Joshua J. McElwee is NCR's Vatican correspondent and international 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.

McElwee's dispatches from Rome and during papal trips abroad are frequently cited by his peers, and broadly seen as a touchstone for nuanced Vatican and papal coverage. 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.

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 previously served as NCR's national correspondent, based in Washington, DC. 

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 38 countries and traveled in the press pool abroad with Pope Francis 23 times. He and his wife Kate serve on the pastoral council of Rome's Caravita community.

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Vatican's Cardinal Becciu renounces the cardinalate in shocking move

One of the highest-ranking cardinals in the Catholic Church resigned his Vatican post unexpectedly Sept. 24, with the city-state giving no explanation for the dismissal.

Catholic women criticize 'mansplaining' of pope's masculine encyclical title

Prominent Catholic women across the globe are continuing to raise objections to the title of Pope Francis' forthcoming new encyclical, "Fratelli tutti," which uses the Italian masculine plural to address the world's population.

Vatican cardinal defends issuing fidelity oaths to Irish priest Tony Flannery

The head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal congregation Sept. 22 defended his office's request that an Irish priest sign four strict oaths of fidelity to Catholic teachings, saying the move, while "very unpleasant," was part of their duty as the global church's orthodoxy watchdogs.

Vatican reaffirms opposition to euthanasia, warns such patients cannot receive sacraments

The Vatican is firmly reiterating its objection to the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, calling the intentional killing of sick patients an "intrinsically evil act" akin to murder and warning that legislators who approve such laws "become accomplices of a grave sin."  

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