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Inside the VaticanJanuary 11, 2024
Pope Francis speaks during his annual meeting with diplomats accredited to the Holy See at the Vatican Jan. 8, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

In their first “Inside the Vatican” episode of the new year, veteran Vatican reporter Gerard O’Connell and host Colleen Dulle examine Pope Francis’ recent “State of the World” address to diplomats. Covering everything from calls for an international ban on surrogacy, to the pope’s reflections on the current global conflicts, Colleen and Gerry cover the highlights and explore some of the intricacies of the Vatican’s diplomatic relationships.

Colleen and Gerry especially focus on the pope’s comments to diplomats regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Vatican’s support for a two-state solution and special international status for Jerusalem.

In the second part of the show, Gerry shares some of his predictions for Pope Francis’ plans in 2024, informed by conversations with senior Vatican sources. Colleen and Gerry discuss the Pope’s health, his ambitious travel itinerary, including two possible visits to Asia, the final meeting of the Synod on Synodality, high-level Vatican appointments, and the opening of the 2025 Jubilee Year.

Colleen and Gerry also dig into the Vatican-China deal, which is again up for renewal this year. Considering China’s repeated breaches of the agreement and the mounting pressure on the Vatican to denounce China’s human rights violations, will the pope continue with what seems to many a one-sided effort at dialogue?

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Ultimately, it is up to each of us to prayerfully discern the individual contribution we can make. Guided by our faith and Catholic social teaching, we can do our part to support a just peace in Israel-Palestine.