The Pope Who Quit

Author Jon M. Sweeney is a convert to the Catholic faith who’s always had an interest in history and the Middle Ages – and in Church figures from that era like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare. One of the other figures from that time that also piqued Jon’s interest was Peter Morrone who became Pope Celestine V, the only Pope in the history of the Church to resign from the papacy. Jon shares that story in the book, “The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation.”

Jon recently joined me on “Christopher Closeup” to discuss the book along with insights into his own conversion. Listen to our interview right here:

Christopher Closeup Podcast – Guest: Jon M. Sweeney

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About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.

  • sam

    Why this conversation just now when so many enemies of PBXVI are hinting, even suggesting that he “will” resign; (meaning he “should”). God is the one who ordains who is Pope; perhaps the one who “resigned” should be left alone. It’s history and not very helpful now or at any time.

    • Tony Rossi

      Mr. Sweeney had been working on the book for the last three or four years because he became acquainted with Pope Celestine V while doing research on his favorite saint, Francis of Assisi. There is no ulterior motive to the timing of the book’s publication that I’m aware of. There is also no intent on The Christophers’ part to undermine or denigrate Pope Benedict XVI. His goal is to show the positive option that Christianity offers, and we fully support that approach.

  • Jon

    I was under the impression that there were a couple of Popes before Celestine V and even one after him that resigned in one form or another. Didn’t St. Pope Pontian in the 3rd century resign after he was condemned to work the salt mines in Sardinia? And isn’t Pope Gregory XII in the 15th century usually attributed with being the last Pope in the Catholic Church to have resigned?

    • Tony Rossi

      I’ll have to look into that, Jon. According to the book, Pope Celestine was the only one who resigned.

    • Tony Rossi

      Jon – I checked with the author, Jon Sweeney, who said Pope Celestine V was the only Pope to “willingly” resign. The others were apparently forced to do so.

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