Published March 28, 2013
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory spent a week in Rome during the papal conclave, where he served as an analyst for ABC News. He answered a few questions about the experience via email.
Q. How would you describe your experience participating in the papal coverage?
A. I’m grateful to ABC for their invitation to serve as a commentator on their broadcast coverage of the Papal Conclave and the election of Pope Francis. It gave me a unique perspective on this remarkable moment in the life of the Church.
Q. What surprised you about working with the news media so closely? Did you learn something new about the media and do you think your hosts learned something new about the Church?
A. I have always valued my interaction with the media especially when they approach the subject of religion and are open to the experience of those of us for whom religious life is a direct and personal concern. I think that they were amazed that this moment was so moving for me [and countless millions of Catholics the world over].
Q. Do you think the news media overall was fair to the Church during this transition?
A. The folks at ABC were very fair and courteous to me and I believe respectful of the Church and our faith. While they did not shy from raising delicate issues, they did so with civility.
Q. Lots of attention was focused on the Church recently. What do you hope comes out of this global audience watching the conclave and the election of Pope Francis?
A. I hope that people everywhere will understand how important our Church is in the life of Catholics. I pray that Pope Francis’ obvious gentility, humility, and candor will give the Church of Christ a more balanced and genuine face of confidence and hope.