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The Church Up Close

Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis

2018 Edition



Axworthy, Sally

Mrs. Sally Axworthy has been the British Ambassador to the Holy See since 2016, after 5 years at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as Head of Somalia Unit (2011-2013), and then as Joint Head of North Africa Department (2013-2016).

She joined the Foreign Office in 1986. In 1987 she was a Desk Officer covering Hungary and what was then Czechoslovakia. From 1988 until 1989 she spent a year learning Russian in preparation for her posting to Moscow in 1989 as a Third Secretary, Commercial. She remained in Moscow until 1991 when she was transferred to Kiev as a Second Secretary.

From 1993-1994, Axworthy returned to London as Head of the Political Section and the UN Directorate. After this, until 1996 she was seconded to the German Foreign Ministry, returning to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and living in Germany (Bonn). For two years, from 1998 until 2000, she was head of the Turkey, Cyprus & Malta Section before being posted to Government Office South West as Assistant Director.

On 19 September 2016, Axworthy presented her Letters of Credence to Pope Francis, beginning her mission as UK Ambassador to the Holy See.

She is married to Dr. Michael Axworthy and has four children.

Carriquiry Lecour, Guzmán


Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour is a Uruguayan Roman Catholic activist, Distinguished Professor, and leader. Carriquiry Lecour is trained as an attorney and has been the leader of the Catholic Youth and University student movements in Uruguay. He held a key position in the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In January 2014, Pope Francis confirmed him in his role as Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Then, in May 2014, Pope Francis appointed him the Vice President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
Carriquiry Lecour wrote a major work on the Catholic Church in Latin America, Una apuesta por America Latina (A Commitment to Latin America). This 2005 work had an introduction by Jorge Bergoglio, who would later be Pope Francis.

Cervellera, Bernardo

Fr. Bernardo Cervellera is a missionary of the Pontificial Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME). He is also a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the news agency "Asia News". From 1997 to 2002 he was the Director of "Fides", the Vatican's international news agency. Under his direction the agency became a reliable and appreciated news body. From 1995 to 1997 he taught History of Western Civilization at Peking (Beida) University. He writes for the catholic newspaper "Avvenire" and has taken part, as an expert of international politics, in Italian TV talk-shows including "Porta a Porta", Excalibur", "Otto e mezzo".

Czerny, Michael

Fr. Michael Czerny, S.J. has worked with various Jesuit social justice initiatives for over thirty years. He obtained his theology doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1978. In 1979 he founded the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto, which he directed until 1989. He then became the 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, as well as, in 1992, founding the African Jesuit AIDS Network. From 2010 to 2016 Czerny was working in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican. In 2016 Pope Francis appointed him as Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section.

Edwards, Emanuela

Sr. Emanuela Edwards is a member of the Missionaries of Divine Revelation. The Missionaries of Divine Revelation are the official guides for the Vatican Museums delivering the tours of 'Art and Faith' that can be booked on-line at the Museum’s website.

Eissa, Farouq Wael

Eissa has been a professor of Arabic at the University of Sacro Cuore in Milan since 2012. His studies include Arabic language and literature, Islamism, immigration, and dialogue between religions. The intersection of these fields allows him to analyze the differences between Arab-Islamic mentality and modernity from non-traditional points of view.

Eissa did his undergraduate degree in Arabic Language and Literature at the Ain Shams University in Cairo, and following this, post-graduate work in Literary Criticism. He obtained his Master's degree in Poetic Diction of Islamic Philosophy in 2004, and his doctorate in Arabic literature in 2005, also at the Ain Shams University. He has taught at the American University of Cairo, and at the Strauss Institute for the Advanced Study of Law at the University of New York. His published works include An Elementary Course of Modern Standard Arabic, Volume 1 (2014), and he has also contributed essays to various collaborative books, including Bismillahi al-Rahmini al-Rahim in Not Just Good, but Beautiful: The Complementary Relationship between Man and Woman (2015) and The windows of Benedict XVI: reason, revelation and law in The Law of King Solomon: Reason and right in the speeches of Benedict XVI (2016).

García Ovejero, Paloma

Ms. Paloma García Ovejero is a Spanish journalist and Deputy Director of the Holy See's Press Room since August 2016. She graduated in 1998 from the Complutense University of Madrid, and obtained a Master's degree in Basque Studies in 2001. In 2006, she completed a specialization course in management and communication strategies at the University of New York. A journalist since 1998 at Cadena COPE, she became correspondent for Italy and the Vatican in 2012. In 2016, the Holy See announced her appointment as Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Room.

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Gosbert, Gilbert

Rev. 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.

Fabene, Fabio

Msgr. Fabio Fabene has been the Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops since his appointment in February 2014 by Pope Francis. He was elevated to the episcopate by Pope Francis as Titular Bishop of Aquipendium on 8 April and was consecrated on 30 May 2014.

Fabene was ordained a priest for the diocese of Montefiascone in 1984. He was sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in Canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University. He did pastoral work in the diocese and was later appointed chancellor, serving from 1984 until 1998. After this appointment, he taught canon law. In January 1998 he entered the service of the Roman Curia, serving in the Congregation for Bishops. He became the head of the office in 2010. Since 1996 he has worked as a judge in the marriage tribunal of Lazio for Diocese of Rome.

Farrell, Brian

Msgr. Brian Farrell, LC is an Irish Catholic bishop and currently Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Within the Council he is Vice-President of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

Farrell was born in Dublin, Ireland. He joined the Legion of Christ in 1961 and was ordained a priest in1969 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Rome. From 1970 to 1976 he was the novice director in the Legionary seminary in Orange, Connecticut, US. He obtained his licentiate in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University and his licentiate in theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and in 1981 earned a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. From 1981 to 2002 he served the Vatican's Secretariat of State, from 1999 as head of the English desk in the Office of General Affairs.

In 2002 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Abitinae and named Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He was consecrated a bishop on 6 January 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Gallagher, Paul Richard

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher was born in Liverpool and attended St. Francis Xavier’s College in Woolton. He was ordained a priest in the archdiocese of Liverpool in 1977 and an archbishop in 2004. Archbishop Gallagher is the Secretary for Relations with States and head of the Second Section of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State. Throughout his life he has held diplomatic positions on behalf of the Holy See in Tanzania, Uruguay, the Philippines, Guatemala, and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. In 2012 he was named papal nuncio to Australia, serving until Pope Francis appointed him to his current position in 2014.

Michavila, Narciso

Mr. Narciso Michavila is a sociologist and specialist in electoral analysis and in Public Opinion and Security, and president of GAD3, a research and communication consultancy formed in 2001 with Spanish capital.He holds a PhD in Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid and a Master's Degree in Applied Statistics from the same University. He is also a specialist in Social Research Design at the Sociological Research Center. He teaches in postgraduate master's programs at the Carlos III-El Mundo University, the University of Granada, and the University of Navarra. He is an Artillery Commander on leave of absence. He was a principal analyst at the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Defense from 2004 to 2006, in charge of the Public Opinion area and responsible for statistical projects of the Spanish Army between 1999 and 2004. He is the author of a number of books in his field.

McCulloch, Robert

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.

Michael, Santiago 

Born on 11 April 1961 at Michaelpatty, Sivagangai diocese, Tamil Nadu,

Fr. Santiago Michael belongs to the diocese of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Having completed his priestly formation studies in Lucknow and Allahabad, he was ordained a priest on 25 March 1990. After the ordination, he was appointed to Masih Gurukul, the diocesan Minor Seminary where he served for six years. Thereafter, he rendered service at Maitri Bhavan, Centre for Interreligious Dialogue, Varanasi for twelve years, first as a member of the staff and then as the Director of the Centre. He was a Consultant to the CBCI Commission for Interreligious Dialogue besides being

Secretary of the Regional Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of Agra Region for

a brief period. He was also a Consultor of his diocese. In 2008, he was appointed a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for

Interreligious Dialogue. Since January 2009, he is with the said Council as official of the Desk for Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. A BTh holder from Urbaniana

University, Rome, he has a doctorate in Hindi literature. He has also a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict Management and Development from Benares Hindu University.


Morali, Ilaria

Born in Milan to a Catholic family in 1962, Ilaria Morali 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 she 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.


Mueller, Paul

Fr. Paul Mueller S.J. is Vice Director of the Vatican Observatory and also religious superior of the Jesuit community attached to the Observatory. He divides his time between the Observatory’s headquarters at Castel Gandolfo and its dependent research facility at Tucson in the USA. Prior to coming to the Observatory he was stationed at Loyola University Chicago, where he was a professor of philosophy and served as academic dean of two programs of priestly formation, the Jesuit First Studies Program and of St. Joseph College Seminary.

Fr. Mueller has completed masters degrees in philosophy, theology, and physics. His doctorate, from the University of Chicago’s Committee for Conceptual Historical Studies of Science, is in the interdisciplinary field of history and philosophy of science.

Navarro, Luis

Rev. Prof. Luis Navarro was installed as the Rector of Santa Croce on September 30, 2016. Ordained as an Opus Dei priest in 1979, he has been a professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross since 1986. For the past 8 years he also served as Dean of the Canon Law Department. He is from Spain. 


Noronha, John and Ashley

After living in Rome for 10 years, John and Ashley Noronha are passionate about bringing the Eternal City to life through its art, beauty, history and culture. They founded the Truth & Beauty Project, a residency fellowship in Rome dedicated to shaping the culture by shaping the arts, one artist at a time. Ashley's the Rome Correspondent for the Relevant Radio Network and formerly the host of the weekly news show, Voice of the Vatican, on Shalom World TV. 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 her original course "Media Training for Priests" at the Pontifical North American College (NAC). She works around the world as a Communications Coach specializing in Conflict Management, Crisis Communications, Public Speaking and Media Training. John's the former Producer of Voice of the Vatican on Shalom World TV and a Professor of Art & Architecture and Theology. 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. John is a Wilbur Fellow and is pursuing a PhD in BioMedical Ethics at the Regina Apostolorum. Formerly a professional tap dancer, John loves to cut a rug with his wife and to teach ballroom dancing too. 

O'Callaghan, Paul

An Electronics Engineer and former Teaching Assistant of Electronics Engineering at University College Dublin (1977-79), Fr. O’Callaghan (Ireland) 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), former Dean of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (2000-2008), and member of the Governing Board of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. At present he is Spiritual Director of “Sedes Sapientiae” College, Director of the Department of Dogmatic Theology and Director of the Center for Priestly Formation at Santa Croce.

Oxley, Tad

Rev. Walter “Tad” Oxley, a priest from the Diocese of Toledo in the United States, was ordained in 2003. He was associate pastor of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church from 2003-2005 after he completed his seminary training in Rome, and in 2005 he returned to Rome for a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He served at the Josephinum as an assistant professor, the vice rector for formation, the dean of community life, and the director of human formation from 2009 to 2015. In 2015 he was appointed to serve in the Vatican as an official for the doctrinal section of the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Regoli, Roberto

He is professor of Contemporary Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), and director of the Department of Church History, as well as director of the Review “Archivum Historiae Pontificiae”. Areas of particular research  include the history of the Papacy, the Roman Curia and pontifical Diplomacy during XIX-XXI centuries. Among his more important publications are the works: Ercole Consalvi. Le scelte per la Chiesa (Ed. PUG 2006); Oltre la crisi della Chiesa. Il pontificato di Benedetto XVI (Lindau 2016) and with Paolo Valvo of Tra Pio X e Benedetto XV. La diplomazia pontificia in Europa e America Latina nel 1914 (Studium 2018). 

Rivella, Mauro

Msgr. Rivella is the Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See since his appointment in 2015. Mauro Rivella, a graduate in canon law, was director of the National Office for Legal Issues and Under-Secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference. He is also consultant of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and an invited professor in the faculty of canon law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He is a member of the editorial board of the magazine "Quaderni di diritto ecclesiale".


Francis X. Rocca


Mr. Rocca is the Vatican correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. He previously served as Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, Vatican correspondent for Religion News Service, European correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education and managing editor of the American Spectator. His writing has also appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Time, The Spectator (London), The Jerusalem Post, Forbes, BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe and The Atlantic Monthly. Rocca is co-author, with Rockwell A. Schnabel, of “The Next Superpower?” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) and director of a documentary film, Voices of Vatican II: Participants Recall the Council (2015). He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College (Annapolis) and a Ph.D. in Renaissance studies from Yale University. He was a Fulbright fellow in Spain and a Templeton-Cambridge journalism fellow in science and religion at the University of Cambridge.


Ruiz, Lucio A. 


Mons. Lucio Adrián Ruiz, born in Argentina in 1965, was ordained Diocesan Priest in 1990.

He earned his Licentiate of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome (thesis in Theology of Communication); Master in Business Administration (MBA); and Doctorate (PhD) from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Superior Technical School of Telecommunications Engineering, in the Biomedical Engineering program.

He has been IT-Assessor of the Argentine Episcopal Conference; Executive Secretary of the System Office of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) Bogota and Technical Coordinator of the Digital Network of the Church in Latin America (RIIAL); President of the Center for Training and Software Development for the Church in Latin America Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe; Systems Manager for the Congregation for the Clergy and collaborator of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

He has taught Digital Technologies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome and Meta-languages of communication at the Instituto Teológico Pastoral, (ITEPAL), Colombia.

He has addressed numerous conferences, seminars and written articles on the subject of the Church in the Digital Age.

He was at the Head Office of the Vatican Internet Service of the Direction of Telecommunication until June 2015, when he was appointed Secretary of the new Dicastery for Communication.


Whitmore, Philip

Msgr. Philip Whitmore is a priest of the Diocese of Westminster. He was appointed Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome five years ago in 2013. Previously he worked for 14 years in the Roman Curia, spending 5 years at the Congregation for Bishops and 9 at the Secretariat of State. During his time at the Secretariat he translated Parts II and III of Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth into English. 

Vinciguerra, Tebaldo

Mr. Tebaldo Vinciguerra, Italian-French, the father of a family, 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.

Zollner, Hans

Rev. Hans Zollner, SJ is a German theologian and psychologist. He has been a member of the Jesuits since 1990. He studied philosophy and theology in Regensburg and Innsbruck. Since 2003, he has taught at the Institute of Psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Zollner has been the academic Vice Rector of the Gregorian since 2010.
He is regarded as one of the leading ecclesiastical experts in the field of safeguarding of minors and on areas concerning sexual abuse both in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. He has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since 2014 and head of the Centre for Child Protection (CCP), headquartered in Rome. He was a member of the Scientific Working Group of the “Round Table on Child Abuse” commissioned by the Federal Government of Germany.


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