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The Church Up Close

Covering Catholicism in the age of Francis


Bertolaso, Marta

Marta Bertolaso ​​is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. After completing a degree in Biology, she continued her research in molecular biology and genetics at the National Institutes for Cancer Research in Milan and Turin. Since then, he has specialized in Bioethics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Rome and completed a PhD at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.
In 2007, she was appointed the Executive Manager of Home Renaissance Foundation and a member of its Scientific Committee. In 2012 she was also a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh.
Marta is particularly interested in the philosophical aspects of scientific practice and the organizational dynamics of biological systems. She has published several articles in Italian and international journals, such as “Il Cancro come Questione” [Cancer as a Question] (2012). She is the promoter and coordinator of the Bio-Techno-Practice research empowering hub ( Her most recent book is titled, "Philosophy of Cancer" (


Burke, Greg

With a degree in journalism from Columbia University, Greg Burke was the Rome correspondent for Time magazine before holding the position for Fox News in Italy and the Mediterranean. He was appointed Senior Advisor for communications at the Section for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Greg Burke was named director of the Press Office of the Holy See, in August 1, 2016.


Camilleri, Antoine

Monsignor Antoine Camilleri was born in Sliema on 20th August 1965. He hails from Stella Maris Parish. He attended St. Joseph's School, Sliema, and St. Aloysius' College, Birkirkara. He graduated Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 1988 and was ordained priest at St John's Co-Cathedral on 5th July 1991. He served as vice parish priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Gzira (1991-92). In 1992 he was sent to study canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University. Having obtained a doctorate, in 1996 he returned to Malta and was appointed Defender of the Bond at the Archdiocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal (1996-97). In January 1999 Monsignor Camilleri joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See. He served in various Apostolic Nunciatures - Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (1999-2002), Uganda (2002-05) and Cuba (2005-06) - before being assigned to the Secretariat of State in the Vatican as an Official in the Section for Relations with States and Private Secretary to Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States (2007-13). On 22nd February 2013 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Under-Secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States.


Czerny, Michael

Michael Czerny, S.J., is a Canadian Jesuit who has worked with various Jesuit social justice initiatives for over thirty years. Czerny first served as the founding director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto from 1979 to 1989, then as director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Central America (UCA) in El Salvador. From 1992 to 2002, Czerny served as the Secretary for Social Justice at the Jesuit Curia, and subsequently served as the founding director-coordinator of the African Jesuit Aids Network (AJAN) until 2010. Since 2009 has been an adjutor to the African Bishops Conference and Synod, as well as personal assistant to Cardinal Peter Kodwo, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace


Di Pietro, Maria Luisa

Of Sicilian origin, Maria Luisa Di Pietro is Associate Professor of Bioethics in the Faculty of Medicine at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Rome. Sicilian of origin, she is also a professor at the Pontifical Institute "John Paul II" for Studies on Marriage and Family of the Lateran and at Camillianum of Rome.
Di Pietro is also a member of the National Bioethics Committee and sits on the ethics committees of the hospital Bambino Gesù and the Polyclinic Agostino Gemelli in Rome. She has numerous publications on the topics of health education, stem cell research and artificial insemination. Among the books published, Sexualidad y procreacion humana(2005) and Bioetica e Famiglia(2008).


Douglas, Fr. Kevin

Fr. Kevin Douglas is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland. Before entering seminary he studied Modern Languages at St. Andrews University. He trained for the priesthood at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome. during which time he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Instituto Patristico Augustinianum. after ordination he served in various parishes in Scotland and is presently working as an official in the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith.


Eid, Camille

Camille Eid is a Lebanese journalist, residing in Italy since 1984. He collaborates with various Italian newspapers, in particular with the Catholic daily, Avvenire. He has written over three thousand articles, interviews and reports on the Arab world, the Eastern Christian communities and political Islam. He is the author (or co-author) of eight books, some of which have been translated into other languages, including the bestseller "111 Questions on Islam" (Ignatius Press, 2008, with father Samir Khalil Samir and Giorgio Paolucci), “A morte in nome di Allah” about martyrs across the centuries under Islam, and “I cristiani venuti dall’islam” about conversions from Islam to Christianity. From 2006 to 2015, he taught Arabic at the Bicocca University and at the Catholic University of Milan.


Ejeh, Benedict Ndubueze

Fr. Benedict Ejeh is Vice Chairman and a professor of the Faculty of Canon Law at Saint Pius X in Venice. After completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Urban University, he obtained a doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in 2002.
He was the Secretary of canon law for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (2003-2007) and for the Inter-Ecclesiastical Judge Court of the province of Lagos, Nigeria (2005-2007). Among his publications: The Freedom of Candidates for the Priesthood(2002),Perspectives on the Basic Rights and Duties of Christians in Canon Law(2005) andEcclesiastical Marriage Tribunal Manual(2007).

Garcia Ovejero, Paloma

Paloma García Ovejero was born in Madrid in 1975. She graduated in journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid in 1998. After earning a Master’s Degree in 2001, in 2006 she went on to study Management Strategies and Communication at New York University. Since 1998, she has worked with the Spanish broadcaster COPE, and since 2012, has served as a Rome-based Vatican correspondent. Ms Ovejero has also collaborated with media outlets of different countries: Madrid, New York, Mexico and Buenos Aires. She was named deputy director of the Press Office of the Holy See, in August 1, 2016.


Gaston, Gregory Ramon D.

Fr. Gregory Gaston is the current Rector of the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome. A priest of the Archdiocese of Manila, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and two years in Medicine, before choosing to become a priest. The late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin sent him for seminary formation in Pamplona, Spain, and to do a Licentiate and Doctorate in Moral Theology at the Angelicum in Rome. He served in Manila as assistant parish priest, seminary formator and in other assignments, and as an Official at the Pontifical Council for the Family of the Vatican.


Granados, José

Rev. Prof. José Granados is the Vice President of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II (Rome) where he is also a professor of dogmatic theology of marriage and family; he is also a guest professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In April 2013 he was appointed by Pope Francis as a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Rev. Granados has earned a Doctorate of Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (Bellarmine Award). He also holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Pontifical University of Comillas (ICAI), Madrid. He has authored several publications including La carne si fa amore. Il corpo, cardine della storia della salvezza (2010), Signos en la carne: El matrimonio y los otros sacramentos (2011) and Una sola carne en un solo Espíritu. Teología del matrimonio (2014). Rev. Granados is co-author, with Carl Anderson, of Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body.


Gosbert, Gilbert N.

Nato nel 1977 in Tanzania, è stato ordinato sacerdote nel 2009 e incardinato nella diocesi Kayanga, Tanzania, dove ha svolto la funzione di vice parroco nel periodo 2012-2013. Dal 2015 è un funzionario alla Congregazione per l’evangelizzazione dei popoli. Dal 2013 al 2015 ha insegnato Teologia morale al seminario S. Carlo Lwanga a  Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Nel 2012 ha conseguito il dottorato in Teologia presso la Pontificia Università della Santa Croce. 

Lev, Elisabeth

Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian with the good fortune to live and work in Rome. After finishing her studies at the University of Chicago in 1989, she moved to Northern Italy to do her graduate work at the University of Bologna.
After a five-year stint teaching Renaissance Art at John Cabot University, she joined the teaching staff at the Pontifical University of the Angelicum in Rome, and more recently has begun teaching at Christendom College as well.
Writing opportunities soon followed the coursework, with numerous articles in Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos and First Things magazine, the College Art Association on-line as well as a regular column with Zenit News Agency. She was a contributor to AOL’s Politics Daily and her first biography, The Tigress of Forli: The Remarkable Story of Caterina Riario Sforza, was published in 2011. She has since written two more books, one on the Roman station churches with George Weigel, and a book on the theology of the body with Father José Granados.
Her fifteen minutes of fame have included many television and radio interviews, from ABC’s Nightline to the Today Show. She was featured in the series 'MUSEUM SECRETS' for History television, Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” and was the host of “Catholic Canvas”, a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums, which aired on EWTN.
Elizabeth Lev lives minutes from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums with her husband and three children.


Martin, Peter G.

Peter Martin is the Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.  Immediately prior to this assignment he served in the State Department in Washington as Chief of Staff to Ambassador David H. Thorne, Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Kerry, focusing on the Secretary’s economic initiatives.  Mr. Martin served previously as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal, where he was responsible for public relations and cultural affairs for French Canada.  In an earlier assignment, he served in the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.  Other assignments in the State Department headquarters include a tour as Senior Country Officer for Italy, and two years as liaison to the United Nations for peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.  In 2007-08 he was awarded a Pearson Fellowship and was an advisor to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Mr. Martin served in the political section at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See from 2003-07, including during the historic transition from Pope John Paul II to Pope Benedict XVI.  The Holy See later named him a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.  Mr. Martin has received various other awards and commendations from the Department of State. A native Bostonian, Mr. Martin holds degrees from Georgetown and Emory Universities.  Before joining the U.S. Foreign Service he taught American and European History at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, where he also coached varsity ice hockey and tennis.  He and his wife, Samantha, have three young children: Nicholas, Francis Xavier and Therese.  He speaks Italian, French and Polish at various levels of proficiency.


McLean Cummings, Andrew

Fr. Andrew McLean Cummings is the Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. After studying philosophy at Harvard, in 1991 he became part of the first generation of seminary students at the International Maria Mater Ecclesiae Pontifical College, directed by the Legionaries of Christ.  He has a philosophy degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained a priest in 1998. In January of 2002, he left for Russia to help the Catholic faithful in this country where, after decades of persecution, there are few native priests. Fr. McLean has served as Associate Pastor and seminary formator in both Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Mary Mother of God in Moscow.
Recently published articles by Fr. McLean include “Health-Care Reform: Too much of a Good Thing?” [The Linacre Quarterly 79(3) (August 2012): 325–333] and “Intrinsic Good, Intrinsic Evil” [New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy. Ed. Robert L. Fastiggi. 4 vols. Detroit: Gale, 2013, v.2, pp. 797-799]. His doctoral dissertation is soon to be published as The Servant and the Ladder: Cooperation with Evil in the 21st Century (Gracewing, Ltd.).


Morali, Ilaria

Born in Milan to a Catholic family in 1962, she attended classical studies at the public high-school G. Parini (1976-1981). Upon completion, she studied two years of philosophy at the Università del Sacro Cuore di Milano. In 1986 she began Theological Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where started teaching, after having received her Licenciate in 1994, but before her doctorate.  There, she completed her PhD in Dogmatic Theology with the dissertation The Salvation of non-Christians (1997).
After teaching for 16 years at the Faculty of Theology, she accepted a position at the Faculty of Missiology, where she held the position of Director of Department from 2011 to 2015. Currently, Prof. Morali is Extraordinary professor of Dogmatic Theology, consultant for the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Member of the International Academy of Religious Sciences, and Member of the International Inst. für Missionswissenschaftl Forschungen.


Navarro, Luis

Fr. Luis Navarro, a secular priest incardinated in the Prelature of Opus Dei, is a Doctor both in Canon Law and in Civil Law, University of Navarra (Spain) and Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). After starting his academic career in the University of Navarra, he transferred to Rome in 1986 to teach and do research in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where, since 2000 he is full professor of the subject Law of the Person. He was Dean of the School of Canon Law (2007-2015).
He is Consultant of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and of the Congregation for the Clergy. He collaborates also with other dicasteries of the Roman Curia. He has been as well judge in the first instance tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome.
He has published Diritto di associazione ed associazioni di fedeli (1991) [Right of Association and Associations of the Faithful] and Persone e soggetti nel diritto della Chiesa. Temi di diritto della Persona (2002) [Persons and Subjects in the Law of the Church. Themes on Law of the Person] and many other articles in proceedings of Congresses and specialized journals as Ius Ecclesiae, Fidelium iura, Ius canonicum, Philippine Canonical Forum, and L'Année canonique.
Fr. Navarro is the President of the Consociatio Internationalis Studio Iuris Canonici Promovendo, the International Association of Canon Law, and recently has been appointed Rector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.


Noronha, John Peter

John is an American who was born in India. Formerly an engineer and executive in the  Telecommunications industry in the USA, he then pursued graduate degrees in Philosophy and Theology before coming to Rome to pursue a PhD in Bioethics. He was the Director of the Christendom College Rome Program and has taught courses in Theology and Sacred Art and Architecture at various American universities in Rome. He worked with the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums and on a Papal Vatican Reform Commission. Currently he is also the Producer of a weekly TV news program called,  Voice of the Vatican on Shalom World TV. 


O'Callaghan, Paul

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 Navarra, Director of Studies at the International Ecclesiastical College 'Bidasoa' in 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.


Cardinal George Pell

Archbishop emeritus of Sydney (Australia), Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, was born on 8 June 1941 in Ballarat, Australia. He was ordained on 16 December 1966 and holds a licentiate in theology from the Urbaniana University of Rome, a master’s degree in education from Monash University and a doctorate of philosophy in Church History from the University of Oxford. Cardinal Pell served as Director of the Aquinas Campus of the Institute of Catholic Education (1974-84) and Principal of the Institute of Catholic Education (1981-1984). He was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Diocese of Ballarat and a founding member of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. On 30 March 1987 he was elected titular Bishop of Scala and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and received episcopal ordination on 21 May 1987. From 1988-1997 he was Chairman of Caritas Australia. On 13 April 2013 he was made a member of the Council of cardinals established to advise Pope Francis in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia,‘Pastor Bonus’. On 24 February 2014 he was appointed Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis. Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 21 October 2003.


Puglia Noronha, Ashley 

Ashley Puglia Noronha is the anchor for “Voice of the Vatican” on Shalom World TV. Moreover, she is the Rome correspondent for the Relevant Radio Network and a Consultant for Crisis Communications and Media Training. She teaches Media Training for Priests at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and is an Instructor of Media Training at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. She has been featured on TV news networks like CBS, CBN and FOX as an expert on Vatican issues and was formerly the English Language Official at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican. Ashley graduated in International Business and Marketing from the University of Dayton, Ohio, holds a Masters in Theology from Holy Apostles Seminary, an STL in Communications, and is a PhD candidate in Communications at Santa Croce.

Regoli, Roberto

Fr. Roberto Regoli is a professor of contemporary history at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he directs the Department of Church History and the magazine "Archivum Historiae Pontificiae". In particular he deals with the history of the papacy, the Roman Curia and papal diplomacy of the 19th and 20th centuries. His studies focus mostly on the age of Napoleon, the Restoration, and between the two World Wars.
Among his publications are, Ercole Consalvi. Le scelte per la Chiesa (2006), Chiesa, Papato e Curia Romana, tra storia e teologia (2013), one with Ilaria Fiumi Sermattei: La corte papale nell'età di Leone XII (2015), and Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI(2016). 


Ruiz, Lucio Adrian

Msgr. Ruiz (Argentina) is the Secretary of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications. He studied philosophy and theology at the Metropolitan Seminary Nuestra Señora in Santa Fe. He also has a degree in Dogmatic Theology and Communication from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He has a Master’s in Business Administration and PhD from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in Biomedical Technologies. 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 CFyDNSG (Centro de Formación y Desarrollo de software de la RIIAL, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe).


Samir Khalil, Samir

Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1938, Fr. Samir entered the Jesuit order in 1955. He is a Doctor of Eastern Theology and Islamic studies, and founder of CEDRAC (Centre de documentation et de recherches arabes chrétiennes) in Beirut. He is an Islamic-Christian Studies professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome) and other universities. He was previously an adviser to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

A world-renowned scholar of Islam, Fr. Samir has written more than 60 books, 500 scientific articles and 900 informational articles on the Arab-Christian heritage, Islamic-Christian relations and the relations between the Muslim world and the West.


Sylva, Geno

Ordained in 1993, the New Jersey native Fr. Sylva has long had a passion for spreading the Gospel. He has worked as a teacher, chaplain and president at DePaul Catholic High School in the diocese of Paterson, as well as being a mentor at Young Prophets, a program for inner-city teenagers there.
Fr. Sylva spent three years studying theology in Rome, returning to his diocese in 2008, where two years later he established St. Paul Inside the Walls, a center whose focus he describes as engaging people in a dialogue with the Gospel and calling them to be evangelizers themselves.
During a pilgrimage to Rome in 2011, Fr. Sylva met the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who hired him the next year as the office's designated English-speaking official.


Turkson, Peter Kodwo Appiah

Card. Turkson (Ghana) in the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He 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) until 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.


Vazhakala, Sebastian

A friend of Mother Teresa of Calcutta for over 30 years, Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala worked side by side with the Blessed of Calcutta from 1966 to 1977. In 1984, Fr. Sebastian and Blessed Mother Teresa began the lay branch of the Congregation, the Lay Missionaries of Charity, a kind of Third Order consisting of people who, while remaining in the world, live the spirituality of the congregation and work to the service of the poorest. Fr. Vazhakala is also the General Father and co-founder, along with the Blessed Mother Teresa, of the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative Brothers. In 2003 he wrote A Life with Mother Teresa, on occasion of her beatification by John Paul II.


Wauck, John

Rev. Prof. John Wauck (USA), a Chicago native, studied history and literature at Harvard University and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Prior to ordination, he wrote speeches for the attorney general of the United States and the governor of Pennsylvania. He has written for many publications, including American Scholar, Christian Science Monitor, The New Criterion, Beliefnet, and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly. He has also commented on Church affairs for CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, Associated Press TV, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Time magazine, and U.S. News and World Report. Currently he teaches Literature and Communication of the Faith at Santa Croce.


Whitmore, Philip

Priest of the Diocese of Westminster, was appointed as the new Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome in 2013, succeeding Mgr. Nicholas Hudson. Mgr Whitmore currently works at the Secretariat of State for the Holy See in Rome. He translated Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth into English.

2016 Edition
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