Jesuits Jim Corkery and Peter McVerry were among the many contributors to radio and television coverage in the wake of the historic decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign from office at the end of the month. He took the world by surprise with his statement on the morning of Monday, 12 February.
Theologian Jim Corkery, studied under Josef Ratzinger and is the author of a book on his theology. He was a panel guest on RTE Radio 1's 'Godslot' programme presented by Eileen Dunne. She put it to him that in the wake of 'Vatileaks' and the book published on foot of the theft of his private documents, there was a sense that the Pope was no longer in control. He responded by saying he too had felt that and he sensed that the Pope felt betrayed and very disappointed. "He wouldn't have expected those kind of things to be going on and in a way he was too trusting." And yet he was aware that as he was getting older he would be needing to trust those around him more and more"
Citing the mistake that lead to the appointment of holocaust denier Archbishop Williamson (a simple internet check would have sufficed) he said that the Pope suffered from "not being so modern and from his office not being efficient enough and from other people having too much power in his office. I think that took its toll".
Commenting on his voice the day of his resignation Jim noted, "I have been listening to this voice for over thirty years and it is no longer strong. It is weary, it is tired and whatever else one can say about him, he certainly worked hard." Listen to the full programme here.
Peter McVerry SJ, who works with homeless young men, was a guest on RTE televison's 'Morning Edition'. Commenting on the fact that the last Pope to resign (six hundred years ago, and in very different cirumstances and for reasons different to the present Pope), he said Pope Benedict would be remembered more for his resignation than for anything else he had done in office.
He acknowledged that the Pope "did write a great encyclical on the global economic crisis, and I think that it was very radical and very good", but nonetheless many people were alienated from the Catholic Church whose structures, he said, appeared "caught in a time warp of about 400 years ago".
He said it would take a charismatic Pope to deliver the changes needed and when asked if the thought the College of Cardinals could produce such a leader he said "It's probably unlikely".