrorism (forthcoming at Cornell University Press).

    She serves on the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee. In addition to issues of peace and just war, she can also discuss international religious freedom and the female face of faith

    Contact Love at 202-319-4783 or
  • Chad C. Pecknold, assistant professor of theology, teaches fundamental theology and political theology. He is available to comment on the significance of Pope Benedict’s papacy in relation to the Church’s social and political teachings, the New Evangelization, secularism, and Christian unity and political division.

    He is the author of Transforming Postliberal Theology (T&T Clark, 2005) and Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History (Cascade 2010).

    Pecknold is currently writing on the Catholic political imagination, Church-state relations, and religious liberty.

    Contact Pecknold at 202-319-6899 or
  • Lucia Silecchia, professor of law and director of the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, is available to discuss Pope Benedict’s thoughts on environment issues and how a change in popes might affect the Church’s work in this area. She attended a 2007 Vatican conference on the environment, and since has written about the pope and ecology issues.

    Contact Silecchia at,, 202-319-5560 (office), or 202-903-5560 (cell).
  • Rev. Paul Sullins, associate professor of sociology, has written more than 100 journal articles and research reports on issues of faith and culture, religious institutions, clergy and social issues. He is the co-editor of the book Catholic Social Thought: American Reflections on the Compendium (Lexington: 2009) and author of Married Catholic Priests (Oxford: forthcoming).

    Father Sullins is the director of the Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought; a board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, a fellow of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, and the Ignatius Loyola Fellow for Catholic Identity at the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education.

    Contact Father Sullins at 202-319-5943 or

Ecumenical Relations

  • Rev. John T. Ford, C.S.C., professor of theology and religious studies and coordinator of Hispanic/Latin Programs, can comment on 19th-century theology, especially the First Vatican Council and Newman, contemporary ecumenism, and Hispanic/Latino theology. He is the editor-in-chief of Newman Studies Journal and an area editor for liberation theology for Religious Studies Review.

    He has served as president of the North American Academy of Ecumenists, a member of the United Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue, a participant in the Reformed-Roman Catholic International Dialogue, an observer-consultant for the Consultation on Church Union-Churches Uniting in Christ, and a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches. He is currently chair of the Ecumenism Committee of the Washington Theological Consortium.

    Contact Father Ford at or 202-319-6501.
  • Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism, is an expert on ecclesiology; Ecumenism, especially Catholic-Orthodox relations; the Eucharist; and Vatican II. He is a member of the International Theological Commission, a group of 30 theologians who advise the Vatican on theological issues, and of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.

    He can be reached at 202-319-6515 or
  • Michael Root, professor of systematic theology, is an expert on ecumenical dialogue and relations, especially Lutheran-Catholic dialogue. He was on the drafting team for the Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, and served on the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue both nationally and internationally. He was a staff consultant to the 1993 World Conference on Faith and Order in Spain.

    He can be reached at 202-319-6099 or

Church History

  • Rev. Regis J. Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Professor of Religious Studies, is an expert on Francis and Clare of Assisi, St. Bonaventure’s theology of prayer, Cistercian spirituality of the 12th century, music and spirituality, and spirit and word.

    Contact Father Armstrong at 202-319-1652 or
  • Monsignor Kevin Irwin (see Ceremonies and Liturgy above)
  • Rev. Mark Morozowich (see Legacy above)
  • Kenneth Pennington (see Elections above)
  • Rev. Michael Witczak (see Ceremonies and Liturgy above)

For assistance in reaching sources, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600. To search for other CUA faculty experts, visit the Faculty Experts Guide at