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Inside the VaticanJanuary 31, 2024
Pope Francis passes pilgrims holding China's national flag as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” veteran correspondent Gerard O’Connell and host Colleen Dulle discuss Pope Francis’ recent interview with the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa. In a comprehensive two-page spread, the pope candidly shares his feelings of loneliness and explores how he navigates these emotions through prayer and dialogue with others.

The interview also touched on “Fiducia Supplicans” for the second time in a single day. Colleen and Gerry recap the pope’s remarks to La Stampa and a plenary assembly of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office behind the declaration. In both instances, the pope addresses criticisms of the document. The hosts conclude by discussing Pope Francis’ comments on the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine.

In the second part of the show, Colleen and Gerry discuss significant developments in the Vatican’s relationship with China. After a one-year delay, Pope Francis has appointed three new bishops in China and taken the unprecedented step of approving a new diocese for the Chinese church in just a week. How will this move, which is outside the strictly-defined purview of the Vatican-China agreement, impact the renewal discussions later this year?

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