Joshua J. McElwee is NCR's news editor. He is a journalist who has been widely recognized for his in-depth reporting and penetrating analysis on the leadership of the global Catholic Church.

Previously NCR's Vatican correspondent from 2014-21, McElwee's dispatches from Rome and during papal trips abroad were frequently cited by his peers, and broadly seen as a touchstone for nuanced Vatican and papal coverage. 

Among McElwee's most noted work has been his years-long, tenacious coverage of Pope Francis' clergy abuse commission, which through a series of exclusive interviews with ex-members of the group revealed serious shortcomings to its work.

McElwee was also the first journalist to break the news of Pope Francis' promise during a meeting with an international group of sisters and nuns in 2016 to create a commission to study the history of the ordination of women as deacons in the Catholic Church.

McElwee's reporting on the scene from the closed-door encounter, which sparked a global media frenzy, is sometimes credited with ensuring that Francis went forward with the creation of the Vatican's eventual Study Commission on the Women's Diaconate.

McElwee is the co-editor, alongside Cindy Wooden, of A Pope Francis Lexicon, a collection of 54 essays exploring the unique words Pope Francis has used in his ministry. 

A graduate of The Catholic University of America, McElwee has reported for NCR from 39 countries and traveled in the press pool abroad with Pope Francis 24 times. He often appears as an expert on television and radio programs such as National Public Radio's Morning Edition, BBC's World Service, and PRI's The World.

 

Show full bio ↓
Analysis

No, Pope Francis did not cancel a meeting with President Biden

Pope Francis did not meet U.S. President Joe Biden today, June 15. Despite conservative media reports to the contrary, it does not appear the pope ever planned to do so.

Francis names South Korean bishop as new head of Vatican's clergy office

Pope Francis on June 11 named a South Korean bishop who has spent four decades in ministry in that country as the new head of the Vatican office charged with overseeing Catholic priests and deacons around the world.

Francis rejects Cardinal Marx's resignation but admits 'catastrophe' of abuse crisis

Pope Francis on June 10 declined to accept the resignation offered by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the failures of the Catholic Church's response to clergy sexual abuse but admitted the global institution's handling of abuse over decades had been a "catastrophe."

Beyond Biden: Bishop McKnight hopes bishops discuss Francis' new catechist role

Bishop Shawn McKnight hopes the prelates discuss Pope Francis' creation of a new official ministry in the church for lay men and women who teach the fundamentals of the faith.

Pages