206 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

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7 • 214 Ratings

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 America’s interview with Pope Francis

    Inside America’s interview with Pope Francis

    Last week, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, several members of the America Media team had an exclusive two-hour sit-down interview with Pope Francis; it was published Monday the 28th.
    The interview was wide-ranging and included questions on political polarization, lack of trust in the U.S. bishops conference, the war in Ukraine, transparency on sexual abuse cases, women’s ordination, encouragement to Black Catholics, and discussion of the Vatican-China deal. Since its release, international media coverage has focused on the pope’s decision to single out two Russian minority groups as being “perhaps the cruelest” in the war against Ukraine.
    On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell and host Colleen Dulle analyze the pope’s comments on Ukraine, as well as those on political polarization, the U.S. bishops, and women’s ordination.
    In the first part of the show, Gerry gives an inside look into what it was like to interview the pope, and Colleen shares some exciting news.
    Links from the show:
    Exclusive: Pope Francis discusses Ukraine, U.S. bishops and more
    Russia protests Pope Francis’ comments on Ukraine made in America magazine interview
    Gerard O’Connell: Ukraine, abortion, racism, women’s ordination: Highlights from America’s interview with Pope Francis
    Kerry Weber: Behind the scenes: What it’s like to interview Pope Francis
    The Gloria Purvis Podcast: Gloria Purvis and Father Matt Malone on what their interview with Pope Francis means for the U.S. church
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    • 35 min
    Thank you Inside the Vatican listeners!

    Thank you Inside the Vatican listeners!

    Exclusive: Pope Francis denounces polarization, talks women’s ordination, the U.S. bishops and more in a new interview with America Media!
    It’s an exciting time for America Media! We've transformed the organization under the leadership of Matt Malone, S.J. into a modern media entity that leads the conversation on faith and culture. There is no doubt that this transformation will continue at America under the leadership of Traug Keller, president and Father Sam Sawyer, SJ, 15th editor in chief. 
    We're especially grateful to our digital subscribers, who can access all of our award-winning content. But subscriptions alone do not cover the cost to produce our magazine, videos and podcasts, so we are really dependent on fundraising to bridge that gap.
    With Giving Tuesday upon us, we hope you will consider a tax-deductible gift of any size to support America Media. Visit our website and click the “Donate Now” button to join our media ministry, which enables us to continue producing Inside the Vatican. We truly could not continue to bring you these episodes without your support, so thank you, so much, for your consideration.
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    • 1 min
    The date of Easter could be changing

    The date of Easter could be changing

    For Thanksgiving week, “Inside the Vatican” is bringing you a brief update on a few of the top Vatican stories from the last week.
    Up first, the way Catholics calculate when to celebrate Easter could be changing.
    This past Saturday, Nov. 19, Pope Francis met with Mar Awa III, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, which is an Eastern Christian church based in Iraq. In the meeting, the pope took the opportunity to express his support for the idea that Eastern and Western churches should celebrate Easter on the same date—usually they’re about a week apart, with the Eastern Palm Sunday falling on the Western Easter.
    Echoing Vatican II, Pope Francis said that he is willing to accept any proposal for a common date of Easter provided that the other churches that are not in communion with Rome agree.
    Next, Pope Francis assigned a lay man and father of two as secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life last week. Gleison De Paula Souza is the first layperson to serve as second-in-command in this dicastery; three of the four top positions in that office are now held by lay people.
    Finally, on Nov. 22, Pope Francis overhauled the leadership of Caritas Internationalis, which is the church’s charity arm; it includes 162 charitable groups including Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services. The pope removed Caritas’ entire executive team after a review of the organization revealed management weaknesses that had damaged staff morale. Some current and former employees report bullying and favoritism within the organization’s Rome headquarters. A statement from the Vatican made clear that there was no financial mismanagement or sexual misconduct.
    Links from the show:
    Pope Francis says Catholics are ready for a common Easter date with the Assyrian Church
    Pope Francis appoints a father of two to No. 2 spot at Vatican family office
    Pope Francis fires top leadership of Caritas Internationalis after review found poor staff morale
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    • 6 min
    Fr. James Martin on his meeting with Pope Francis

    Fr. James Martin on his meeting with Pope Francis

    Pope Francis met with America editor-at-large James Martin, S.J. in the Vatican’s apostolic palace on Nov. 11 for 45 minutes. This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Father Martin joins hosts Colleen Dulle and Gerard O’Connell to discuss their exchange, which focused mostly on ministry to LGBT Catholics.
    Gerry explains the significance of the meeting’s duration—about twice as long as most heads of state have with the pope—and its location. “It’s a message to be received in the apostolic palace,” Gerry says on the podcast. “It means that the pope wants this known publicly.”
    Father Martin also discusses the pope’s endorsement of his latest book, Learning to Pray.
    In the second half of the show, Gerry and Colleen dig into Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of the Poor, and how the pope hopes that his initiatives for the day will trickle down to dioceses around the world.
    Finally, the hosts give an update on the case of French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, who despite publicly confessing to abusing a 14-year-old girl remains a cardinal with full privileges, including the ability to vote in a conclave. The Vatican now says it will investigate the cardinal after French prosecutors have finished their own investigation. Despite the confession, the cardinal has neither been removed nor suspended from ministry, although he admitted in his letter of confession that he would go on retreat to pray and meditate on his actions.
    “I have been here long enough in the Vatican to see we get statements [that] say something to satisfy the public demand, but they don’t give the whole story,” Gerry tells Colleen. “So, I would not exclude that other things are happening behind the scenes [at the Vatican].”

    Links from the show:
    Pope Francis received Father James Martin in private audience for the second time
    Pope Francis praises Father James Martin during audience with Vatican communicators (on Outreach, a publication of America Media)
    Pope Francis on World Day of the Poor: Do not listen to ‘prophets of doom’ but instead ‘light candles of hope.’
    Cardinal Ricard confessed to abusing a 14-year-old. What we know and what the Vatican will do next
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    • 27 min
    Prominent French bishop admits to abusing 14-year-old girl

    Prominent French bishop admits to abusing 14-year-old girl

    At a meeting of the French bishops’ conference, a letter from Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard was read aloud, in which the cardinal admitted that he had “conducted himself in a reprehensible fashion” with a 14 year old girl, adding, “My behavior necessarily caused in this person grave and lasting consequences.”
    On “Inside the Vatican” this week, host Colleen Dulle and veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell explain what is known about the case. Cardinal Ricard was up to now a member of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office tasked with investigating abuse cases, though it isn’t clear whether Cardinal Ricard himself ever investigated a case.
    The French church is currently reeling from a series of major abuse revelations. First, a report released last fall looked into sexual abuse of minors in Catholic institutions and estimated that up to 330,000 minors had been abused since 1950. More recently, there’s been the case of Bishop Michel Santier, who retired as bishop of Creteil in 2020 citing health reasons. It was recently revealed that he was actually removed by the Vatican for “using his influence over two young adult men for sexual purposes” and abusing the sacrament of confession by holding “striptease confessions.” Colleen and Gerry discuss the lack of transparency in all these cases.
    In the second half of the show, Gerry and Colleen discuss Pope Francis’ trip to Bahrain over the weekend, where he attended an interreligious gathering, the “Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence.” The hosts view the trip in the context of Pope Francis’ relationship with the Sunni Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, who also attended the meeting and with whom the pope wrote a milestone 2019 document on human fraternity.
    Links from the show:
    French cardinal admits to abusing teen girl 35 years ago
    Pope Francis in Bahrain: What to know and expect
    Pope Francis slams ‘childlike’ whims of powerful that start wars as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine rages on
    In Bahrain, Pope Francis calls for full religious freedom and an end to the death penalty
    Pope: ‘Every time a woman comes in to do a job in the Vatican, things get better’
    Pope Francis: 'Three world wars in one century: be pacifists!' (Full press conference text)
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    • 24 min
    What the synod heard from Catholics worldwide

    What the synod heard from Catholics worldwide

    The first global report for the Synod on Synodality came out last week, and it’s the Vatican’s first official word on what they’ve been hearing in listening sessions since August 2021.

    This week on “Inside the Vatican,” producer Ricardo da Silva, S.J., joins host Colleen Dulle and veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell for a roundtable discussion on what stood out in the synod document. Ricardo was struck by how the report presented feedback in the respondents’ words, including quotes from more than 70 countries, and how it raised issues that had previously been taboo. Gerry, on the other hand, thinks little was surprising in the report, and emphasizes how the document was to be read “with the eyes of the disciple.” Colleen describes how the report pulled no punches when discussing sexism in the church.

    In the second part of the show, the hosts have a lively discussion on their differing views of the document, hashing out questions of what magisterial standing the document has, if any. Ricardo, a Jesuit priest, reflects on the significant questions that the synodal process raises for priests, after the document strongly criticized clericalism and pointed out low synod participation rates by priests. The three hosts together discuss the report’s section on liturgical reform—something that touches the life of every Catholic.

    Links from the show:
    Read the global synod report (Document for the Continental Phase)
    Making the church more inclusive while staying true to teaching: Vatican releases synod’s synthesis document
    Deep dive: The ‘Synod on Synodality’ — What’s done and what comes next?
    I helped write the first global synod document. Here’s what we heard from Catholics around the world.
    Pope Francis will be the first pope to visit Bahrain
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
214 Ratings

214 Ratings

Jose-Secaucus ,

Gracias

Your show is becoming a regular in my podcast list. I would like to have more of it every year. Gracias.

Patrick8645 ,

Informative and thoughtful

They choose the most important stories, and they’re not afraid to choose topics which make people uncomfortable.

sisyphus216 ,

Essential

I listen to every episode (started during RCIA) and I find it incredibly helpful in following the latest news from the Vatican. The inter generational respect and teamwork between Colleen and Gerard is really wonderful as well.

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