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  • Writer's pictureBree A. Dail

Interview: Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register Talks about Covering the Vatican

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

(Published on

On day two of the Lumen Fidei Conference on the Family in Ireland last week, I was able to sit down with a number of the speakers presenting, for my new show on Buzz Patterson’s “Power & Patriots,” Conversations in Discomfiture. The show itself targets a secular (albeit conservative) audience. The premise? Interviews, roundtables, and investigations on uncomfortable topics – and the “World Meeting of Families” provided ample opportunity for those.

Those of us attending the Lumen Fidei conference were not too surprised that only Cardinals Wuerl and O’Malley had (reluctantly) withdrawn from attendance at the Vatican-endorsed one, taking place at the same time – just down the road, in Dublin. After all, even as the Pennsylvanian investigation into the sex abuse scandals had engulfed many of the U.S. headlines the week prior, the saccharine, heterodox agenda being pushed abroad had successfully smoke-screened most of the abuse crisis from the general public. News that Fr. James Martin’s keynote was fully attended, and that Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga had crooned, adoringly, over the merits of the current pontiff, had reached us by midday.

By that time, Edward Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register, had granted me an exclusive interview. I was fully aware of the professional honor it was to speak with him on the many issues spewing from the Vatican. Little did I know, however, that he had already been briefed on what was about to burst forth in the days ahead – the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

Those who have followed Pentin’s career can easily recall the repulsive episode when he was attacked by Cardinal Walter Kasper, who sought to discredit Pentin’s personal and professional integrity. On that occasion, after Pentin reported that Kasper had made what was arguably a racist comment about the African bishops, Kasper accused Pentin of making the whole thing up. Pentin, however, had recorded the whole interview, and Kasper was left looking like a liar. (You can read a bit more about that in a blog post today by John-Henry Westin of LifeSiteNews, who defends Pentin from accusations made by Cardinal Maradiaga, the top adviser to Pope Francis, that Pentin is a “‘hit man’ who practises media harassment”).

As you see in the following interview, however, Pentin – while fair and balanced, as always – had already anticipated the backlash for breaking the Viganò revelations. A transcript of the video follows.



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