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Inside the VaticanSeptember 08, 2022
A man holds a photo of Pope John Paul I prior to Pope Francis' celebration of the beatification of Pope John Paul I in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 4, 2022. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis called all the world’s cardinals to the Vatican to discuss the reform of Roman offices, called dicasteries. The meeting follows the release of “Praedicate Evangelium,” a document issued earlier this summer outlining new structures and processes for the Catholic Church’s central offices.

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” hosts Colleen Dulle and Gerard O’Connell share what went on in the cardinals' two-day meeting in Rome, and also look into the recent beatification of Pope John Paul I, who led the church for a mere 33 days before his sudden death.

While the cardinals were still in Rome, Gerry took the opportunity to talk with many of them about what unfolded in their closed meeting with the pope and after meeting many of their brother cardinals for the first time.

Gerry also shares details of his exclusive interview with Cardinal Robert McElroy, the bishop of San Diego, who is now the newest prelate from the United States, and the key themes he saw emerging from the meeting. Colleen stresses the importance of knowing, as a lay person, what happens at these meetings inside Vatican walls. “I think it's helpful for us to know that these conversations that we've been having and that anybody who's following this synodal process are having, about this tension between synodality and hierarchy,” Colleen tells Gerry. “Those conversations are also being had among the Cardinals in the halls of the Vatican.”

In the final half of the show, Gerry sets the scene for the beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul I that took place at a ceremony in St, Peter’s Square this past Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Blessed John Paul I was the last Italian pope to be elected over a period of 400 years. Gerry shares a few personal anecdotes about the man who was affectionately known as “the smiling pope,” and what it was like to be there at his installation.

This week’s show closes with a discussion about the politics and economics of saint-making. And given the controversies that have arisen since the rapid canonization of Pope John Paul II and the subsequent release of the McCarrick report—which reveals that the polish pope knew about some of the accusations of abuse against Mr. McCarrick—Colleen, again, asks an important question: “Should we really be canonizing these recent popes?”

Read more:

Exclusive: Cardinal Robert McElroy’s first interview since receiving the red hatCardinal McElroy on Curia reform, Vatican finances and the Pope Francis resignation rumorsPope Francis beatifies John Paul I, the ‘smiling pope’ who governed the church for 33 days in 1978

Book recommendation:

The September Pope, Stefania Falasca, Our Sunday Visitor, 2021

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