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Rome Reports

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Reporting on the Pope and the Church

The words and gestures of a Pope never go unnoticed, and those of Pope Francis always give lots to talk about. "How I would like a Church that is poor and for the poor!â? "This is what I ask of you. Be shepherds with the 'smell of  sheep.'â?  "But I also want to stand up and take action in your dioceses, I want you to go beyond your comfort zone. I want the Church to go out to the street.â?  Journalists from all over the world covering the Vatican must be able to explain the Pope's words and style without misinterpretations. This can be a real challenge when it comes to Pope Francis. FR. JOHN WAUCK "The Church Up Closeâ? "It's hard to find categories that define precisely who Pope Francis is. Is he conservative, is he liberal? He defies categories.â? Every two years the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross organizes a seminar where Vatican experts are invited to share their experiences with journalists from all over the world. The main goal is give journalists an accurate picture when they're reporting on Catholic  Church and the Vatican. FR. JOHN WAUCK "The Church Up Closeâ? "Journalists have attended the Church Up Close seminar from almost all of the major news organizations in... certainly in Europe and the United States. The BBC, The Times of London, The New York Times, El Paí­s in Spain, Le Monde, in France.â? This is the first time the seminar takes places during the pontificate of Pope Francis, and so it will focus on its highlights and its direction. FR. JOHN WAUCK "The Church Up Closeâ? "I think there is nothing more important for journalists than coming to Rome and getting a sense of the lay of the land of meeting the people, of connecting faces and voices with the names that you read about.â? This year the seminar will take place in Rome from September 8 to 14. The speakers include Australian Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Vatican's new Secretariat for the  Economy. Also, attendees will have the chance of visiting the headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  All to make it clear that the more one understands the Vatican from the inside, the better one will report on Pope Francis and the Vatican to the outside. JRB/PM AA/RR FA -PR Up: YJA