Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covered the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis and canonizations of their predecessors. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS.

All Stories by Josephine McKenna

Pope Francis may be about to dismiss Vatican’s doctrinal chief

June 30, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Mueller is one of several conservative cardinals who openly questioned the pope’s position on divorced and remarried Catholics.

Cardinal’s sex abuse charges raise questions about pope’s record

June 30, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The allegations against one of his closest advisers and the architect of his economic and administrative reforms is not only embarrassing for Pope Francis but brings the church abuse scandal to his door.

Cardinal George Pell takes a leave of absence after sex assault charges

June 29, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) At a media conference Thursday (June 29), Pell said he would take leave to defend himself and intended to return to his senior post once the court case was completed.

Pope Francis defrocks Italian priest convicted of child sex abuse

June 28, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Mauro Inzoli was found guilty last year by an Italian court of eight counts of sexual abuse of children aged 12 to 16.

Pope tells NFL legends he backs a ‘different’ kind of football

June 21, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) But what’s a pope to do with a golden football helmet?

Vatican defends appointment of philosopher who once voiced support for limited abortion

June 20, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Nigel Biggar came under criticism over his apparent support for abortion up to 18 weeks into pregnancy.

Religious and indigenous leaders seek to save rainforests

June 19, 2017

ROME (RNS) Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 “Laudato Si'” encyclical, clergy from Catholic, Protestant Jewish, Buddhist and other faiths joined indigenous leaders from Brazil, Peru, Indonesia, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to call for urgent action to protect the forests.

Catholic groups launch conversation about female deacons

June 15, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pope has ruled out the ordination of women as priests, but he may endorse women deacons.

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican bioethics board

June 13, 2017

(RNS) While Francis has upheld church opposition to abortion, his choice of board members may reflect a desire for a less combative tone on the issue.

In the shadow of St. Peter’s, a Mormon temple rises

June 8, 2017

ROME (RNS) The LDS church has an estimated 26,000 members in Italy; its members are young and they’re growing.

Lasers reveal long-hidden Roman frescoes with biblical themes

June 6, 2017

ROME (RNS) The catacombs are a reminder of the importance of Domitilla as a Christian burial site.

A saint’s brain is stolen and Catholics pray for its return

June 5, 2017

ROME (RNS) The thief entered the church, named after the 19th century saint in Castelnuovo, near Turin, on June 2, and left with a glass case containing the relic.

Pope Francis ally says Trump exit from climate accord would be a ‘slap’ in the face

June 1, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) At their historic meeting last week, the pope gave Trump a copy of his 2015 encyclical, which warns of the grave consequences caused by climate change, and the president promised to read it.

Cloistered nuns on Facebook: What’s not to like?

May 30, 2017

ROME (RNS) At a time when vocations to Catholic religious orders are falling, the nuns see their new approach as a means to promote their work and attract newcomers.

Vatican stargazers look for divine inspiration

May 24, 2017

(RNS) ‘The observatory exists to show the world that the Catholic Church supports science,’ says Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer from Detroit who is also the observatory’s director.

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