Benedictions: The Pope in America

By Amy Ellis Nutt c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW YORK — Julia Winter was tending to her flock, passing out sheets of paper printed with the prayers and songs for the “Deutsche Messe.” Here at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church last Sunday (April 6), the slightly stooped but elegant octogenarian looked much like the…

Surely one of the most spiritually and visually powerful moments of the papal visit will be Benedict’s stop at Ground Zero on Sunday morning, April 20, the final day of the visit. The pontiff will not give an address, but will be led to the site by Cardinal Edward Egan and will kneel for a…

Renee K. Gadoua Religion News Service On the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States next week, his approval rating among U.S. Catholics is 70 percent, according to a LeMoyne College/Zogby International poll released Wednesday (April 9). But that still doesn’t top the popularity of his predecessor, John Paul II. The…

By Benedicta Cipolla c. 2008 Religion News Service In case you’ve missed the countless news articles, blog posts and television segments, the leader of 1.13 billion Catholics is coming to America. When Pope Benedict XVI makes his first trip to the United States April 15-20, with stops in Washington and New York, he will claim…

In March 2006, Benedict XVI visited the offices of Radio Vaticana at the end of Via della Conciliazione, the wide boulevard in front of St. Peter’s, and went home with an iPod nano, courtesy of the radio staff. The 2-gig nano was engraved with the words “To His Holiness, Benedict XVI” in Italian and was…

Brittani Hamm c. 2008 Religion News Service Anyone who’s ever tried to buy a birthday present for an octogenarian grandparent knows the dilemma: What do you buy for someone who seems to have everything and need nothing? Pope Benedict XVI turns 81 on Wednesday (April 16) during his stop in Washington, and Catholic school students…

Associated Press VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI hopes his trip to the United States later this month will be seen as a sign of friendship toward all Christian denominations and other religions. Benedict has asked the faithful to pray for the success of his April 15-20 trip to Washington and New York. He will…

Actually, that phrase should be a contradiction in terms. But it’s up to you to decide if a “Christ Our Hope” slim-fit ladies t-shirt is in better taste than the Pope Bobblehead (see post below) that did not please the Archdiocese of Washington. Nothing like the free market to work it out, and the church…

The pope is very green–as in eco-minded–but his zucchetto, or skullcap, has to be white. That’s one lesson the Washington metro authority learned, the hard way, when it had to yank a YouTube promo video encouraging people to take the Metro to Nationals Stadium to see the papal mass next week. The video featured a…

With the price tag on the Washington end of the papal trip topping $3 million, I guess everyone has to pitch in…Well, this gem is actually by way of Thomas Peters, aka the American Papist, and a friend who sent him the snap after choir practice at the National Shrine in DC. (He’ll be singing…

David Gibson
about

David Gibson

DAVID GIBSON is an award-winning religion journalist, author, filmmaker, and a convert to Catholicism. He came by all those vocations by accident, or Providence, during a longer-than-expected sojourn in Rome in the 1980s.

Gibson began his journalistic career as a walk-on sports editor and columnist at The International Courier, a small daily in Rome serving Italy's English-language community. He then found a job as a newscaster and writer across the Tiber at the English Programme at Vatican Radio, an entity he describes as a cross between NPR and Armed Forces Radio for the pope. The Jesuits who ran the radio were charitable enough to hire Gibson even though he had no radio background, could not pronounce the name "Karol Wojtyla," and wasn't Catholic. Time and experience overcame all those challenges, and Gibson went on to cover dozens of John Paul II's overseas trips, including papal visits to Africa, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

When Gibson returned to the United States in 1990 he returned to print journalism to cover the religion beat in his native New Jersey for two dailies. He worked first for The Record of Hackensack, and then for The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, winning the nation's top awards in religion writing at both places. In 1999 he won the Supple Religion Writer of the Year contest, and in 2000 he was chosen as the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year. Gibson is a longtime board member of the Religion Newswriters Association and he is a contributor to ReligionLink, a service of the Religion Newswriters Foundation.

Since 2003, David Gibson has been an independent writer specializing in Catholicism, religion in contemporary America, and early Christian history. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Boston Magazine, Commonweal, America, The New York Observer, Beliefnet and Religion News Service. He has produced documentaries on early Christianity for CNN and other networks and has traveled on assignment to dozens of countries, with an emphasis on reporting from Europe and the Middle East. He is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on the major cable and broadcast networks. He is also a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on Catholicism, religion in America, and journalism.

Gibson's first book, The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism (HarperSanFrancisco), was published in 2003 and deals with the church-wide crisis revealed by the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The book was widely hailed as a "powerful" and "first-rate" treatment of the crisis from "an academically informed journalist of the highest caliber."

His second book, The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World (HarperSanFrancisco), came out in 2006 and is the first full-scale treatment of the Ratzinger papacy--how it happened, who he is, and what it means for the Catholic Church. The Rule of Benedict has been praised as "an exceptionally interesting and illuminating book" from "a master storyeller."

Born and raised in New Jersey, David Gibson studied European history at Furman University in South Carolina and spent a year working on Capitol Hill before moving to Italy. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter and is working on a book about conversion, and on several film and television projects.

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