Covering the Catholic Church and Pope Francis in a Time of Crisis

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September 17, 2018 | Recent revelations from a Pennsylvania grand jury—in addition to scandals involving the former Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and others in the U.K., Australia, Peru, and Chile—have brought to the forefront divisions within the Catholic Church among church leaders and lay faithful, and demand long overdue change and reform en masse. What has it been like to be a leading journalist covering these events? What hope for the future might be generated despite this renewed time of crisis? What reforms are necessary and what official actions are likely to come about on the part of the official church?

Joshua J. McElwee, the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, addressed these questions and provided insights gleaned during his time covering Pope Francis’ reforming pontificate. Gerard Mannion, Amaturo Chair of Catholic Studies and an expert in ecclesiology who has written and spoken extensively related to the clerical abuse crisis, moderated the conversation.

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