The Church Up Close
Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis
Fr. Fabio Baggio, C.S., is a missionary priest of the Scalabrian Order. He has spent eight years in missionary work in Latin America, serving as a consultant on migration with the Chilean Bishops Conference and later as Director of the Buenos Aires Archdiocese’s Department of Migration. He also spent eight years in the Philippines. He holds a License in Church History from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has taught at several European, Latin American and Asian universities. He directed the Scalabrini Migration Center in Quezon City, Philippines and was responsible for the Asian and Pacific Migration Journal (2002-2010). Since January 2017, he has served as Co-Under-Secretary of the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and since January 2022, sole undersecretary.
Tina Campbell is a graduate in Theology at Heythrop College University of London. She is a Safeguarding Consultant and also Assistant Coordinator for the Promotion of a Consistent Culture of Protection an international safeguarding initiative of the Society of Jesus. Her office is based in Rome at the Jesuit Curia within the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat although she travels often and works remotely. She has a long history of involvement with the Society of Jesus. Tina has worked in safeguarding for the Catholic Church for more than 21 years. This has included within a Diocesan context and then with the Episcopal Conference of Scotland, the 8 Dioceses and 64 religious congregations. Her background is in education (mainly in independent Catholic Schools) and psychotherapy (working with adult survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape). She has a MSc and numerous post graduate qualifications in psychotherapy including EMDR for trauma. She is a visiting teacher at the Centre of Child Protection (now the IADC) at the Pontifical Gregorian University on both the Safeguarding Diploma and Licentiate courses. Her work includes speaking at international conferences, supporting organisations and religious congregations in reviewing safeguarding policies, designing bespoke training and reviewing safeguarding implementation.
de Solenni, Pia
Pia de Solenni, SThD, is a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst. She recently served as Chancellor of the Diocese of Orange, California, and Theological Advisor to the Bishop. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She is also a consultant member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Di Giovanni, Francesca
Francesca Di Giovanni is an Italian lawyer from Palermo, Sicily. After studying law, she worked in the administration for the International Focolare Movement. In 1993, she joined the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, where she worked in the field of multilateral relations. Then on 15 January 2020, Pope Francis appointed her an Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, a position normally reserved for a member of the clergy. She is the first woman and the first lay person to hold a managerial position in the Secretariat of State. Her responsibilities include the Holy See's interests in intergovernmental organizations and international treaties.
Fr. Richard D’Souza SJ, originally hails from Goa, India. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1996, and finished his two years novitiate in Belgaum, India. This was followed by a year of study of the humanities in Pune. In 2002, he completed his graduation in Physics at St.Xaviers’ college in Mumbai and proceeded for his Masters in Physics to the University of Heidelberg, where he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy for his thesis work. He returned to Pune in 2005 to complete a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. In 2007, he founded and ran the St. Paul’s Community College in Belgaum to help school dropouts find gainful employment. After finishing his Bachelors in Theology in 2011 in Pune, he retuned to Goa and ran a popular theology programme for the laity called “Deepen Your Faith”. In 2012, he started his doctoral studies in Astronomy at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, in Garching, Munich, graduating in 2016. In 2016, he joined the staff of the Vatican Observatory. He completed a postdoctoral research program at the University of Michigan from 2016 to 2019. In 2019, he transferred to the headquarters fo the Vatican Observatory in Rome. He currently serves as the Superior of the Jesuit community attached to the Specola Vaticana both at Castel Gandolfo and at Tucson, Arizona.
Andrea Gagliarducci works for EWTN / ACI Group as Vatican Analyst at Catholic News Agency and "vaticanista" at ACI Stampa. He is a contributor to Omnes magazine, KAI news agency and Cardinalis magazine. In the past, he worked at the Italian newspapers La Sicilia, Il Tempo and Il Fatto Quotidiano and has been one of the authors of the religious information web-portal korazym.org. He owns the blogs MondayVatican and Vatican Reporting. He has written six books. The latest are Cristo Speranza dell'Europa (published by Città Nuova) on the history of the Council of the European Churches Conferences, and Linguaggi Pontifici (Editoriale Romani) on the meaning and history of the ceremonial of the Holy See.
Alessandro Gisotti, 48, is a professional journalist. He's the deputy editorial director of the Holy See's Dicastery for Communication. He was interim director of the Holy See Press Office in 2019 and previously social media coordinator of Vatican News. He has served the Holy See since the year 2000 after an internship at the United Nations information centre in Rome. For 16 years he worked as vaticanist at Vatican Radio's International News Programme, where he was deputy editor-in-chief. He has taught Theory and Techniques of Journalism, as lecturer, at the Pontificial Lateran University. He has published essays and volumes including The Decalogue of the Good Communicator according to Pope Francis, with a preface by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Elledici, 2016).
Rev. Fr. Gilbert Ndyamukama Gosbert is an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which is a congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for missionary work and related activities. He is from Tanzania. From 2004 to 2009 he studied Moral Theology at the University of the Holy Cross. Later he also obtained his doctorate and, after a period of work in his Diocese (Kayanga, Tanzania) in September 2015 he returned to Rome to work for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Cardinal Mario Grech, from Malta, was ordained a priest in 1984. He then studied civil and canon law in Rome. In 1988 he returned to Malta, where he taught in the seminary, as well as working in the ecclesiastical tribunal. At the same time he was also appointed judge at the metropolitan tribunal of Malta. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Grech bishop of Gozo, Malta, with his decree Redemptorem nostrum in 2005. In October 2019, Pope Francis appointed Grech as the Pro-Secretary General for the Synod of Bishops and Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Gozo. He was a member of the Amazon Synod in 2019. In September 2020, Pope Francis appointed him as Secretary General for the Synod of Bishops. He was created Cardinal on the Consistory of November 28th, 2020.
Guerrero Alves, Juan Antonio
Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, S.J. is from Mérida, Spain. After beginning college to study economics following the career path of his father, a businessman, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in 1979, and was ordained a priest in 1992. He went on to earn degrees in economics and philosophy of letters, theology and political philosophy. His academic publications include many articles in social and political philosophy as well as on Ignatian spirituality. He has served in many posts within the Society of Jesus. Beginning in 2017 he served as delegate of the superior general in Rome for interprovincial homes and works and as general counsellor of the Society, where he had administrative and budgeting responsibilities for a number of institutions including the Pontifical Gregorian University and Biblical Institute, the Vatican Observatory, and Vatican Radio. In November 2019, Pope Francis named him prefect of the Secretariate for the Economy, effective 1 January 2020.
Monsignor Indunil Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage is originally from Sri Lanka. Ordained a priest in 2000, he was then sent to Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Urban University. He then served as a professor of the Faculty of Missiology in the same university. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which position he held until being appointed Secretary of the Council in 2019.
Elizabeth Lev is an American art historian with degrees from University of Chicago and University of Bologna. For over twenty years she has been living and working as a guide in Rome. She is on the faculty of Duquesne University’s Italian campus, and has also taught courses for John Cabot University, and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. Her articles have been published widely in such magazines as First Things, Aleteia, and Inside the Vatican. She has also written several books, including A Body for Glory: Theology of the Body in the Papal Collections, with Fr. Jose Granados. She is a certified sommelier.
Reverend Andrew Liaugminas is a Priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who was ordained in 2010 and served as an Associate Pastor in the Archdiocese before being assigned to doctoral studies in Rome in 2013. Father Liaugminas earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2018, specializing in Christology and Trinitarian Theology. He was nominated for the university’s Bellarmine Award in 2018. During that time, Father Liaugminas served as a Tutor at the Gregorian University and a spiritual director with the Rome programs of the University of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney College Seminary. After completing his doctorate, Father Liaugminas served as Chaplain and Director of the Catholic Center at the University of Chicago and taught a course in Christology and Soteriology at Mundelein Seminary. He was appointed to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2021 and serves as an Official in the Doctrinal Section of that Dicastery.
Cardinal Mamberti was born in Marrakech, Morocco, to French parents who returned to their homeland shortly after his birth. He studied public law and political science. After entering the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1981 for the Diocese of Ajaccio, Corsica. He earned a degree in canon law and began studying at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He entered the Holy See’s diplomatic service in 1986, and has served in papal representations to several countries. He received his episcopal ordination in 2002, having been appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Sudan, titular Archbishop of Sagona and Apostolic Delegate in Somalia. In 2006, he was appointed secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State by Pope Benedict XVI and served until mid-January 2015. As secretary he led many Holy See delegations at international meetings and conferences, especially at the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. In November 2014, Pope Francis appointed him prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature.
Fr. Robert McCulloch SSC, an Australian priest, is Procurator General of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, and also Procurator-General of the Mission Society of the Philippines. He is a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, and chairman of the committee established by the Pakistan Episcopal Conference for the translation of official church documents into Urdu. He has a doctorate in Sacred Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome and taught for twenty-seven years at the National Catholic Institute of Theology, Karachi, Pakistan. Since 1978 he has worked to increase the education and basic health care of the poor and mainly non-Christian people of Pakistan. In 2012, he was decorated by the Government of Pakistan for his services.
Noronha, John and Ashley
Having lived in Rome 14 years, John and Ashley Noronha are passionate about using every way and means to make truth and beauty come alive. They founded the Truth & Beauty Project, using the living classroom of Rome to help participants discover the roots of their Christian identity, authentic truth and beauty, and transform their lives into a Masterpiece. They founded Exulto, a Catholic Business Incubator created to empower Catholic innovators to run sustainable businesses. Ashley is the Rome Correspondent for the Relevant Radio Network and formerly the host of the weekly Television news show, Voice of the Vatican. She was formerly the Vatican's English Language Official at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and has been featured on various global TV news networks as an expert on Vatican issues. She's an Instructor of Media Training at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and teaches "Media Training for Priests" at the Pontifical North American College (NAC). She works around the world as a Communications Coach specializing in Conflict Resolution, Crisis Communications, Public Speaking, and Media Training. John is a Professor of Art & Architecture, Theology, and Technology and was formerly the Producer of the Voice of the Vatican TV news show. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering and Master’s degrees in Computer Engineering and Information Systems. John worked for many years in the telecommunications industry and lead the Technology and Initiatives Group at Verizon Global Telecommunications. He later did Master’s degrees in Philosophy and Theology and is a Wilbur Fellow at the Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal. Formerly a professional tap dancer, John loves to cut a rug with his wife and to teach ballroom dancing too.
Paul O’Callaghan studied electronic engineering at University College, Dublin (1977-79). Ordained a priest in 1982, Fr. O'Callaghan is currently Professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He taught theology at the School of Theology of the University of Navarra, was Director of Studies at the International Ecclesiastical College ‘Bidasoa' in Pamplona, Spain (1989-1990), Vice-rector of 'Sedes Sapientiae' International Ecclesiastical College, Rome (1991-1995), Academic Vice-Rector of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce (1998-2000), Dean of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (2000-2008), Spiritual Director of “Sedes Sapientiae” College (2010-2020), Director of the Department of Dogmatic Theology (2012-2020), Director of the Centre for Priestly Formation at Holy Cross (2017-2020), of and member of the Governing Board of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. At present he is Procurator of the Prelature of Opus Dei. Among recent publications: Faith Challenges Culture. A Reflection on the Dynamics of Modernity, Rowman & Littlefield 2021 and God’s Gift of the Universe. An Introduction to Creation Theology, Catholic University of America Press 2022.
Roberto Regoli H.E.D., H.E.L., Ph.B.A., S.T.B.A. (Gregoriana, Rome), is a full professor of contemporary Church history at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), head of the Department of Church History, as well as editor of Archivum Historiae Pontificiae. His areas of research include the history of the Papacy, the Roman Curia, and pontifical diplomacy from the 19th to the 21st centuries. He is a member of various scientific committees and organizations, including the Advisory Committee of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism of the University of Notre Dame (Rome branch), the Scientific Committee of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the organization of historical conferences, the Centro Studi di Cultura Cristiana of the Giorgio La Pira International Center of Florence, the Prize of the Ambassadors to the Holy See and the scientific boards of the journals Analecta Augustiniana, Verba Theologica and Acta facultatis theologicae Universitatis Comenianae Bratislaviensis. He founded and coordinates the "Pontificia" section of the "Cultura" series of the Studium Editions.
Tagle, Luis Antonio
Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle is Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical University Urbaniana, and Metropolitan Archbishop emeritus of Manila, the Philippines. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1982. In 1985 he was sent to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. to study systematic theology. He earned a licence in sacred theology in 1987 and a doctorate with summa cum laude in 1991. He joined the editorial committee of the Institute for Religious Sciences of Bologna, involved in drafting the history of the Second Vatican Council. In 1997 he was appointed member of the International Theological Commission and in 1998 took part as an expert in the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops. In 2001 he was ordained to the episcopacy and appointed Bishop of Imus, the Philippines. He was appointed as Archbishop of Manila in 2011, by Pope Benedict XVI, who in 2012 elevated him to the rank of Cardinal. He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis. In 2019, Pope Francis named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Cardinal Tagle serves as the president of Caritas Internationalis, a federation of Catholic social service organizations.
Tebaldo Vinciguerra is Italian-French, and the father of a family. He has his degree in political science. From 2011 to 2016, at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he was responsible for issues of ecology and development, analyzing many challenges of our times in the light of the social doctrine of the Church. He continues his work in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, established by Pope Francis in 2017.
Christopher Trott was appointed as the British Ambassador to the Holy See in September 2021. He has been a British diplomat since 1991, and has worked in Burma, Japan, Afghanistan, the South Pacific and both West and Southern Africa. In 2007 he was appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Senegal, accredited also to Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Mali. In 2011 he was appointed as Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by a short stint in Honiara as High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru. His most recent roles have focussed on the Sudans, first as the Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan from August 2016 until March 2019, and then as British Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan from May 2019 until the end of 2020. Among various roles in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in London, he worked as Deputy Head of the Human Rights department and as Deputy in a then newly formed unit in the Department for International Development designed to address stabilisation post-conflict. He is married with 2 children and is a Freeman of the Commune of Timbuktu.
Fr. Stephen Wang is a priest of the Diocese of Westminster. He was born in London and grew up in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Having spent his years of priestly formation from 1992 to 1997 at the Venerable English College, he has recently returned as Rector. He obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cambridge University in 2005, with a thesis on human happiness. From 2005 to 2013 he taught philosophy and theology at Allen Hall Seminary, and from 2008 was also Dean of Studies. From 2013 until 2021 he served as Senior University Chaplain in the Diocese of Westminster, as well as being Vocations Director for the last two years.