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No. 51 • January - January 2010 • Page 383
 •  Initiatives

Rome, Italy -- Informing about the Church in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI

On 6-12 September, thirty journalists participated in the second intensive professional seminar on “The Church Up Close: Covering the Church in the Age of Benedict XVI,” organized by the School of Institutional Communication at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

The program included sessions in English about questions of special importance today (stem cell research and its moral implications, Pius XII and the Jews, Christian minorities in the world, the beatification of Cardinal Newman, etc.), visits to the Vatican Museums and the Monastery of Subiaco, as well as an invitation to the General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI, who offered participants his “best wishes for their work.” Among those giving talks were Cardinal James Stafford, Jack Valero, spokesman for the beatification of Cardinal Newman, the Vaticanists, Patricia Thomas and John Travis, and Msgr. Charles Sciclunam from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The course also included a visit to the Press Office of the Holy See and a later colloquium with its director, Fr. Federico Lombardi.

The first of these seminars took place in 2008. Its purpose is to give journalists who write about religious questions the professional tools needed to strengthen their informative work on the Catholic Church. In the two seminars held to date, media professionals attending included representatives from The New York Times, The Guardia, The London Times, Il Corriere della Sera, El Pais,Le Monde, BBC, The National Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Record (Australia), etc. The next seminar in this series will take place in September 2012. Information about the program can be found at www.church-communication.net.

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