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Helping journalists understand one of the oldest institutions in the world

2015-02-27

Pope Francis has continued to fascinate the world since his election two years ago. And most of what people know about the Pope is filtered through the media. 

It takes years to attain a truly expert understanding of the Catholic Church, but a new class in Rome aims to boost journalists' knowledge of the Church.

The class focuses on bringing journalists into contact with people and places that can help improve their understanding of the Church.

REV. JOHN WAUCK
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
"We bring in experts in different fields. So we'd have, say, professors, theologians, or professors of canon law, people who work in the Vatican, in the offices of the Roman Curia, who have years of experience working in the Vatican.”

The two-hour class will take place at the Pontifical University of The Holy Cross every Friday from March until June. 

Beyond teaching students about Pope Francis, the class also aims to give deep background on issues like Roman Curia reform.

BRUNO MASTROIANNI
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
"If they want to write about the reforms Pope Francis intends to enact, then it is important to understand how they work. They must understand the structure of the Church.”

Students will also have the chance to visit important Vatican sites like the Roman Rota and the Papal Chancellery.  

One of the top goals of the class is to help journalists look beyond the daily headlines and understand the larger implications of what's happening.

REV. JOHN WAUCK
Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
"There tends to be an effort, or a temptation, for many journalists to create narratives when, sometimes, you have to be patient and wait and see what the real narrative is.”

The course is only available in Italian. However, the university offers an abridged English-language "crash course” every two years.


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