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Inside the VaticanJanuary 24, 2024
Pope Francis gives his blessing at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican Jan. 24, 2024. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

In this episode, veteran Vatican reporter Gerard O’Connell and host Colleen Dulle discuss Pope Francis’ recent meeting with international journalists covering the Vatican, which Gerry attended. He and Colleen discuss the experience, Pope Francis’ comments on journalism and how Francis’ approach to the media stacks up against that of past popes.

Colleen and Gerry also parse the pope’s comments on declining birth rates in Italy and address the politicization of the issue and the pope’s call for global economic reforms that promote and support the well-being of young families. While the pope has made headlines for saying that people who choose to have pets over children are “selfish,” Colleen and Gerry heed Francis’ advice to journalists, and attempt to uncover the nuances and complex realities that can belie the pithy attention-grabbing phrases in his speeches, and are frequently manipulated by mainstream news media for clicks.

“Francis, when he talks about the birth rate, is essentially addressing the question in Italy, but he’s very conscious that it’s an issue in other parts of the world too,” Gerry says, citing China, South Korea, and the U.S. “It’s an issue that while he’s talking locally, it has reference globally.”

Links from the show:

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