Expert List: Pope Francis's U.S. Visit

Pope Francis begins a U.S. visit from Sept. 23 until Sept. 27, which includes a visit to the White House, an address to Congress, and a trip to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. The following experts are available to provide media commentary and context to the Pope's visit: 


Tim Crain, director of the Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
Tim Crain recently met with the Pope as part of a conference on Catholic-Jewish relations in Rome.
P: 724-830-1855

Sister Lois Sculco, Seton Hill University's Vice President of Institutional Identity and Mission
Sister Lois Sculco is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, the university's founding order.
P: 724-838-4200

Timothy Gabrielli, assistant professor of theology, Seton Hill University
Gabrielli's expertise is in U.S. Catholic history and culture.
P: 724-830-1936

Dan Martino, associate professor of theology, Seton Hill University
Director of Seton Hill's pastoral ministry certificate program, which provides lay people with the education needed to serve as pastoral minsters in the Diocese of Greensburg.
P: 724-830-4737

Peter Ellard, Director of the Reinhold Neibuhr Institute of Religion and Culture at Siena College, a Franciscan institution in Loudonville, N.Y.
Peter says, "“His visit is not likely to have any lasting effect on Church attendance or the views of American Catholics on issues like birth control, abortion or same-sex marriage. Perhaps the place where we will see the greatest effect is in Francis' address to the U.S. Congress. It is sure to offer a lesson in the reality of climate change that many more conservative members of congress would rather not hear."
P: 917-838-0464

Randall Woodard, associate professor of theology and religion at Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Fla.
Woodard believes that, because the Pope’s U.S. visit will coincide with the presidential election cycle, it will inspire discussion of important national, global and political issues. Marriage and family will remain at the forefront. 
P: 352-437-4941

Matthew Tapie, director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies and assistant professor of theology at Saint Leo University
"Pope Francis is deeply concerned to bring those who are weak to the attention of the world," Tapie says. "We see this theme again and again and it is hard to imagine that the weak and marginalized, especially in the context of the family, won't be on his mind as he visits the United States."
P: 352-588-7298

John J. O’Keefe, professor of historical theology and holder of the A.F. Jacobson Chair in Communications at Creighton University Department of Theology.
O'Keefe specializes in the history of early Christianity and environmental theology, and he sees climate change as a moral issue for the Church and a challenger of overconsumption.
"We have a moral obligation to care for the generations yet to come and not just think about short-term gain. What the Pope is really after is challenging overconsumption,” O’Keefe says. “It’s not enough to reduce the population of the earth. We need to think about living more sustainably on the earth and taking care of the people who are here already.” 
P: 402-280-4799

Richard Miller, associate professor of systematic theology, Creighton University 
Miller is the editor of “God, Creation and Climate Change: A Catholic Response to the Environmental Crisis
P: 402-280-3618

Eileen Burke-Sullivan, associate professor of theology, Creighton University 
Burke-Sullivan teaches courses in Ignatian spirituality, liturgy, sacraments, ministry and systematic theology.

 Stephen Okey, assistant professor of philosophy, theology and religion, Saint Leo University 
Okey is interested in questions of political and military ethics, with a focus on the history of Christian approaches to war.
P: 352-588-8374

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