Joshua McElwee, the National Catholic Reporter's longtime, award-winning Vatican correspondent, has been named the publication's national news editor. McElwee also has served as NCR's international news editor since 2020.
"Josh's solid news judgment, his extensive knowledge of the church and his commitment to NCR's values — especially journalistic excellence — make him the perfect person to help lead our news coverage," said executive editor Heidi Schlumpf.
McElwee has offered standard-setting coverage of the papacy of Pope Francis since he was named Vatican correspondent in 2014, after being part of NCR's team covering the 2013 papal conclave. As part of that role, he has reported for the publication from nearly 40 countries and traveled in the press pool abroad with Francis 24 times.
As Vatican correspondent, McElwee has interviewed church leaders from around the world, offered wall-to-wall coverage of numerous Vatican events, and uncovered scandals and news items attracting international attention.
Among those highlights, McElwee was the first journalist to reveal the pope's promise during a closed-door meeting with Catholic women religious in 2016 to form a commission to study the possibility of ordaining women deacons. He also tenaciously covered the pope's clergy abuse commission, revealing tensions among its members and shortcomings to its work.
A graduate of The Catholic University of America, McElwee came to NCR as an intern in 2009. He previously served as NCR's staff writer and national correspondent, and is the co-editor, with Cindy Wooden, of A Pope Francis Lexicon, a collection of 54 essays exploring the unique words Francis has used in his ministry. He often appears as an expert on television and radio programs.
McElwee will begin as national news editor this summer. He and his wife, Kate, plan to be based in the Washington, D.C., area.
NCR will start the search for McElwee's successor on the Vatican beat shortly.