Building on its successful monthly-seminar series for Rome-based Vatican correspondents, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome is offering an intensive one-week seminar in English, The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Benedict XVI, for foreign journalists covering the Roman Catholic Church.

Combining class-room seminars, personal meetings, and on-site visits, the seminar is designed to give journalists an array of tools to strengthen their coverage: a basic sense of the lay of the land at the Vatican; a serious, in-depth analysis of specific hot-button issues confronting today's Church; a personal introduction to some knowledgeable insiders and key players in Rome; a taste of the rich history and culture behind contemporary Church affairs; a chance to reflect, in an ideal setting, with journalists from around the world, on the complex relationships between religion and the media.


Monday, September 8 - Sunday, September 14, 2008.


Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Piazza di Sant'Apollinare, 49
00186 Rome, Italy
Tel: [0039] 06681641
Fax: [0039] 0668164400

Content of the seminar

The seminar includes two parallel programs: Full Program and Half Program (see Program), composed of:



The morning class-room sessions will deal with issues of culture and religion (inter-religious dialogue, liturgical reform, science and faith, bio-ethical issues), the Church and the media (public opinion, Vatican coverage, access and transparency) and the nature and structure of the Catholic Church and the Holy See (its organization and role in international politics).



Personal meetings will offer a chance to get to know key curial officials, Vatican media officials and veteran Rome correspondents.


On-site Visits

The program includes visits to St. Peter's Basilica, the "Scavi" (the Roman necropolis beneath the present-day basilica), the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Press Office, Castelgandolfo, a papal audience, and other sites of interest.