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The Church Up Close

Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis

Combining conferences, interactive workshops, personal encounters, and on-site visits, the seminar gives journalists an array of tools to enhance the quality of their coverage of the Roman Catholic Church. Participants will receive a basic sense of the lay of the land at the Vatican; a serious, in-depth analysis of specific hot-button issues confronting today’s Church; a personal introduction to some knowledgeable insiders and key players in Rome; a taste of the rich history and culture behind contemporary Church affairs; a chance to dialogue, in an ideal setting, with journalists from around the world, on the complex relationships between religion and the media.


Conference sessions deal with issues of culture and religion (inter-religious dialogue, marriage laws, science and faith, bioethics), the Church and the media (public opinion, Vatican coverage,  transparency) and the nature and structure of the Holy See (its organization, and role in international politics).


Personal encounters create a unique opportunity for journalists to experience the Church up close. Participants have the chance to meet with key curial officials and leaders from pontifical councils and congregations to expert analysts loaded with a wealth of experience in Church communication and Vatican journalism.

On-site Visits

This crash course on the Church in Rome will naturally include visits to places like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the Historic Center of the Rome*, and special events with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, such as a Wednesday Audience and a Sunday Angelus.

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