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

French presidential hopeful slams Pope Francis for welcoming migrants

April 14, 2017

ROME (RNS) “The fact that he appeals for charity, for welcoming others, foreigners, does not shock me,” Le Pen said. “But charity should only be personal.”

On Maundy Thursday, Pope Francis washes the feet of 12 prisoners

April 13, 2017

ROME (RNS) The 12 inmates who took part included a Muslim who is expected to be baptized as a Catholic in June, three women and two men serving life terms.

Faithful storm out of Mass in Italy after priest criticizes Pope Francis

April 10, 2017

ROME (RNS) The congregation reportedly shouted “Shame, shame!” at the Rev. Edward Pushparaj when he said the pontiff had only been “bad” for the Catholic Church. The priest has been placed on leave.

Pope opens free laundromat for homeless

April 10, 2017

ROME (RNS) Since he became pope four years ago, Francis has made it a personal priority to provide them with showers, housing, medical care and other services to help restore their dignity.

Catholics surge in Africa but priest shortages persist in other parts of the globe

April 6, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) While noting the statistics presented a ‘mixed picture,’ the Vatican reiterated ‘the positive trend’ of Catholic growth, especially in the African continent.

After Syrian gas attack, Pope Francis calls on world leaders: ‘End this tragedy’

April 5, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The deadly attack occurred as 70 donor countries were meeting in Brussels at a conference hosted by the European Union to support Syria as the conflict enters its seventh year.

Jewish graves unearthed in Rome testify to community’s persecution

March 29, 2017

ROME (RNS) Researchers say the absence of headstones was a result of decrees issued by Pope Urban VIII, who ruled in 1625 that Jews be buried in unmarked graves and ordered headstones to be removed from existing graves.

Pope backs nuclear weapons ban treaty

March 28, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pontiff spoke as talks on a proposed global nuclear arms ban at the United Nations seem doomed to fail with the U.S., France, Britain and South Korea among nearly 40 countries boycotting the talks.

Pope’s sex abuse panel to continue its work without victims — for now

March 27, 2017

ROME (RNS) But a commission statement vowed that victims of clerical abuse should have a voice in the future.

US cardinal: Pope committed to ending ‘scourge of sex abuse’ despite setbacks

March 23, 2017

ROME (RNS) Despite turmoil on the commission he created to deal with sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is committed “to rooting out the scourge,” Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said.

High art meets high-tech in Vatican 3D film about Raphael

March 22, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The work of the Renaissance master Raphael, which fills the Sistine Chapel and pope’s palace, is for the first time celebrated on screen in a 3D film co-produced by the Vatican Museums.

American girl steals pope’s hat

March 22, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Francis let out good-humored guffaws a split second later, when he realized what had happened.

Italian rabbis accuse biblical conference of fueling anti-Judaism

March 14, 2017

(RNS) One describes the upcoming meeting as a ‘defeat for Jewish-Christian dialogue.’

Pope Francis: ‘I too know moments of emptiness’

March 9, 2017

VATICAN CITY (RNS) ‘One cannot grow without crises: in human life, the same thing happens,’ the pope said.

Claims of sex orgies, prostitution and porn videos shake Catholic Church in Italy

March 9, 2017

ROME (RNS) The accusations have sent shock waves all the way to the Vatican and challenged the high standards that Pope Francis has demanded of clergy.

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