The Catholic University of America

Aug. 21, 2015

Catholic University Experts on Pope Francis’s Visit to the United States

Experts at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., are available to discuss Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to the United States, details of which were confirmed today.

Faculty and staff members listed below are available to comment on topics associated with these events and issues of importance to the Catholic Church. Click on an expert’s name to visit his or her page in the CUA Experts Guide and view links to recent articles in which they are quoted, television and video appearances, and scholarly publications.

On Sep. 23, 2015, the Pope will celebrate Mass from the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — immediately adjacent to CUA’s University Mall — at which time he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra. For more information on this third visit of a pope to Catholic University and the school's connection to the papacy through history, visit popeindc.cua.edu.

Click here for a list of Spanish-speaking experts available for interviews.

For assistance in reaching sources, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.
 

 

 Topics

 

Experts are available to comment on the following topics:

 

Canonizations

  • Rev. Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Professor of Religious Studies, is an expert on St. Francis of Assisi and can speak about the saint whose name Pope Francis took, and Franciscan spirituality. He can comment on the life of Blessed Junipero Serra in the context of Franciscan ministry.

    Contact Father Regis at regisja@cua.edu or 202-319-1652.
     
  • Rev. Michael Witczak, associate professor of liturgical studies, can comment on saints and the process of canonization. 

    Contact Father Witczak at Witczak@cua.edu or 202-319-6889.

The Catholic Church and the Papacy

  • Rev. Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Professor of Religious Studies, is an expert on St. Francis of Assisi and can speak about the saint whose name Pope Francis took, and Franciscan spirituality. He can comment on the life of Blessed Junipero Serra in the context of Franciscan ministry.

    Contact Father Regis at regisja@cua.edu or 202-319-1652.
     
  • Alejandro Cañadas, part-time lecturer of economics, is a native of Argentina and encountered Pope Francis when he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenose Aires. He is available to comment on the Pope's interactions with the poor in that area.

    Contact Cañadas at canadas@cua.edu.
     
  • Monsignor Kevin Irwin, Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies, can comment on topics related to liturgy and the Catholic Church, and the Church and the environment. Monsignor Irwin served as a frequent media commentator during the previous two papal transitions. 

    Contact Monsignor Irwin at Irwin@cua.edu or 202-319-6505.
     
  • Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism, can comment on topics related to the Catholic Church — especially ecclesiology and ecumenism. 

    To schedule an interview with Monsignor McPartlan, contact the Office of Public Affairs at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.
     
  • Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean and associate professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology, can comment on topics related to the Catholic Church, in particular Eastern Churches. Father Morozowich participated in preparations for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Catholic University to deliver an address on Catholic education in 2008. 

    To schedule an interview with Father Morozowich, contact the Office of Public Affairs at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.
     
  • Kenneth Pennington, Kelly-Quinn Professor of Ecclesiastical and Legal History, can comment on topics related to Church history, the history of the papacy, and Church/State relations. 

    Contact Pennington at Pennington@cua.edu or 202-319-5150.
     
  • Christopher Ruddy, associate professor of historical and systematic theology, can comment on topics related to the papacy, the Church’s role in public life, and ecumenism. He served as a frequent media commentator during the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis. 

    Contact Ruddy at ruddyc@cua.edu or 202-319-6506.
     
  • Andreas Widmer, director of entrepreneurship programs, can comment on topics related to business and faith/Catholicism, the Vatican and the papacy, Catholic economic development and economic growth, and business ethics. Widmer is a seasoned business executive and served as a Swiss Guard to Pope John Paul II from 1986 to 1988. 

    Contact Widmer at widmer@cua.edu or 617-331-3071.

The Catholic Church and Political Issues

  • Joseph Capizzi, associate professor of moral theology and ethics, can comment on topics related to Catholic social thought, war and peace, and Church/State relations. 

    Contact Capizzi at Capizzi@cua.edu or 202-319-6511.
     
  • Melissa Moschella, assistant professor of philosophy, is an expert in natural law ethics and can comment on Church-State issues, marriage and sexual ethics, and Catholic social thought. She will be participating in a panel discussion at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

    Contact Moschella at moschella@cua.edu.
     
  • Chad Pecknold, associate professor of systematic theology, can comment on topics related to Church/State relations, the New Evangelization, and secularism and the Church. He served as a frequent commentator to the media during the papal transition and election of Pope Francis. 

    Contact Pecknold at Pecknold@cua.edu or 202-319-6899.
     
  • Kenneth Pennington, Kelly-Quinn Professor of Ecclesiastical and Legal History, can comment on topics related to Church history, the history of the papacy, and Church/State relations. 

    Contact Pennington at Pennington@cua.edu or 202-319-5150.
     

The Catholic Church in the United States

  • Christopher Born, clinical assistant professor of religion and culture, can comment on topics related to the Church in the United States — in particular the religious activities of baby boomers and Church growth dynamics.

    Contact Born at born@cua.edu or 202-319-6893.
     
  • William Dinges, professor and area director of religion and culture, can comment on topics related to the Church and the environment, Catholicism in American culture, trends in the American Church, Latin Mass and American Catholics, and Vatican II’s transformation of the liturgy. 

    Contact Dinges at dinges@cua.edu or 202-319-6890.
     
  • Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology, can comment on topics related to Church/State relations, the New Evangelization, and secularism and the Church. He served as a frequent commentator to the media during the papal transition and election of Pope Francis. 

    Contact Pecknold at Pecknold@cua.edu or 202-319-6899.
     

Charitable Work/Catholic Social Thought

  • Andrew Abela, provost, can comment on topics related to business and Catholic social teaching. Abela is co-author of A Catechism for Business

    Contact Abela at abela@cua.edu or 202-319-5244.
     
  • Joseph Capizzi, associate professor of moral theology and ethics, can comment on topics related to Catholic social thought, war and peace, and Church/State relations. Capizzi is co-author of A Catechism for Business.  

    Contact Capizzi at Capizzi@cua.edu or 202-319-6511.
     
  • Linda Plitt Donaldson, associate professor of social work, can comment on topics related to homelessness, poverty, advocacy programs, social justice, family services, and affordable housing. She has 10 years’ experience working for a community-based agency in Washington, D.C., helping those who are homeless.

    Contact Donaldson at Donaldson@cua.edu or 202-319-5478.
     
  • Melissa Moschella, assistant professor of philosophy, is an expert in natural law ethics and can comment on Church/State issues, marriage and sexual ethics, and Catholic social thought. She will be participating in a panel discussion at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

    Contact Moschella at moschella@cua.edu.
     
  • Mario Ortiz, associate provost for international affairs, can comment on topics of the Latin American Church and social justice issues, and Latinos in the United States and the Church.

    Contact Ortiz at Ortiz@cua.edu or 202-319-4698.
     
  • William Rainford, associate professor and dean of social work, can comment on topics related to Catholic social teaching, the death penalty, homelessness, poverty in America, hunger and food insecurity, unemployment and underemployment, and low-income housing. 

    Contact Rainford at Rainford@cua.edu or 202-319-5454.
     
  • Andreas Widmer, director of entrepreneurship programs, can comment on topics related to business and faith/Catholicism, the Vatican and the papacy, Catholic economic development and economic growth, and business ethics. Widmer is a seasoned business executive and served as a Swiss Guard to Pope John Paul II from 1986 to 1988. 

    Contact Widmer at widmer@cua.edu or 617-331-3071.

Families

  • Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics, can comment on topics of sustainable development, family and health in developing countries, and the link between families and economics. Aguirre presented her research on families and economics at the World Meeting of Families in Mexico City in 2009.

    Contact Aguirre at Aguirre@cua.edu or 202-319-4957.
     
  • John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics, can comment on topics related to the family and the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Grabowski and his wife are one of two American member couples of the Pontifical Council for the Family. They will be participating in the World Meeting of Families. Grabowski has recently been appointed by Pope Franics as an expert/auditor of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome this October.

    Contact Grabowski at Grabowski@cua.edu or 202-319-6509.
     
  • William Mattison, interim dean and associate professor of moral theology, can comment on topics related to the Catholic Church and marriage and the family. 

    Contact Mattison at Mattison@cua.edu or 202-319-5701.
     
  • Melissa Moschella, assistant professor of philosophy, is an expert in natural law ethics and can comment on Church/State issues, marriage and sexual ethics, and Catholic social thought. She will be participating in a panel discussion at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

    Contact Moschella at moschella@cua.edu.
     
  • Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology, can comment on topics related to Church/State relations, the New Evangelization, and secularism and the Church. He served as a frequent commentator to the media during the papal transition and election of Pope Francis. 

    Contact Pecknold at Pecknold@cua.edu or 202-319-6899.

Hispanic Ministry, Cuba, and the Church in Latin America

  • Rev. John Ford, C.S.C., professor of theology and coordinator of Hispanic/Latino programs, can comment on topics related to Hispanic ministry in the United States.

    Contact Father Ford at ford@cua.edu or 202-319-6501.
     
  • Enrique Pumar, associate professor and chair of sociology, a native of Cuba, can comment on topics related to the Pope's visit to Cuba, international migration, and Latinos/Hispanics in the United States

    Contact Pumar at pumar@cua.edu.
     
  • Julia Young, assistant professor of history, can comment on topics related to Mexican migration to the United States, Mexican and Latin American history, migration to the United States since the mid-1800s, and Latino Catholicism.

    Contact Young at youngjg@cua.edu or 202-319-5484.

Immigration

  • William Barbieri, associate professor of ethics, can comment on topics related to the ethics of immigration, citizenship, and multiculturalism; ethics and political theory; Catholic just war theory and peace; and religion and public policy.

    Contact Barbieri at Barbieri@cua.edu or 202-319-4767.
     
  • Martha Cruz Zuniga, assistant clinical professor of economics and director of economic programs, can comment on topics related to sustainable development and issues affecting developing countries — including poverty, education, and migration.

    Contact Cruz Zuniga at cruzzuniga@cua.edu or 202-319-5697.
     
  • Maria Mazzenga, education archivist, can comment on topics related to the history of American Catholic immigration. Mazzenga also manages the American Catholic History Classroom, a site featuring a range of materials related to the American Catholic experience.

    Contact Mazzenga at Mazzenga@cua.edu or 202-319-5065.
     
  • Mario Ortiz, associate provost for international affairs, can comment on topics of the Latin American Church and social justice issues, and Latinos in the United States and the Church.

    Contact Ortiz at Ortiz@cua.edu or 202-319-4698.
     
  • Enrique Pumar, associate professor and chair of sociology, can comment on topics related to international migration and Latinos/Hispanics in the United States. Recently, he has been working with the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Center on its Latino History Project to document the footprint of Hispanic migration to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.

    Contact Pumar at pumar@cua.edu.
     
  • Julia Young, assistant professor of history, can comment on topics related to Mexican migration to the United States, Mexican and Latin American history, migration to the United States since the mid-1800s, and Latino Catholicism.

    Contact Young at youngjg@cua.edu or 202-319-5484.

Interreligious Dialogue/Ecumenism

  • Rev. Stefanos Alexopoulos, assistant professor of liturgical studies, is a Greek Orthodox priest and can comment on topics related to Byzantine and Eastern Christian traditions.

    Contact Father Alexopoulos at Alexopoulos@cua.edu or 202-319-5704.
     
  • Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism, can comment on topics related to the Catholic Church — especially ecclesiology and ecumenism.

    To schedule an interview with Monsignor McPartlan, contact the Office of Public Affairs at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.
     
  • Michael Root, professor of systematic theology, can comment on topics of ecumenical dialogue (especially Catholic-Protestant) and Protestant traditions.

    Contact Root at rootm@cua.edu or 202-319-6099.
     
  • Christopher Ruddy, associate professor of historical and systematic theology, can comment on topics related to the papacy, the Church’s role in public life, and ecumenism. He served as a frequent commentator during the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis.

    Contact Ruddy at ruddyc@cua.edu or 202-319-6506.
     
  • Pim Valkenberg, professor of religion and culture, can comment on topics related to Christian-Muslim relations and interreligious dialogue.

    Contact Valkenberg at Valkenberg@cua.edu or 202-319-6517.
     
  • Robin Darling Young, associate professor of spirituality, can comment on topics related to the history of Christianity and Christian cultures in Syria and Armenia, and on relations between Orthodox Churches.

    Contact Young at youngr@cua.edu or 202-319-6896.

Papal Visits to The Catholic University of America

  • Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean and associate professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology, can comment on topics related to the Catholic Church, in particular Eastern Churches. Father Morozowich participated in preparations for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Catholic University to deliver an address on Catholic education in 2008.

    To schedule an interview with Father Morozowich, contact the Office of Public Affairs at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.
     
  • Frank Persico, vice president for University relations and chief of staff, can comment on topics related to the Pope’s visit. Persico was in charge of logistics at Catholic University for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, and was a staff volunteer for Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1979, at which time he was an employee in the Office of the Provost.

    To schedule an interview with Persico, contact the Office of Public Affairs at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.

Restorative Justice

  • Cara Drinan, associate professor of law, can comment on topics related to criminal justice reform and rehabilitative justice, especially in regard to the sentencing of juveniles, and the use of life sentences and the death penalty.

    Contact Drinan at Drinan@law.edu or 202-319-5508.
     
  • Melissa Grady, assistant professor of social work, can comment on topics related to the rehabilitation of people who are incarcerated.

    Contact Grady at grady@cua.edu or 202-319-4387.

Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Peace

  • Patricia Andrasik, assistant professor of architecture and head of sustainability outreach, can comment on topics of sustainability, especially in relation to design, construction, and maintenance of buildings.

    Contact Andrasik at Andrasik@cua.edu or 202-319-6682.
     
  • Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics, can comment on topics of sustainable development, family and health in developing countries, and the link between families and economics. Aguirre presented her research on families and economics at the World Meeting of Families in Mexico City in 2009.

    Contact Aguirre at Aguirre@cua.edu or 202-319-4957.
     
  • William Barbieri, associate professor of ethics, can comment on topics related to the ethics of immigration, citizenship, and multiculturalism; ethics and political theory; Catholic just war theory and peace; and religion and public policy.

    Contact Barbieri at Barbieri@cua.edu or 202-319-4767.
     
  • Joseph Capizzi, associate professor of moral theology and ethics, can comment on topics related to Catholic social thought, war and peace, and Church/State relations.

    Contact Capizzi at Capizzi@cua.edu or 202-319-6511.
     
  • Martha Cruz Zuniga, assistant clinical professor of economics and director of economic programs, can comment on topics related to sustainable development and issues affecting developing countries — including poverty, education, and migration.

    Contact Cruz Zuniga at cruzzuniga@cua.edu or 202-319-5697.

  • William Dinges, professor and area director of religion and culture, can comment on topics related to the Church and the environment, Catholicism in American culture, trends in the American Church, Latin Mass and American Catholics, and Vatican II’s transformation of the liturgy.

    Contact Dinges at dinges@cua.edu or 202-319-6890.
     
  • Monsignor Kevin Irwin, Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies, can comment on topics related to liturgy and the Catholic Church, and the Church and the environment. Monsignor Irwin served as a frequent media commentator during the previous two papal transitions.

    Contact Monsignor Irwin at Irwin@cua.edu or 202-319-6505.
     
  • Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of politics, can comment on topics related to peace and foreign policy. She is on the Core Group for the Department of State’s working group on Religion and Foreign Policy and serves on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' International Justice and Peace Committee.

    Contact Love at mcusimanolove@comcast.net.
     
  • Lucia Silecchia, professor of law and director of the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, can comment on topics related to papal teaching on the environment and sustainability, Catholic social thought, and women’s issues and Catholic thought.

    Contact Silecchia at Silecchia@law.edu or 202-319-5560.
     

Return to list of topics.

To search for other CUA faculty who serve as experts for the media, visit the online Experts Guide or contact the Office of Public Affairs for more assistance at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.