Checking into the Vatican to see what’s going on

These days, you may have an increased interest in what the pope has to say or what new spin the Vatican takes on emerging news– scandal upon scandal–around the world. The free Vatican News App Apple | GooglePlay is probably the best portal to access the latest in Vatican-generated reports in text and audio formats. A review of this app is at a previous post. This week we note some heavy-handed papal defense in between the lines of their offerings. You decide.

vatican news screen shots

First off, an irritating technical point. We access the English side of the app where audio news is introduced by a cast of readers with speech impediments who mis-read (think typos in text). We find better delivery at college radio stations. This embarrassment needs to be addressed as the Vatican, of all entities, should (and can!) hire the very best quality readers.  On the podcast side we still get the beautiful Gospel commentaries we have come to know and love over the years delivered in impeccable English by Jill Bevilacqua and Sean Patrick Lovett. (Ah, the old “Vatican Radio” days!)

The “Latest Santa Marta Mass” celebrated by the pope is dated June 19. Not good for our team at the Vatican Secretariat for Communication which oversees this app and Vatican communications in general. However, we note the timely topic of the homily: “Forgive, love our enemies.” A little in-your-face?

“Careful journalism” is what we are lectured on in the story, “Pope Francis and his confidence in journalists.” Yes, it’s the pope’s message as part of his brush-off of the important allegations Archbishop Vigano brought up last weekend, but it is also a finger-wagging at those in the media who thought a crowd at the papal audience was chanting “Vi-ga-no!” They weren’t (fake news). This story beats you over the head with the fact that “professional journalists” found out it was someone else’s name.

No, it’s not just you. Navigation of Vatican News App is a little like following the path of holes in a big chunk of swiss cheese. Here’s the best way to navigate this app if you just want to explore this maze: Scroll all the way to the bottom. Go to something like “About” and keep scrolling down. There you’ll see some avenues to explore. It’s where we found the video re-cap of Pope Francis’ trip to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. Another concern…

The important meeting is in Ireland. The background music for the entire video is neither Christian nor Irish. It is Nessun Dorma–Italian opera (Puccini). This does not speak to the universality of the Catholic Church, the Irish nation, families etc. It does speak to the tone deaf folks making videos in Italy. This video focuses entirely on Pope Francis to make him look heroically holy. Fine, I guess, but this event was supposed to focus on families. Anyway, the English translation of the final words: “I will win! I will win!” Not the way a humble Christian ends a difficult week in that country so scarred and tormented by his organization’s sexual abuse. Tone. Deaf.

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website,, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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