KPCC recently ran several articles by USC Annenberg students as part of a series of reports through the USC Annenberg Knight Program in Media and Religion. The participating students are all from a class taught by Knight Chair Diane Winston.
Each year, Winston's class reports on some facet of World Religion and the focus this year is Catholicism. The first article in the series was written by Paige Brettingen about a Southern California seminary that has decided to pray continuously for an all-night adoration during the upcoming conclave. This decision was made in order to allow seminarians to have more involvement in a “very significant historical moment that happens very rarely in church history."
Brettingen's second article for the series discussed the growing need for Catholic priests and how Catholic's have been using everything from social media to performing arts in order to recruit people interested in priesthood. On Feb. 10, the Pantages theater in Hollywood hosted a one-night show that aimed to "invoke a holy calling for others."
The article written by Sarah Parvini revealed a list of potential frontrunners for the papacy that was assembled by Ireland's largest bookmaker, Paddy Power. First on their list is Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana, who would be the first non-European Pope in recent history, as well as the first non-white Pope. Five additional papal prospects from Italy, Canada and Latin America make up the rest of the list. An article by Paresh Dave discussed the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as the selection of a new one. Many Los Angeles parishioners have said that they don’t care who is chosen “as long as he's a good person.”
One article, written by Aaron Schrank, detailed Catholics United's attempt to keep Cardinal Roger Mahoney from participating in the upcoming conclave. Many Los Angeles' Catholics felt that his presence would “only bring clouds of shame in a time that should bring springs of hope.”
The most recent article in the series, written by Megan O'Neil, discussed the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, an annual event that aims to "reflect the changes in the Catholic community." This year's congress drew a crowd of almost 37,000 people. The Knight Program in Media and Religion, led by Winston, recently received a 3-year, $600,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. This grant supports and promotes innovative coverage of religion and international affairs.