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Rome Reports

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A diplomat and a journalist take a look at the 30 days that changed the Church

ANDRí?S BELTRAMOCorrespondent Notimex (Mexico) Co-Author “Some say it?s a bit much to say this 30 day period, changed a 2,000 year old Church. What we want to express in this title is the summary of some events that may have occurred in the Church over the last 500 years. So things like the resignation of a Pope, which had not taken place in six centuries and the election of a non European Pope, so the first time a Latin American Pontiff was elected.” Andrés Beltramo is one of the few journalists who directly heard the words of Benedict XVI as he read his resignation in Latin.  That same day, Colombia?s former ambassador to the Holy See and journalist, Cesar Mauricio Velasquez had an idea. He invited Beltramo to co-author a book, along with him, about this historic moment in the Church. Cí?SAR MAURICIO VELíSQUEZFormer Ambassador to Holy See Colombia“This book brings back some of the journalistic skills that are being forgotten. So for example actual interviews, reporting and chronicles. It?s a narrative that includes those three journalistic styles. There?s direct communication with our sources. Just like my co-author says, it?s about directly talking face to face with sources, not just on the phone or over the internet.”A total of 15 cardinals were interviewed and Vatican documents were reviewed for the publication. The former ambassador also highlights some of the meetings and personal conversations he had with Benedict XVI when he was still Pope. Cí?SAR MAURICIO VELíSQUEZFormer Ambassador to Holy See Colombia“With this book we can analyze and appreciate the role the Church has played in history. A complete spectrum: from its flaws to its great figures like Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis.” ANDRí?S BELTRAMOCorrespondent Notimex (Mexico)“The idea behind this book is to make a journalistic contribution to understanding the Church and its evolving debate. It?s a publication that goes beyond the superficial headlines in newspapers. Rather, it explores these 30 days where the world was focused on the next vicar of Christ. What we had, were thousands of journalists who just flew in for the story, and didn?t really have an understanding of the true history and significance of what was really  happening.” The book also includes a collection of never before seen photographs. So far, it has been translated from Spanish to Portuguese. The English version is in the works. VIC/KLH MG-NR-BNUp: VIC