Joshua J. McElwee

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.


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