ACU expert leads media coverage of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

ACU papal historian Dr Miles Pattenden led Australian media coverage of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Dr Pattenden, a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, stepped up to provide expert commentary as part of widespread reporting by TV networks, print media and radio.

In little over a week, he featured in more than 300 media outlets around the world, reaching an audience of almost 50 million people.

Dr Pattenden gave interviews in English, Spanish, and Italian, providing historical context and unique insights.

He was an integral part of broadcast coverage on ABC TV, Radio National, SBS, Channel 9, Channel 10 and Sky News. He also contributed opinion pieces to The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Religion & Ethics and The Spectator Magazine and was interviewed by journalists from international Catholic media.

The former Pope was one of the most prolific Catholic theologians of the 20th century and the first pontiff to retire in more than 600 years. His death was an historic event and significant global news story.

Dr Pattenden said that it was vitally important for ACU to provide authoritative commentary on these significant events, placing them within historical, theological and social context.

“Being seen in domestic and international media is vitally important for ACU’s visibility in the sector and for fulfilling our Catholic mission,” Dr Pattenden said.

“ACU has the resources to provide detailed, informed, independent, and authoritative commentary on events and developments that are important in the lives of Catholics, and it is critical for our reputation that we share our expertise.”

“The Catholic Church has played a hugely influential role in the development of global societies over many centuries. It is therefore paramount that historians engage with the wider academy to ensure that the Church continues to hold a central place in academic study.

“Media work helps us do this by providing a platform to reach out beyond our immediate research field and identify the questions others want to ask of us.”

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