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Inside the Vatican

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Inside USD -- What does a prize-winning Vatican journalist do after 30 years working at the Catholic Church’s epicenter? He moves back home to Minnesota and buys a canoe. That was New York Times bestselling author John Thavis just two years ago, sitting in his canoe most days wondering where the next great papal story would come from. Thavis spoke at USD on March 27 and shared his eyewitness accounts of reporting on the Holy See.

“I got clarity from my canoe in Minnesota,” said Thavis, as he reminisced about his three-decade career as a working journalist and bureau chief of Catholic News Service in Rome. Getting back home to the United States gave Thavis the clearer view and perspective he needed to write his best-seller The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church.

Thavis covered three papal transitions and much of his talk focused on the secrecy of the Vatican City and stylistic comparisons of the two recent papacies – Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

The Vatican is “hermetically sealed with leaks quite often,” Thavis admitted with irony. This disparity is more realized as humanity in motion and what makes the Vatican such a compelling place to cover as a journalist. The Vatican is like any workaday organization but lacks “cohesive communication,” he added. (Full Article)

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