VIDEO: Pope Francis meets the press

If you want a sense of the new pontiff’s personality and his thinking, check out the brief video below from Rome Reports, featuring some candid moments from his encounter with the media on Saturday. As CNS noted, in addition to explaining the story behind his name and his devotion to the poor, the new pope [Read More...]

Covering the conclave: how the Italian press drives the story

How does media coverage of the Vatican work?  Some insight from someone who knows, via web journalist Tom McGeveran:  I Skyped Jason Horowitz, an old colleague of mine who’s been dispatched to the Vatican by The Washington Post, and who worked a while back in the New York Times’ Rome bureau, for some perspective. And immediately we got [Read More...]

How the media transformed the papacy

Courtesy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, blogging from Rome for the USCCB: Jesuit Father Norman Tanner was our briefer today and was quite interesting. Father Tanner, a professor of church history at the Gregorian University, said that media played the most important role in redefining the modern papacy. He gave the example of Pope Pius IX [Read More...]

Welcome to the first “virtual conclave”

Technology is having a dramatic impact in how the faithful follow the coming election for pope, as AP notes:  A pastor in Ontario wondered about behind-the-scenes politicking ahead of the conclave to elect the next pope. He could have read news reports or listened to briefings by the Vatican spokesman. Instead, he asked a cardinal. [Read More...]

Gag order imposed on cardinals

From the indispensable John Thavis:  U.S. cardinals abruptly canceled their planned briefing today, and no further briefings were scheduled. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who had coordinated the U.S. press encounters, said in an email: “Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reportedin Italian newspapers. As a precaution, the cardinals have [Read More...]

Radio daze

Those who have nothing better to do this afternoon will be able to catch Your Humble Blogger chatting away with Lino Rulli on Sirius Satellite Radio.    I’ll be on sometime around 5:30 ET, discussing various things papal—including media coverage of the resignation. For me, it marks a return trip to “The Catholic Guy”—I visited [Read More...]

Pope’s Twitter account to be closed—UPDATED

And a brief, bright era in new media comes to an end.  Let’s hope his successor will have his own account: At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio. The news may come as a sad blow to the [Read More...]

Vatican slams resignation “gossip” in media

From the BBC: The Vatican’s chief spokesperson has criticised the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Church. Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “slander”. Father Lombardi made the comments in an editorial on the Vatican radio website. Pope Benedict [Read More...]

“Alex, I’ll take ‘Great Catholic Evangelists’ for $1,000…”

And the answer is: “This jolly figure has been called the greatest evangelist in the church today.” And I reply: “Who is Fr. Robert Barron?” And with this, I lose. Well, I still think Fr. Barron is a great evangelist, but he himself has another answer in mind —and it’s worth checking it out in [Read More...]

The Vatican confronts the digital age

Is the changing media landscape becoming a growing problem for the church?  One writer thinks so, and makes some compelling observations:  When Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, the most common assumption (made by his fans and detractors alike) was that he’d continue in his role as an enforcer of theological orthodoxy. There were visions of [Read More...]