Rome in the Time of Coronavirus

The cobblestone streets in the center of Rome – usually teeming with tourists – are empty.  At the Colosseum a woman with a big white sanitary mask on her face poses for a selfie.  In St. Peter’s Square a young couple walk past in black face masks, a guidebook in hand.  At the Trevi Fountain […]

Madagascar: Magnificent and Impoverished

Two teenage girls squat on the ground at the sprawling Antananarivo garbage dump sorting detritus.  Around them hills of garbage spread in all directions, little trails winding through the mounds like a golf course gone rotten.  Instead of golf carts making their way down the fairways, there are trucks, 14 of them come every day rumbling their […]

Pope Francis and the Press

Dear Blog Readers, Yesterday, over two hundred journalists from the Foreign Press Association in Italy had an audience with Pope Francis. As the current President, I got to deliver a speech on behalf of the group. I worked on it for weeks and it was a summary of what I think are the challenges for […]

Learning to Listen on Ventotene

Dear Blog Readers, Last weekend I traveled to the tiny island of Ventotene, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) off the coast of Italy, to participate in the Festival for European Solidarity in the Mediterranean (Festival dell’Europa Solidale e del Mediterranneo) bringing students, refugees, activists and journalists together to talk about how to overcome racism and […]

Baby Flamingos step out for Easter in Rome

Dear Blog Readers, Last Thursday I was between editing the Pope’s Easter Thursday Chrism Mass (where he blesses all the vats of oil to be used in Rome parishes for the year), covering an Amnesty International press conference on how they will be monitoring hate speech used on social media by politicians running in the […]

Letter from St.Peter’s Square

CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE REACHES THE TOP BOOKENDS McCarrick and Pell – two Cardinals who climbed to the peak of power within the Catholic Church are now reaping the results of sexual abuse of minors and will live for the rest of their days in shame and humility.   The 89-year-old McCarrick is in a friary […]

Panama with Pope Francis

Rock-star priests and dancing nuns, shimmering skyscrapers and stinking chemical toilets, juvenile prisoners with tattoos and rosaries and Vatican staffers in Panama hats…those are just a few of the things I experienced covering the Pope last week in Panama. I sat on a bus with photographers and camerapersons and tried to edit video while helmeted […]

The Bones of Irish Babies

Dear Blog Readers, I spent four days in Ireland last week for coverage of Pope Francis’ visit there and it was probably the most eye-opening trip I have ever taken with a Pope.  I was shocked and appalled by the horrifying treatment of women and children by the Catholic Church in Ireland for decades.  I […]