• John Thavis

A Canadian brings some English to the press office

In these pre-conclave days of more questions than answers, a welcome addition to the Vatican press office has been Father Tom Rosica, a media-savvy Canadian who’s been giving English-language (and some French-language) briefings.

Father Rosica, a member of the Basilian religious order who runs the Salt + Light Television network (an excellent resource for the papal transition), knows what journalists need from the Vatican and has been doing his best to deliver it: clear, succinct information in several languages.

Rosica has been taking his cues from Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, who also brought in a Spanish-speaking priest for the papal transition.

Things should get more interesting next week when the briefers will be asked about the cardinals’ twice-daily meetings in the run-up to the conclave. During synods of bishops, briefing officers in various languages have some leeway in how much information they can provide. We’ll see if that’s also true when the cardinals hold their discussions.

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