Voices

Rome-based associate editor Gerard O’Connell is responsible for planning and producing America’s coverage of the papacy, Vatican affairs and Rome events. He writes a weekly column in the print edition of America called “Vatican Dispatch” and files reports

Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Francis took the risk, trusting in God. His decision transmitted a message of hope on the political front to all Egyptians, Christians and Muslims alike, who are well aware that their country is today a target for ISIS terrorists and is engaged in a battle against terrorism.
Pope Francis shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, in Cairo, April 28 (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia).
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 28, 2017
The pope emphasized that Egypt, because of its history and geographical position, “occupies a unique role in the Middle East.
Politics & Society
Gerard O'ConnellApril 28, 2017
“What is needed are peacemakers, not fomenters of conflict; firefighters not arsonists; preachers of reconciliation and not instigators of destruction.”
A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
Politics & Society Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 22, 2017
The conference brought together six lay people from different countries “to reflect on the post-synod apostolic exhortation that has aroused grave perplexities and widespread unease in numerous components of the Catholic world.”
Pope Francis greets Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque and university, during a private meeting in 2016 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 21, 2017
Pope Francis will be in Egypt for two days beginning on April 28.
President Donald Trump talks about the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act before signing it, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 20, 2017
The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, told America that no official request for an audience had arrived at the Vatican from the U.S. president as of late Wednesday evening, April 19.
An injured man receives treatment inside a field hospital in Douma, Syria, after April 3 airstrikes(CNS photo/Mohammed Badra, EPA).
Politics & Society Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 05, 2017
Italian media report that a nerve gas was used in yesterday’s attack by the forces of the Assad regime against the rebels in this area.
People carry crosses with names of victims of gun violence during a Dec. 31 march in downtown Chicago. Hundreds of people joined the march to remember those who died by gun violence in 2016 (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World).
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellApril 04, 2017
The cardinal considered it “highly significant” that Francis’ letter is dated April 4—the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Francis Sullivan and Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley attend a seminar on safeguarding children at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome March 23 (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
Faith Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O'ConnellMarch 31, 2017
“Church leaders in Australia took a long time to sit down with victims. Some still don’t.”