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 gives President Trump some homework at their first meeting

May 24, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) ‘I will be reading them,’ the president told the pontiff after Francis gave him his encyclical on climate change and other papal writings at their summit meeting Wednesday.

Pope Francis goes door-to-door to bless families in beach town

May 19, 2017

ROME (RNS) The pontiff’s visit to a public housing project in Ostia near Rome was the latest in his surprise “Mercy Fridays” visits.

Callista Gingrich will soon be named ambassador to Vatican – reports

May 15, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Callista Gingrich, 51, is a Catholic and wife of the former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Pope urges scientists ‘never to fear truth’

May 12, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Francis sent a personal greeting to researchers discussing black holes, gravitational waves and assorted scientific questions at the Vatican Observatory.

Pope sends video message of peace ahead of Fatima visit

May 11, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Speaking in Portuguese, the pope defined his two-day official visit to the Catholic shrine May 12-13 as a ‘pilgrimage of hope and peace.’

9 Catholic groups to divest from coal, oil and gas in a bid to fight climate change

May 10, 2017

ROME (RNS) ‘We wish to emphasize the urgency of the climate crisis and deepen our commitment to care for our common home,’ said Sister Sheila Kinsey, spokeswoman for the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, one of the groups that chose to divest.

Viral pontiff: Francis dances with Hasidic Jews at the Vatican

May 9, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Well, it was more swaying than dancing. Still, it’s not something popes normally do, and the video became yet another internet hit for Francis.

Trump to meet Pope Francis at Vatican

May 4, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pope and the president — who have sparred on immigration, climate change and capitalism — are scheduled to meet on May 24.

After Egypt trip, Pope Francis hails ‘healthy secularism’ approach

May 3, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Francis said Egypt’s rich history and cultural heritage should be the basis for ‘the construction of social and civil order’ in which all citizens regardless of their origin or religion can work together.

Ancient Order of Malta faces era of change as interim leader is elected

April 29, 2017

ROME (RNS) The election of an Italian knight was seen as a victory for Pope Francis, who had ousted the previous leader after an internal clash that pitted hard-liners against reformers.

Pope Francis meets knights of ancient order in new drama before contested election

April 27, 2017

ROME (RNS) Meanwhile the ousted head of the Order of Malta defied Vatican orders and returned to Rome to help elect his successor in a soap opera that has become a proxy battle between church conservatives and reformers.

Coloring in the the troubled history of a renowned Roman arch

April 25, 2017

ROME (RNS) A team of scientists, art historians and other experts uses technology to reimagine the original colors of a monument that is a potent symbol in Jewish history and for the Catholic Church.

Italian bishop takes up pope’s call to evangelize abroad

April 24, 2017

ROME (RNS) Bishop Gianfranco Todisco told parishioners his ‘only true motive’ to resign from his diocesan duties was his drive to dedicate himself to missionary work.

Bill O’Reilly greeted by pope hours before Fox News announces ouster

April 19, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) O’Reilly, who last year challenged the pope’s views on immigration and promised to convince him of the need for reform, shook hands briefly with the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics at the Vatican.

In Easter message, pope warns against the spread of conflict

April 16, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In his Easter Sunday blessing, Francis also urged the faithful to remember ‘all those forced to leave their homelands as a result of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine and oppressive regimes.’

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