53 episodes

Each week, Colleen Dulle goes behind the headlines of the biggest Vatican news stories with America’s Rome correspondent Gerard O’Connell. They'll break down complicated news stories that have a whole lot of history behind them in an understandable, engaging way. Colleen and Gerard will give you the inside scoop on what people inside the Vatican are thinking, saying—and planning.

Inside The Vatican America Media

    • Christianity

Each week, Colleen Dulle goes behind the headlines of the biggest Vatican news stories with America’s Rome correspondent Gerard O’Connell. They'll break down complicated news stories that have a whole lot of history behind them in an understandable, engaging way. Colleen and Gerard will give you the inside scoop on what people inside the Vatican are thinking, saying—and planning.

    Francis appoints woman to top role in Secretariat of State

    Francis appoints woman to top role in Secretariat of State

    Last week, Pope Francis appointed a woman to a top role in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State for the first time, while also upgrading that role from the department head level to the undersecretary level. On “Inside the Vatican” this week, Gerry and I take a look at these two decisions and what they reveal about Francis’ international priorities as well as his desire to include more women at leadership levels in the Vatican. 
    Then, we look forward to the upcoming election of a new dean of the College of Cardinals. When Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s resignation was accepted in December, Pope Francis announced that he hoped to make a few changes to the role, including imposing term limits and making the job a full-time position. Gerry and I examine the reasons behind these changes.
    We also give updates on several stories including last week’s controversy surrounding “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book on priestly celibacy; U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming meeting with Pope Francis; and when to expect Pope Francis’ follow-up document to the Amazon synod.
    Links from the show:
    Pope Francis appoints a woman for the first time to senior role in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State Pope Francis: “I will never grow tired of condemning every form of anti-Semitism”

    • 19 min
    Did Benedict XVI co-author a new book on priestly celibacy?

    Did Benedict XVI co-author a new book on priestly celibacy?

    This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I dedicate the entire episode to the questions surrounding the new book From the Depths of Our Hearts, written by Cardinal Robert Sarah with a contribution from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The book argues against the ordination of married men as priests, a subject that Pope Francis is currently considering as he prepares his final document following up on the Vatican’s Synod on the Amazon. In October, the synod bishops recommended ordaining mature, married permanent deacons as priests to serve in their remote indigenous communities.
    Gerry and I explain why the book’s subject matter prompted questions. Then, we unpack the debate about the book’s authorship that swept social media on Monday and Tuesday. After the book was announced as being co-authored by Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Sarah, a source or sources close to Benedict told members of the press that the pope emeritus had not agreed to co-author the book. This led to a back-and-forth between Cardinal Sarah, Archbishop Georg Gänswein—Benedict’s personal secretary—and the book’s publishers over how the pope emeritus should be credited and whether or not his photo should appear on the front of the book.
    Gerry and I explain what each party has said and how this controversy exposes a lingering theological question—namely, what is the role of the pope emeritus?
    Links from the show:
    Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah coauthor book on celibacy, opposing the ordination of married men Benedict XVI has asked Cardinal Sarah to have his name removed from the book on priestly celibacy

    • 21 min
    What’s fact and what's fiction in ‘The Two Popes’?

    What’s fact and what's fiction in ‘The Two Popes’?

    Last week, a viral video circulated on social media showing Pope Francis slapping the hand of a woman who yanked his arm as he walked through a crowd in St. Peter’s Square. On “Inside the Vatican” this week, Gerry and I explain what happened and discuss the pope’s apology for losing his patience.
    Then, we turn to the growing tensions between the United States and Iran following the assassination of Iranian General Quasem Suleimani. Without mentioning the two nations directly, Pope Francis called for “all parties to fan the flame of dialogue and self-control.” How much of a difference can the Vatican make in this situation? Gerry takes us back to 2003 and explains what happened when Pope John Paul II asked President George H.W. Bush not to invade Iraq.
    Finally, “The Two Popes” has made a splash on Netflix and at the Vatican, but what’s fact and what’s fiction in the new movie? Gerry and I break down which parts of the movie are true, and which are simply “inspired by true events.”
     
    Links from the show:
    The papal hand slap divides Catholics and the media Pope Francis begins New Year with apology for hand slap, prayers for peace Pope Francis prays for dialogue as tensions mount between the U.S. and Iran Catholic leaders speak out as tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran ‘The Two Popes’: What’s fact and what’s fiction? Jesuitical | What’s it like to play Pope Francis? An interview with Jonathan Pryce on ‘The Two Popes’

    • 19 min
    Keep your eyes on Vatican-China relations in 2020

    Keep your eyes on Vatican-China relations in 2020

    Happy New Year from Inside the Vatican!
    For our New Year’s Day episode, Gerry and I are taking a look back at some of the biggest Vatican stories of 2019.
    We start with February’s Vatican summit on the protection of minors, which Gerry and I covered together in Rome. We talk about the steps Pope Francis has taken to follow up on that meeting, including the elimination of the “pontifical secret” in December which paved the way for the long-awaited Vatican handbook that will establish universal norms for handling cases of clerical sexual abuse. Gerry also gives us a timeline on when to expect that document.
    Next, we take a look at Gerry’s pick for the year’s most important papal trip: Pope Francis’ trip to Abu Dhabi, also in February. On this trip, the pope celebrated the first papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula and signed a document on human fraternity with Muslim leaders. Gerry walks us through why these gestures were so significant and what lasting effects they have already had.
    Skipping ahead to the fall, we discuss the Amazon synod, when all of the bishops from the Amazon region along with indigenous people, leaders and experts from around the world came to Rome to lay out how the church would respond to its many challenges in the region. We talk about when the pope is likely to issue a final document from that synod, and when its suggestions would be put into effect.
    We wrap up this episode with a lightning round of the most important Vatican stories in categories like the most significant papal appointment, the top interreligious dialogue story, and what Vatican story we should keep our eyes on in 2020. (Check out the title of this episode for the answer!)
     
    Links from the show:
    Inside the Vatican: The Vatican sex abuse summit already includes some surprises Inside the Vatican: Unpacking Pope Francis’ historic trip to Abu Dhabi Inside the Vatican: Are the Amazon bishops ready to become new martyrs? The Catholic Church in China | A Short Documentary

    • 16 min
    Pope Francis’ Christmas address to the Roman Curia

    Pope Francis’ Christmas address to the Roman Curia

    On Saturday, Pope Francis gave his annual Christmas speech to the Roman curia, which in past years has been the time that the pope speaks very clearly about where he thinks the curia needs improvement. In 2014, Pope Francis used his Christmas address to lead the curia through an examination of conscience, pointing out what he called the “curial diseases” of careerism, gossip, rivalries, and so on. In years since, he has spoken on the need for ongoing reforms and updated his collaborators on his restructuring of the Vatican bureaucracy.
    This year, the pope’s talk focused on the need to fight rigidity and be open to change. He quoted St. John Henry Newman, canonized this year, who famously wrote about the way that doctrine develops and how change is natural and important both in human life and for the church. Francis also warned against rigidity which comes from a fear of change.
    On this week’s episode of “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I talk about why the pope chose this theme for his speech, who he spoke to, and how these Christmas addresses fit into the pope’s larger effort to reform the Roman curia.
     
    Links from the show:
    Pope Francis tells Roman Curia: Do not fear change, it is in the nature of the missionary church Full text of Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel

    • 16 min
    Francis abolishes pontifical secret for abuse cases

    Francis abolishes pontifical secret for abuse cases

    Yesterday morning, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had abolished the pontifical secret, a confidentiality measure, in cases of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable person by clergy. This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I explain what information will now be available about these cases.
    Next up, we dive into the Wall Street Journal’s report on the pope’s Peter’s Pence collection. The report alleged that the Vatican had misled donors by telling them that the Peter’s Pence fund was used exclusively for charity, when more than half of the money raised each year goes to plug the Vatican’s deficit. Gerry and I examine the report’s claim and discuss what actions the Vatican is taking to clean up its finances.
    Finally, Pope Francis celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Friday, December 13 and spent that evening shining a light on his spiritual mentor, Jesuit Father Miguel Fiorito. Gerry explains why Father Fiorito was so dear to Francis, and we take a look at how Francis’ spiritual mentor inspired his leadership style.
     
    Links from the show:
    Pope Francis abolishes the pontifical secret for sexual misconduct cases involving clerics Is the Vatican misleading donors? Peter’s Pence, explained. Pope Francis celebrates 50 years as a priest  Pope Francis wants the world to know about his Jesuit spiritual director

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

22783 ,

Essential

Thank you Colleen and Gerry for this very informative podcast. It has become essential listening. Any thought to extending it by five or ten minutes?

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