The 17 Billion Euro Cover-Up

Dear Blog Readers – There never seems to be a dull moment in Rome. I don’t know if it is the weather, the food, the history, the art or the fact that the Pope is here, but all the movers and shakers of the world have a habit of stopping by rather regularly. Over the […]


A Cigarette Butt, a Condom and a Phone Card

My cell phone rang at 6:27 am last Thursday. It was AP Television Rome’s Senior Producer Maria Grazia Murru. “Can you be on a train for Florence in half an hour. It leaves at 7:05. The prosecutor in the Ashley Olsen murder case is giving a press conference at 10am.” I had been following this […]


Opening the Door

Dear Blog Readers, Since we are all caught up in the pre-holiday frenzy and surely no one has much time to read blog posts, I will keep this one brief. This week I covered the December 8th opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican. During this event, Pope Francis pushed open the […]


Questioning Indulgences with a Piqued Prelate

Today I had to cover a press conference on the preparations for the Jubilee of Mercy which starts in Rome on December 8th. It was organized by the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi in a fabulous room in the Lateran Palace (part of the Saint John the Lateran Complex in Rome). I was working with my colleague […]


Hopes, Dreams and Humidity with Pope Francis in Cuba

Dear Blog Readers, After my lengthy post on the Papal trip to the United States (Hacks in Black: On the Papal Plane with Pope Francis), I am going to keep my post on the Cuba leg short. I want to share some of the photos, especially those taken by my AP photographer colleague Alessandra Tarantino, […]


Hacks in Black: On the Papal Plane with Pope Francis

Dear Blog Readers – After nine thrilling days of dragging my computer bag and camera tripod all over Cuba and the United States chasing after Pope Francis, I am back in Rome and ready to do my behind-the-scenes post on traveling on the Papal Plane. There were a total of 79 journalists traveling on the […]


Part II – Pope Francis: Heading for the United States

Dear Blog Readers, this is the second part of my two-part series on the Pope’s trip to Cuba and the United States. (see also Part I – Pope Francis- Revving up for Cuba).  As with the first post, it is a bit of a long plod through the schedule and themes of the trip that […]


Pope Francis – Revving up for Cuba

Dear Blog Readers, On September 19th, I will be departing on the Papal Plane with Pope Francis and his entourage to Cuba and the United States. The entourage will include Cardinals, Bishops, Vatican Gendarmes, Swiss Guards in plainclothes, a doctor, the Papal spokesman, Vatican press office officials, a Popemobile driver, liturgical specialists (Mass helpers) and […]