In September 2021, the School of Church Communications at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross offers the seventh edition of its seminar for religion journalists, particularly focused in the coverage of today’s Roman Catholic Church. The seminar, entitled “The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis,” will take place in two free online sessions, held on September 23 and 28, 2021.
Normally a week-long event held every two years at the university’s campus in Rome, The Church Up Close is conducted in English and designed for working journalists to provide insight into the nature of the Catholic Church and the inner workings of the Vatican. This webinar is in lieu of the 2020 edition, which could not be held at that time due to the travel situation, and is open to all comers, not just journalists and specialists. The next in-person seminar is planned to be held as usual the week of 12-17 September 2022.
23 September, 15:00-16:30 (GMT + 1): Interview with George Cardinal Pell, Former Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy. Conducted by Rev. Prof. John Wauck of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce and Ashely Noronha of Relevant Radio.
Registration is required to join online. Registrants will have the opportunity to send in questions by email ahead of the webinar.
28 September, 15:00-16:30 (GMT + 1): Roundtable of veteran journalists based in Rome, to include John Allen, the Editor of Crux, Nicole Winfield from the Associated Press, and Seàn-Patrick Lovett, media consultant and formerly of Vatican Radio.
Those who are in Rome may attend in presence at the Aula Magna of the University (following the security norms related to COVID 19); for those joining online, registration is required.
According to the president of the organizing committee, Rev. Prof. John Wauck, “The Church Up Close seminar was inspired by a series of classes that our school was already offering throughout the year for Rome-based ‘vaticanisti’. The Church Up Close is a condensed, intensified and amplified version of the class that has been tailored for journalists from around the globe.”
Previous seminars have seen the participation of reporters from media outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Il Corriere della Sera, El País, the BBC and Le Monde, to name a few.
Fr. Wauck observes, “Covering an institution as old and as large as the Catholic Church has always been a huge challenge, and in today’s shrinking world, it’s becoming ever more necessary to tell even local stories about the Church from a global perspective. The seminar should help reporters do that.”
The seminar is made possible by a grant from the U.S.-based Our Sunday Visitor Institute, and thanks to the collaboration of Iscom, the IARJ (International Association of Religion Journalists), and the AIGAV (International Association of Journalists Accredited to the Vatican).
The full program and detailed information about “The Church Up Close” seminar is available on its website: http://www.church-communication.net/ . Please remember that although the seminar is free, registration is required.