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The Church Up Close

Covering Catholicism

in the age of Benedict XVI


Msgr. Charles Brown

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Msgr. Charles J. Brown (USA) studied History as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, followed by Theology at Oxford University and Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. His doctorate in Sacramental Theology is from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Since 1994, he has worked as an Official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Vatican City. He is also the Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission.

Yago de la Cierva

Executive Director of Communications, World Youth Day 2011 Madrid
Yago de la Cierva (Spain) is the Director of Communications of World Youth Day 2011 Madrid. He is the head of Corporate Communications at the IESE Business School, professor of the Crisis Prevention and Management in the School of Institutional Communication at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and author of "Crisis Communications in the Church."

Rev. Prof. Bernardo Estrada

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Professor of New Testament Studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rev. Prof. Estrada (Colombia), graduated from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 1972. He then did an M.S. in Chemical Engineering with the distinction of "Grado de Honor". He completed his Doctorate (S.T.D.) in Biblical Theology, on May 25 1981, at the University of Navarre, Spain. He also has an M.A. in Trilingual Biblical Philology, specializing in Greek at the School of Philosophy and Letters of the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, and another Ph.D. in Biblical Philology at the same university.

Rev. Prof. David Maria A. Jaeger

Pontifical University Antonianum
Rev. Prof. David-Maria Jaeger, O.F.M., J.C.D. (Israel) is a former pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas and served on the Tribunal for the Diocese of Austin. He is currently a member of the faculty at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome and is a member of the Delegation of the Holy See on the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel. Born of Jewish parents in Tel Aviv, Israel, Fr. Jaeger is the only native-born Israeli ("Sabra") ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in the world.

Prof. Elizabeth Lev

Duquesne University
Prof. Lev (USA) is an American-born art historian in Rome. After graduating from the University of Chicago, she did her graduate work at the University of Bologna. She teaches Art History at Duquesne University’s Italian campus. She has written for Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos, First Things, the College Art Association on-line, and is a regular columnist for Zenit News Agency. She was recently featured on the History Channel’s “Angels and Demons Decoded” and is the host of Catholic Canvas, a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums now airing on EWTN.

Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J.

Director, Press Office of the Holy See
Fr. Lombardi (Italy) has been the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See since 2006. After Mathematical training, he studied theology in Germany. He worked for the magazine Civiltà Cattolica, and in 1984 he was elected Provincial of the Jesuits in Italy, a position he held until 1990. In 1990 he was named program director of Vatican Radio, and eventually became director general. Since 2001 he has been the Director General of the Vatican Television Center.

Rev. Prof. Rafael Martínez

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Fr. Martínez (Spain) is the Dean of the School of Philosophy and professor of the Philosophy of Science at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. A trained physicist and philosopher, he is interested in the historical and epistemological aspects of scientific concepts, and in the relationship between science and religion. He is the author of Immagini del dinamismo fisico. Causa e tempo nella storia della fisica (1996), co-author, with Mariano Artigas and Thomas Glick, of Negotiating Darwin and author of The Vatican confronts Evolution, 1877-1902. He is also the Director of the STOQ III Project at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu

Head of Protocol, Vatican Secretariat of State
Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu (Nigeria) has served in the Secretariat of State since 1994, and was named chief protocol officer in 2007. He was formerly a counselor for the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations. Working for the diplomatic service of the Holy See, he has carried out his work at the apostolic nunciatures in Ghana, Paraguay, Algeria, the office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, and in the section of relations with states of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

Rev. Prof. Paul O'Callaghan

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
An Electronics Engineer and former Assistant Professor of Electronics Engineering at the University College of Dublin (1977-79), Fr. O’Callaghan (Ireland) is currently a Professor of Theology and Anthropology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He was also the Assistant to the Directorate of Research of the School of Theology at the University of Navarre, the Director of Studies of International Ecclesiastical College 'Bidasoa', Pamplona, Spain (1989-1990), Vice-rector of the International Ecclesiastical College 'Sedes Sapientiae' (Rome) (1991-1995), Academic Vice-Rector of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce (1998-2000), former Dean of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (2000-2008), and member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology.

Rev. Prof. Luis Romera

Rector, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Rev. Prof. Luis Romera (Spain) is the Rector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, as well as a Professor of Metaphysics. He has a PhD in Philosophy and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is a graduate of Theology and Geological Sciences.

Msgr. Lucio Ruiz

Head of the Vatican Internet Office
Msgr. Ruiz (Argentina) studied philosophy and theology at the Metropolitan Seminary Nuestra Señora in Santa Fe. He is a Certified Microsoft Systems Engineer and has a Masters in Business Administration. He also has a degree in Dogmatic Theology and Communication from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is the Head of the Vatican Internet Office and member of the Congregation for the Clergy and Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He teaches Digital Communication at Santa Croce and New Languages at the Instituto Teológico Pastoral of CELAM, Bogotá, Colombia. Since 1995 he has been the Continental Technical Coordinator of RIIAL (Red Informática de la Iglesia en América Latina – IT Network of the Catholic Church in Latin America) and President of the Centro de Formación y Desarrollo de software de la RIIAL, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Prof. Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna (Malta) is the Promoter of Justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was born in Toronto in 1959 but raised and educated in Malta. He graduated in civil law in 1984 and received a Licentiate in Theology in 1986. He was ordained a priest that same year for the Archdiocese of Malta. He studied Canon Law at the Gregorian University and graduated with an JCD in 1991, with a specialization in Jurisprudence. He served as Defender of the Bond on the Metropolitan Tribunal of Malta from 1990-1995 and lectured in Canon Law at the University of Malta. In 1995 he was called to the Apostolic Signatura and in 1996 was nominated Substitute Promoter of Justice. He is a visiting Lecturer at the Gregorian. He was nominated Promoter of Justice of the CDF in October of 2002.

Card. James Francis Stafford

Archbishop emeritus of Denver and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
Card. Stafford (USA) has served as the Co-President of the Dialogue between Roman Catholics and Lutherans, U.S.A. (1984-97); Co-President of the Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and Roman Catholics of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Rome (1977-87); Member of the Council of Administration of the Pontifical North American College (1989-96); Member of the Council of Administration of the Catholic University of America (1990-96); Member of the Congregation for Bishops’ Adhoc Commission on Episcopal Conferences (1990-92). Cardinal Stafford served as Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary between 2003 and 2009.

John Thavis

Catholic News Service
Mr. Thavis (USA) is a graduate of Saint John’s University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English. He also has a second Bachelor’s in language studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. He is the Rome bureau chief of CNS, which specializes in reporting religious news and operates as a source for English-language Catholic news organizations. Mr. Thavis has worked in the CNS Rome bureau since 1983 and has headed the department since 1996. He has written extensively on religious affairs in Europe and the Middle East, published a Rome guide book and contributed to John Paul II: A Light for the World. In May 2007, the Catholic Press Association (CPA) awarded him the 2007 St. Francis de Sales Award, considered the highest honor given by the Catholic press.

Patricia K. Thomas

Associated Press Television News
Patricia K. Thomas (USA) has been covering Italy and the Vatican for Associated Press Television News since 1994. She covers events for television, radio and AP’s on-line news service. She covered the papacy of John Paul II from 1993 until his death and covered the election of Pope Benedict XVI. She has traveled to Africa, throughout Europe, and to South America and the Middle East for AP Television News. In 2007-2008 she served as a political analyst for Sky News Italia on a television program dedicated to US politics. Prior to moving to Italy she worked at various news organizations including CNN in Washington and ABC News in New York. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York (1991) and a Bachelor's Degree in History from Haverford College in Pennsylvania (1986). She is married to Gustavo Piga and has three children: Niccolo, Caterina and Chiara.

Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Card. Turkson (Ghana) was ordained and installed as the Archbishop of Cape Coast in 1993. In September 2003, Pope John Paul II named him to the Sacred College of Cardinals. He was the Vice President of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA) since 2004. When AECAWA merged with its Francophone counterpart, the Conférence Épiscopale de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CERAO), he was appointed as its first President (2007). He is the Honorary President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), and is a member of the Association of Ghana Biblical Exegetes.

Jack Valero

Spokesperson for Newman’s Beatification
Mr. Valero (United Kingdom) is the press officer for the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. He is the director of communications of Opus Dei in the UK and was the co-coordinator of the "Da Vinci Code Response Group" in 2006, a team of Catholics who made themselves available to the media in the run-up to the release of the DVC film.

Prof. Angelo L. Vescovi

Università Bicocca Milano & Cerebral Stem Cell Bank, Terni
Prof. Vescovi (Italy) is a Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Milan Bicocca and the Co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell Research, Terni. He is a Member of the National Committee on Stem Cells of the Italian Ministry of Health, Consultant of the British Committee on Stem Cells of the House of Lords of England and a Member of the Committee on Stem Cells at the Vatican, and is the Director of Research of ConStem (Italian Consortium for Stem Cell Research). He has given numerous presentations at international scientific meetings and was the Speaker Emeritus at the European Commission Meeting “Inter-Institutional Seminar on Bioethics” in Brussels. He is a Reviewer for several scientific journals. In 2002 he was awarded the Award of the Italian Life Science Association for Scientific Achievements.

Prof. Stefano Zamagni

University of Bologna
Prof. Zamagni (Italy) has been a Professor at the University of Bologna since 1979 and was the Director of the Department of Economics at the University of Bologna from 1985 to 1993. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University (Bologna Center) since 1983. Professor Zamagni is the author of several books, including Microeconomic Theory and Civil Economy and Paradoxes of Growth, both published in 1997. In addition, he co-authored History of Economic Thought (1995 and 2005), Living in the Global Society(1997), Non-Profit As Civil Economy (1998), and Multiculturalism and identity (2002). In 2007 he was appointed the President of the Italian Commission for Non Profit sector, Milan. He is a member of the scientific committee of various economic journals and reviews.

Michele Zanzucchi

Editor-in-chief, Città nuova
Mr. Zanzucchi (Italy) is editor-in-chief of Città Nuova, the Italian edition of the Focolare Movement's main magazine, with 37 editions worldwide and published in 24 languages. He has published 27 books in various languages, including a report from post-war Iraq, Tempi di Guerra (Times of War), and a recent volume, L’Islam Che Non Fa Paura (Islam That Doesn't Frighten), composed of interviews with 63 moderate Muslim leaders. Zanzucchi is a professor of journalism. Currently, he heads research in Communication Studies at NetOne—Media For a United World, the Focolare Center for Communications, and teaches journalism at the Gregorian University in Rome.

2010 Edition
In the News
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