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Church Up Close: Seminar gives Journalists a crash course in covering the Vatican

2012-06-16

Fr. John Wauck
Church Up Close,  Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

"What they get is an opportunity to visit the places in Rome where decisions are made, the key points in the life of the Church. They go into the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith for instance, meet with officials who work in the Vatican, hear their side of the story, get a sense of who's who.”

Father John Wauck is the president of the conference that has brought together journalists from secular media like the New York Times, and the Times of London, to religious newspapers such as the Catholic Herald.

Wauck says the interaction between these two diverse groups is a learning experience by itself.

Fr. John Wauck
Church Up Close, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

"It's a very interesting mix of journalists actually that are coming and of course interacting with each other. They are talking with each other about the challenges of covering the Church and getting a perspective, the religious journalists are getting a perspective of the secular journalists, the secular journalists are hearing how the Catholic journalists see things, but also there is the international perspective.”

That international perspective will include journalists from every continent, all of whom will bring their own style of covering the Vatican.

But one area of the Church that all of them seem to cover is when the Vatican is trying to deal with a scandal that has broken out.

Fr. John Wauck
Church Up Close,  Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

"We've talked about the hot issues of the day, whether it was the sex abuse scandals earlier, or its a question about Vatican finances or now its a question of the Vatileaks, the leaks within the Vatican, and all these things will be talked about.”

This September, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross will hold it's third seminar that will host around 30 journalists. They have started to cap off the number of participants in order to ensure that each journalist gets a good amount of face time with Vatican officials. It's a way for those who cover the Catholic Church from a distance to become an expert, or a so called "vaticanista”, in the span of a week.


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