Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

A loss for Vatican news coverage

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 29, 2024

For nearly a decade, the most consistently reliable English-language news coverage of Vatican affairs has been found in the Wall Street Journal, thanks to their man in Rome, Frank Rocca. Some readers have questioned why CWN has often linked to news reports in the Journal, when other outlets have covered the same events. The simple answer: the Journal stories were better: more informed, more balanced, more accurate.

You might ask: Why does the Journal, a paper dedicated primarily to financial affairs, have a special correspondent covering the Vatican? Evidently the publishers asked themselves the same question, because Rocca has just announced that his position there is being eliminated.

Read through the comments in response to Rocca’s announcement on Twitter, and you will see that I am not alone in my high opinion of his work. You will also notice that his admirers come from all across the spectrum. You will see some compliments from people with whom I very rarely agree: testimony to his fair and balanced reporting.

What this change means for Rocca personally, we don’t yet know. What it means for Vatican news coverage is… nothing good, unless some other outlet has the good sense and the resources to snatch him.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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