john-thavis

I have had moments of joy and light, but also moments that haven’t been easy … moments of turbulent seas and rough winds, as has occurred in the history of the church when it seemed like the Lord was sleeping.
—  Pope Benedict XVI today in his farewell address. While Cardinals gather in Rome to choose a new Pope, the Vatican is reeling from scandals–child sex abuse, corruption at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret Church documents. On Fresh Air today veteran Vatican reporter, John Thavis, details this unprecedented time in the history of the Catholic Church.

John Thavis tells Dave Davies about what he observed about communication within the Vatican during his 30 years reporting on it:

I wasn’t reporting too long at the Vatican before I realized that, when I would go to interview someone at a Vatican office, that after I was through with my questions they always had questions for me and many of [the questions] concerned, ‘What is another Vatican department doing?’ And I soon realized that there really is little or no cross-communication inside the Vatican. It may seem amazing to outsiders but the pope, for example, doesn’t hold Cabinet meetings. He doesn’t convene his top managers once a week or once a month or maybe even once a year and sit them down and say, 'We’ve got to be on the same page. What are the projects you’re working on? Here’s what I want to do. Let’s makes sure we get our signals straight.’ This generally does not happen and probably a lot of people feel it’s time that it does happen.

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