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The Church Up Close

Confirmed Speakers


Nigel Baker


nigelbakerBritish Ambassador to the Holy See. Nigel Baker took up his post as the British Ambassador to the Holy See in September 2011, after serving 8 years in Latin America, as Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Havana, Cuba (2003-6) and then as British Ambassador in La Paz, Bolivia (2007-11). Between 1996 and 1998 Nigel lived and worked in Italy on an academic sabbatical to research and write about themes in 18th century European history. The research followed from his time as a student at Cambridge (1985-88) where he read history and was awarded a First Class Honours degree, followed by his MA in 1992.



Stephen Barr


stephenbarrPofessor. Stephen Barr is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware where he specialzes in grand unified theories, theories of CP violation, theories of neutrino masses and mixing, and particle cosmology, especially theories of baryogenesis and dark matter. In addition to his work as a professor, Stphen also writes and lectures extensively on the relation between science and religion. He was elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010 and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007, a papal award given for service to the Church. His main work regarding the relation between science and religion is Modern Physics and Ancient Faith.






Msgr. José Avelino Bettencourt


mons.josebettencourtChief of Protocal of the Secretariat of State. Msgr. Jose Avelino Bettencourt, nunciature councillor, as chief of protocol of the Secretariat of State. He was born in the Azores, Portugal, in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1993. Msgr. Bettencourt is a priest of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1999, and has served in the apostolic nunciature of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State and Prelate of the Papal 'anti-chambers' (Prefecture of the Pontifical Household).







Rev. Scott Borgman


sborgmanFr. Scott Borgman is the Coordinating Secretary of the Vatican office researching scientific aspects of Bioethics at the Pontifical Academy for Life. Father Scott Borgman was born in Fort Collins, Colorado and grew up in a Protestant missionary family in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. After completing a Liberal Arts degree in Communications, with an emphasis in Television and Film, he worked in Film Production in Hollywood for many years before responding to God’s call to the Catholic priesthood. He completed a Licentiate and is working on a Doctoral thesis in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Rev. Borgman was ordained for the diocese of Toulon in France.



Greg Burke

BurkeVatican Senior Communications Advisor. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Burke did his Bachelor's degree at Columbus University and went on Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He later worked for the Daily Item in Port Chester, N.Y., and United Press International in Chicago. In 1988, he became the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He then worked for a decade as Time magazine’s correspondent in Rome before moving to Fox News in 2001, where he covered the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict, and also traveled around Europe and the Middle East for the network. In 2012 he was appointed as the Senior Communications Advisor for the Vatican Secretary of State.



Mario Ebcim



Mario has worked in the Aerospace sector since 2008. Prior to that, he was the Business Development and Sales Manager for ROMEreports TV News Agency.He participated at several World Youth Days (WYD), in particular as the delegate of the Turkish Catholic Bishops Conference to the international Youth Forum during the Jubilee year in Rome and as a volunteer for Toronto WYD in 2002. Mario graduated with a degree in Economics from the Université de Montréal, Canada. Born in Istanbul, he has lived in Canada and Italy since 1998 and plans to return soon to Turkey.


Arch. Rino Fisichella

FisichellaPresident, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Born in Codogno in the province of Lodi, he studied classics at St Francis College in Lodi. He received a degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and was ordained a priest in 13 March 1976 for the diocese of Rome, by Ugo Poletti, Cardinal Vicar of the Diocese of Rome. After ordination, he held a number of positions including Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Member of the Central Committee of the Great Jubilee Year 2000 and Vice President of the Historical-Theological Commission of the same Committee. He is the current and first President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. He previously served as President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Rev. Philip Goyret

DSC 0411-001Vice Rector, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Rev. Prof. Philip Goyret was born in the United States (1956) and lived in Uruguay and Argentina before moving to Rome. An industrial engineer, priest and theologian, he teaches ecclesiology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where he is also the Vice Rector. He was a peritus in the Tenth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (2001).






Prof. José Granados


jose granadosRev. José Granados is the Vice President of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II (Rome) where he is also a professor of dogmatic theology of marriage and family; and he is also a guest professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. From 2004-2009 Rev. Granados taught at the US campus of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II located at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Since 2013 he has served as a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Rev. Granados has also earned a Doctorate of Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (Bellarmine Award). He also holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Pontifical University of Comillas (ICAI), Madrid. He has authored several publications including; Una sola carne en un solo Espíritu. Teología del matrimonio, Palabra, Madrid 2014; Signos en la carne: El matrimonio y los otros sacramentos, Monte Carmelo, Burgos 2011; La carne si fa amore. Il corpo, cardine della storia della salvezza, Cantagalli, Siena 2010; and Teología de los misterios de la vida de Jesús: ensayo de una cristología soteriológica.



Elizabeth Lev


LevDuquesne University. Prof. Lev (USA) is an American-born art historian in Rome. After graduating from the University of Chicago, she did her graduate work at the University of Bologna. She teaches Art History at Duquesne University’s Italian campus. She has written for Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos, First Things, the College Art Association on-line, and is a regular columnist for Zenit News Agency. She was recently featured on the History Channel’s “Angels and Demons Decoded” and is the host of Catholic Canvas, a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums now airing on EWTN.






Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J.


federico-lombardiDirector, Press Office of the Holy See. Fr. Lombardi (Italy) has been the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See since 2006. After Mathematical training, he studied theology in Germany. He worked for the magazine Civiltà Cattolica, and in 1984 he was elected Provincial of the Jesuits in Italy, a position he held until 1990. In 1990 he was named program director of Vatican Radio, and eventually became director general. Since 2001 he has been the Director General of the Vatican Television Center.


Msgr. Steven Lopes

LopesCongregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Monsignor Lopes is an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith while also serving as Cardinal Levada’s priest-secretary, since 2005. He has also served as an adjunct professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and homiletics instructor at the North American College in Rome. Msgr. Lopes graduated from the University of San Francisco before attending St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA and the North American College in Rome. In 2005, he completed a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with a dissertation on “Trinitarian Theology of the Eucharist.”



Dr. Seán-Patrick Lovett


lovettVatican Radio. Seán-Patrick Lovett has been working with Vatican Radio for the past 36 years and is currently the Director of English Programmig. Dr. Lovett received his Doctorate in Communications at the American University of Rome and is currently a professor of Social Communications at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he has been teaching for 19 years. In 2013 he received the Daniel J. Kane award from Dayton University in the United States for his outstanding service to religious communications.  He has done professional media training for politicians, religious, business professionals and entertainment celebrities and has also served as a communications consultant for multinational organizations.

Dr. Ilaria Morali

moraliProfessor, Pontifical Gregorian University. Since November of 2011, Morali has been the Pro-Director of the Department of Missiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Recently nominated extraordinary professor of Theology (Faculty of Missiology), she teaches dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where she has been since 1995 (in the Faculty of Theology: 1995-2010; in the Faculty of Missiology, from 1999 - present). In 2009, Morali took on new responsibilities at the Gregorian’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in Religions and Cultures (ISIRC), which she helped re-launch in 2009. She has represented the ISIRC at events and scholarly initiatives from Milan to Taipei. She earned her Licentiate (1994) and PhD (1997) in Dogmatic Theology at the Faculty of Theology. Her teaching and research are focused on Theology of world religions and on inter-religious dialogue, on the doctrine of grace, on faith and baptism, on the European theological debate on non-Christian religions in the framework of the Jesuit missions in China. In August 2007, she became the first Italian woman theologian to receive membership in the International Academy of Religious Sciences (Brussels).


Mary Nolan


marynolanEditor of L'Osservatore Romano English Edition, as of February 2013. A collaborator with Catholic media since 2010, before that she studied philosophy and theology at Pontifical Universities in Rome and worked in humanitarian aid projects around the world, including the Balkans and East Asia. She is a native of South Bend, Indiana.


John and Ashley Noronha


 ashleyandjohn Historic Center tour guides. John is a Professor of Art & Architecture and Theology. He brings a diverse cultural and academic background to the tour experience, with a bachelors degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, and a Master’s in Computer Engineering and Information Systems. John worked for many years in the telecommunications industry leading the Technology and Initiatives Group at Verizon Global Telecommunications, before doing another Master’s in Philosophy and Theology. He is a Wilbur Fellow and is now pursuing a PhD in BioMedical Ethics at the Pontifical University of the Regina Apostolorum. Ashley is a journalist, the Rome Correspondent for the Relevant Radio Network and a consultant for Crisis Communications and Media Training for Religious organizations. She teaches Media Training for Priests at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and is an Instructor of Media Training at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. She has been featured on TV news networks like CBS, CBN and FOX as an expert on Vatican issues. She was formerly the English Language Official at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Vatican. Ashley graduated in International Business and Marketing from the University of Dayton, Ohio, holds a Masters in Theology from Holy Apostles Seminary, an STL in Communications and is a PhD candidate in communications.



Rev. Paul O'Callaghan

Professor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. An Electronics Engineer and former Assistant Professor of Electronics Engineering at the University College of Dublin (1977-79), Fr. O’Callaghan (Ireland) is currently a Professor of Theology and Anthropology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He was also the Assistant to the Directorate of Research of the School of Theology at the University of Navarre, the Director of Studies of International Ecclesiastical College 'Bidasoa', Pamplona, Spain (1989-1990), Vice-rector of the International Ecclesiastical College 'Sedes Wisdom' (Rome) (1991-1995), Academic Vice-Chancellor of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce (1998-2000), member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (1999) and former Dean of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (2000-2008).




Gerard O'Connell


oconnellGerard O’Connell is an Irish-born journalist and Cambridge graduate and currently reports from Rome on Vatican affairs. Since 1985, he has written for various news outlets in the English speaking world, including the following Catholic publications: “The Tablet” (UK, 1990-2000), “The Universe” (UK), “Our Sunday Visitor” (USA), “Inside the Vatican” (USA) and “The Southern Cross2 (South Africa). He specializes on the Catholic Church in Asia and the Holy See’s relations with Asian states, in particular with China, India and Vietnam and has been Rome correspondent for UCA News, the main Catholic news agency in Asia. He contributes to radio and television, including CTV (Canada), BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera, and is author of “God’s Invisible Hand”, an interview-book with Cardinal Francis Arinze.

Card. George Pell

cardinalgeorgepellPrefect of the Secretariate for the Economy. Born in Ballarat, Australia on June 8th 1941, Card. Pell was educated in the city at Loreto Convent and St Patrick’s College. He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and Propaganda Fide College, Rome, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Ballarat by Cardinal Agagianian in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on December 16th 1966. His elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals was announced by John Paul II on September 28th 2003, who named him Cardinal Priest of the Church of Saint Maria Domenica Mazzarello in Rome. Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and then Archbishop of Sydney in 2001 until 24 February when the Holy Father Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell Prefect of the newly-created Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican. Cardinal Pell holds a Licentiate in Theology from Urban University, Rome (1967), a Masters Degree in Education from Monash University, Melbourne (1982), and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Church History from the University of Oxford (1971).

Msgr. Tom Powers

powersMsgr. Tom Powers is a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Msgr. Powers earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of Notre Dame and continued his education at the Gregorian University where he earned his S.T.L. In 1998 he completed his License in Sacred Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family. He is currently serve as an adjunct spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College and has been an Official in the Congregation for Bishops since 2005.


Francis Rocca

RoccaBureau Chief, Catholic News Service. A native of Washington, DC, Rocca has been a working journalist based in Italy since 1999. From 2007 he was the Vatican correspondent for the Washington-based Religion News Service. He has been a frequent contributor to the Books, Taste, Leisure and Arts sections in the U.S. edition and to the editorial pages of the European and Asian editions of The Wall Street Journal since 1995. Currently, he writes the “European Life” column from Rome, every four weeks in the WSJ European edition. He is a past correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he covered Italian, Spanish and other Mediterranean universities. He also was managing editor of The American Spectator. In 2005, he co-authored with U.S. ambassador to the European Union Rockwell Schnabel, “The Next Superpower?”, an examination of the growing global influence of Europe. He also is the author of the 1991 book,“Fodor’s Virginia and Maryland.” Rocca has been published in numerous periodicals in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He holds a doctorate from Yale University, where he was a Fulbright scholar.



Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo

sanchez Pontifical Council for Latin America, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences. Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo was born in Buenos Aires and received his ordination to the priesthood on September 8, 1942. In 2001 he was named a bishop by John Paul II. In October of 1998, Bishop Sorondo was appointed the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and one year later he was also appointed as the Secretary Prelate of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. On July 19th 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Sorondo as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.




Card. Jean-Louis Tauran


card.j.l.tauran President, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauranwas, born in Bordeaux, France, holds licentiates in philosophy and theology and a degree in canon law. Following ordination, he served as parochial vicar in Bordeaux.  In March 1975 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature of the Dominican Republic, and was later transferred to the Apostolic Nunciature in Lebanon. He represented the Holy See at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and participated in various European conferences. On 6 January 1991 he was consecrated as titular Archbishop of Thelepte and appointed as Secretary of the Council (now known as the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State). He has led the Holy See Delegation at numerous international conferences. On 25 June 2007 he was nominated President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. He was created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Deaconry of S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine (St. Apollonius at the Neronian-Alexandrian Baths). Proto-deacon as of 21 February 2011.




Msgr. Paul Tighe


tigheMonsignor Paul Tighe has served as the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. He was previously the director of the Office for Public Affairs in the Dublin diocese. He graduated from UCD with a BCL degree in Law and was formerly the head of the Moral Theology department at the Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin. In July of 2014 he was appointed to serve as Secretary on the Committee for Vatican Media.


Rev. John Wauck


wauckProfessor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Rev. Prof. John Wauck (USA), a Chicago native, studied history and literature at Harvard University and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Prior to ordination, he wrote speeches for the attorney general of the United States and the governor of Pennsylvania. He has written for many publications, including American Scholar, Christian Science Monitor, The New Criterion, Beliefnet, and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly. He has also commented on Church affairs for CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, Associated Press TV, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Time magazine, and U.S. News and World Report. Currently he teaches Literature and Communication of the Faith at Santa Croce.




Prof. Stefano Zamagni


stefano-zamagni Professor, University of Bologna. Full Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Economics and Adjunct Professor of International Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center. He graduated from Catholic University in Milan in 1966 and from 1969 to 1973 he spent a research period in Oxford at Linacre College. Prof. Zamagni was a member of the Executive Committee of International Economy Association (1989-1999) and the Steering Committee of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Since 1991 he is a member of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences of Milan, the Academy of Sciences of Bologna and the Academy of Sciences of Modena. Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, New York. He was President of ICMC from 1999 to 2007 (an NGO based in Geneva dealing with migrant and refugee issues) and fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association (Harvard University). He was appointed (2007) President of the Italian Commission for Non Profit sector, Milan. Member of the Advisory Board of EURICSE, Trento. He is a member of the scientific committee of various economic journals and reviews. Author of several books and papers published in professional journals.