Does ‘Pope Francis effect’ mean a Catholic growth trend?

The best journalists report what they know — and what they don’t. Given the flurry of positive press for Pope Francis in 2013, a journalist easily could produce a three-anecdotes-make-a-trend story on how the new pope with a sky-high approval rating has brought a numerical resurgence to the Roman Catholic Church. But Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh [Read More...]

JFK’s strong Catholic ties and the speech he DIDN’T give

Ten years ago, while working in the Dallas bureau of The Associated Press, I wrote a national package of stories commemorating the 40th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. As the nation paused today — the 50th anniversary — to remember Kennedy’s death on Nov. 22, 1963, I wondered if any enterprising journalist might [Read More...]

Noooooooooooo!!! Godbeat losing a superstar

It's official: I'm leaving Post-Gazette 9/5 to be communications director for #Catholic @diopitt Thanks for a great 33 yrs in journalism — Ann Rodgers (@pgfaith) August 29, 2013   Please forgive the exclamation points in the title. But enough already. On the heels of Bob Smietana leaving The Tennessean, the impending departure of a religion-writing superstar [Read More...]

Beautiful tribute to Catholic sisters in Civil War nursing

On this Independence Day, let’s look at a great story that appeared on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette really pulled out the stops for coverage of this Civil War anniversary and Sunday’s paper had a special section that covered various angles. I’m no Civil War buff but my visit [Read More...]

Journalism highs and lows: Christianity and gays edition

I’m elated to be able to highlight a wonderful article headlined “Christians’ views vary on gay marriage.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news piece shared just that — how Christians view marriage and why. A sample from the work: Most opposition to same-sex civil marriage is rooted in religious conviction. A recent Pew poll found that 73 [Read More...]

Pod people: One more Easter home run

As most of you know, Sunday was an important religious holiday. In my “All hope is not lost” post, I already highlighted eight compelling enterprise stories that graced the nation’s Easter front pages. But I’m not talking about that religious holiday. I’m referring, of course, to Opening Night and the beginning of a new Major League [Read More...]


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