February 26, 2001
volume 12, no. 57

The cornerstone of Catholic publications today!

    When good things happen, the natural tendency is to relive them, to soak in everything we can. That is one reason we love our photo albums, why we relish rewatching old movie favorites and reruns of some of those treasured sitcoms of yesteryear like M.A.S.H. or the Dick Van Dyke Show, etc. The VCR has enabled us to relive these memories and, with the advent of the 8 mm camera, and today video cameras, with home videos of family events, reunions, Baptisms, First Communions, graduations, weddings and many "firsts" we can relive moments and feel many of those same emotions we first experienced. We relish looking back at our sons when they were toddlers - so innocent and carefree then. We overlook the fact that those younguns' parents may have aged a bit, put on a pound or two. Sometimes we shriek at the clothes styles we wore, the hair styles. That hits home especially when reviewing pictures and video of yours truly in the 70's. Ouch! What was I thinking? Stripes and plaid with a lime leisure suit? Did we really have ties and lapels that wide? Did I really own a Nehru jacket at one time? Hidden secrets of the past live in celluloid.

    With all those shocking revelations that we had been manipulated by the latest fads, it can leave one's sences in a moribund state. But then there are the kinds of memories that lift the soul and I can't think of anything better than the memories of this past year's Jubilee Year 2000. The year seemed to go by in a blur and I would venture to say many agree with that assessment and feel they weren't able to drink it all in. Therefore, we have decided to perpetuate the memories, to remind all of the spiritual gems each and every day offered, to savor what was intended so we can truly live the spirit and objectives of the Jubilee. It wasn't just a year-long celebration, but a blueprint for living as responsible, committed Catholics in the new millennium.

    Therefore, we have introduced this past week a special new feature called "Jubilee Moments to Remember" or "Jubilee Memories" in which we will endeavor to bring you what happened a year ago on each important Jubilee event. We coordinated it to begin with the Holy Father's start of his historic "Jubilee Journey" which we covered last year. We want to share with you again so all can soak in the significance of this milestone spiritual pilgrimage in retracing Salvation history, as well as many events that occurred in Rome that many may not have been aware. Each weekend there was a special jubilee celebration for various groups that, over the entire year, encompassed all walks of life. We want to relive those moments and share them with you, gaining greater insight into the meaning of the Jubilee. When you have a good thing, a great thing like the gems of the Jubilee, you don't discard it as "old news."

    To bring this home even more vividly we have received the gracious permission of Robert Moynihan, editor of INSIDE THE VATICAN magazine, to use their photos. These are not just your normal AP-like photo but images that tell a story like few can. They are the work of the magazine's masterful photographer Grzegorz Galazka who truly captures the moment and the emotions. Galazka is a fellow countryman of the Pope with nearly 20 years experience as an accomplished Vatican photo-journalist and has a special "coffee-table" collection of his greatest photos that will be released soon. We will notify you when it is available. With this exclusive agreement with INSIDE THE VATICAN we at The DAILY CATHOLIC will better be able to bring the Jubilee back into your heart and rekindle there the spirit intended by Pope John Paul II, and his expert Jubilee architect Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Secretary General of the committee that coordinated the Jubilee. This new feature, thanks to the cooperation of Robert and his staff, is a great addition for DAILY CATHOLIC readers.

    While these are great reminders, all photos are in gif format and quite small in order to load faster. Not only that, but you can't put The DAILY CATHOLIC on your coffee table at home. For one, the computer is too heavy, or, if it is a laptop, it clutters the room with cords everywhere. But there is a publication that belongs on the coffee table in every Catholic home and that is INSIDE THE VATICAN magazine. In fact, I will state unequivocally, that there isn't a better coffee table magazine - for that matter any magazine - out there for Catholics than INSIDE THE VATICAN. Bar none. If you want to keep up with what is happening inside the hallowed halls of the Holy See, nothing else compares - not even L'Osservatore Romano can match the depth and insight INSIDE THE VATICAN magazine offers. From it's beautiful covers to the back page it is chock full of Galazka's brilliant photos and excellent in-depth articles by an expert international cadre of experienced Vatican journalists. One of the leading Vatican writers is Antonio Gaspari, an Italian who knows his way around Vatican City. He has served many years as an award-winning journalist. He is complemented by June Hager and John Mallon, both Americans of extraordinary journalistic expertise who truly capture the essence of what they are writing about, ably assisted by John Drogin as editorial assistant. June also serves as the chief translator. There is also another Polish Journalist whose years of expertise are reflected in his writings. This is Dominik Morawksi. In addition Italian writers like Manuela Borraccino and Mariaceleste de Martino add to the splendid mix that melds into as near perfect harmony as any publication can achieve. The magazine is expertly laid out by Guiseppe Sabatelli, whose many years of publishing and layout design expertise truly show in each and every page. He is ably assisted by another Italian artist Stefano Navarrini who serves as chief illustrator. There are, of course, other contributors, but this knowledgable, professional crew, so well directed by Robert Moynihan bring home the crux of all they are striving to do: "Journalism must aspire to present the truth."

    The truth is something sorely lacking in so many publications today, especially in the secular media and, sadly, in many Catholic mediums where they endeavor to promote their own ideology that isn't always in harmony with Rome. INSIDE THE VATICAN is totally in harmony with Rome, though they don't aspire to labels. While they insist they are neither conservative or liberal in scope or presentation, we can assure you, from having read the publication cover to cover over the past six years, that they are very much in line with the Pontiff's philosophy and mindset.

    This excellent combination of journalism and photos that jump off the page could not be possible without the expert coordination of the editor Robert Moynihan. Robert is a Harvard grad with a Ph.D. from Yale. Talk about an Ivy-Leaguer! But he left the east coast behind to pursue his first love - journalism - in the eternal city where he has lived and worked for several years with his wife Priscilla whom he met and fell in love with while they were both at Harvard. They have two young sons Chris and Luke and the whole family is multi-lingual. Robert himself has mastered five languages which serves one well in communicating with ecclesial authorities from around the world.

    It was this fascination that lured him to the seat of Catholicism. After several years as a journalist in Rome, Robert realized there was a vast void in communications between what was truly occurring inside the Vatican and what the secular media was portraying. I venture to say had INSIDE THE VATICAN been available during and after Vatican II we wouldn't be in the terrible predicament of confusion in the Church in America as we are. In 1995 Robert realized it was time "to fill a gap we perceived in publishing Catholic affairs, where many publications, ranging from small Catholic journals to major international secular magazines, in the coverage of Catholic affairs in general and of the Vatican in particular, seemed to be partial, tendentious, superficial, or uncritical. We therefore aimed to be, in so far as was in our power, balanced, reasonable, thoughtful and probing." In order to do this, Robert was able to work out a Licence Agreement with Urbi et Orbi Communications in New Hope, Kentucky to print and distribute a magazine that would address these issues and bring into homes what truly was happening inside the Vatican.

    The first issue was published in April 1993. Robert recalls, "So many readers applauded our first effort that we were heartened enough to continue publishing." Five months later, with the staff intact, Robert published issue #1 for August-September 1993. The first issue had no issue number, as he calls it - the "zero" issue. But from 1994 on they began publishing monthly except for the combined summer issues in June-July and August-September. After all everyone needs a break and normally, except for last year's packed Jubilee schedule, things are pretty quiet in Rome from July through September and, as we can attest to, mighty hot weatherwise. They have published 75 issues to date over the last eight years, now in their ninth year of publishing. In addition, they have published numerous supplements for the Holy Father's Encyclicals and various Apostolic Letters and Exhortations.

    Back issues of most editions are still available for only $5. each. You can see what we're raving about by going to their website at But, in truth, you won't have an inkling of all INSIDE THE VATICAN offers until you see the magazine for yourself and read it cover to cover. It's a page-turner you can't put down!

    In the near future we will provide a special page showing all back issue covers and making it easier for you to subscribe to this fabulous magazine that, as we have said so many times, is a must for every Catholic family. I know Cyndi and I vie for who is going to read it first when it arrives each month in the mail. For me it is truly a highlight of the month and just Friday our February issue arrived and, as usual it is packed with in-depth essays with a 10-page spread of photos and articles on the new Cardinals just elevated to the Conclave this past week to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's frank admission that we are indeed "witnessing an apostasy" - something we have been saying for many years, especially here in the United States.

    There is a probing article on the aftermath of the trial in Naples in which Cardinal Michele Giordano was acquitted of charges of loan sharking and mafia connections. INSIDE THE VATICAN, in an essay by Giuseppe Di Leo, digs deeper into the politics that is so prevalent in society and also within the Church.

    There are features on the Jubilee in retrospect with yet another brilliant 20-page photo spread by Galazka as well as more on the beleaguered Pope Pius XII. Just last week Gaspari introduced his new book defending the Pontiff against the slanderous charges brought by John Cornwell in his book "Hitler's Pope" and which has been embraced by militant Jewish factions. Gaspari's documented work "The Jews Saved by Pius XII" clearly refutes any claims that the 260th successor of Peter was anti-Semetic, but rather did all in his power to save as many as he could. Just a few days ago one of New York's leading Rabbis came out in favor of awarding Pius the highest honor Israel can bestow to those who helped harbor Jews during World War II. INSIDE THE VATICAN has been at the forefront of the Pius XII controversy in providing the truth.

    You'll find various features of spiritual and cultural value and a fascinating background on the true significance of The Chair of Peter, the feast we celebrated this past Thursday. Besides delving into past treasures such as the exhibit this month on Charlemagne in the Vatican Museum and other works of art on exhibit, the staff also looks to the future, staying ahead of the rest with analyzing the causes and effects of the Church's impact and fruits in such places as China, the Mideast, and Russia, and the barometer between the Orthodox Church, both Greek and Russian, and the Holy See. In fact, in corresponding with Robert, I had wondered why I hadn't heard from him for three weeks. The explanation was simple. He had been in Kazan, Moscow and St. Petersburg. I had kiddingly commented he was just scoping out the vicinities before potential Papal Visits, but he explained he was checking these churches and talking with ecclesial authorities of where the famed icon of Our Lady of Kazan would be returned with the Pope's blessing. They carried a fascinating detailed essay in the December 2000 issue on the background of this prized and miraculous icon and how the Ukranians and Russians hold her in such esteem. This had been a follow-up to a cover story in the January 2000 issue on the Church in Russia and the inherent problems, which they continue in this month's issue with a fascinating feature "Building Bridges to the East" by Eva Ruth Palmieri. Just as John Paul II has focused on Russia, INSIDE THE VATICAN has been ahead of the curve in providing all the background possible for informed Catholics.

    In each issue you'll find a day-by-day accounting of the Holy Father's activities, and, on the back page, you'll find an amusing and helpful feature called "The Sacred and The Profane" by Friar Tuck, a British priest who delights in sharing the delights of Rome from restaurants to hostels and pensiones for those who, when in Rome, will be able to share what the Romans know.

    And this is just one issue and we haven't even scratched the surface. I can't endorse INSIDE THE VATICAN enough. They currently have a press run of 17,500 with a circulation of 15,000 mostly in the US with subscribers also in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, the Philippines and even India. Of course there are numerous subscribers in Rome as well. What is sad is that it should be 15 million circulation because INSIDE THE VATICAN is a must for all Catholics who truly care about their Faith. When you consider the cost of such a treasured publication, our question is how can you not afford to subscribe? An annual subscription is only $39.95 a year. That's less than $4 an issue. Have you checked out the price of monthly magazines lately? And none on the market can hold a candle to INSIDE THE VATICAN in quality and content, not to mention the all-important trust factor. Again, you can learn more by going to their web-page at or calling 800-789-9494 to subscribe.

    Like this publication, there are so many out there who have never heard of this stupendous publication INSIDE THE VATICAN. Those who discover The DAILY CATHOLIC for the first time are amazed by its quality, content and quantity in archives, and wonder why others don't know about it, why they hadn't heard of our site sooner. They'll feel the same way about INSIDE THE VATICAN. Like us, the staff does not have the funds to advertise or promote this excellent monthly magazine and, for some reason we cannot fathom, the bishops have not sought to inform their flocks of this bastion of truth. So it is left to the laity to spread the word. Robert has said if we can raise 1,000 subscriptions to INSIDE THE VATICAN through this publication, he'll foot the bill to bring us to Rome for a week on him. While that is quite an offer and we'd love to go, I'd like to offer you the reader the same opportunity. If you can raise 1,000 subscriptions to INSIDE THE VATICAN, I'll gladly bequeath that reward to you.

    The reason I say that is because our sole motivation for promoting this fantastic Catholic magazine is because it is so needed today when everyone is making up the rules as they go. There are so many out there who haven't got a clue what Rome is saying because most magazines and diocesan papers slant opinions to fit their ideology; not necessarily the bishop's but often the staffs of these publications forge policy and are even so bold as to consider themselves part of the Magisterium. We know that is totally false, but they are under that assumption and their own self-importance. So enconsed are they that many chanceries can do little about it because so many have been infiltrated with died-in-the-wool liberals who seek their own agenda, Rome be damned.

    That is one very important reason INSIDE THE VATICAN is so vital for Catholics. They bring Rome into your home. The three best magazines you can subscribe to as a Catholic are INSIDE THE VATICAN, The Catholic World Report and the New Oxford Review in that order. No offense but long-time pubs like America, St. Anthony's Messenger and even recent ones like Envoy can't hold a candle to the three listed above. That is because with INSIDE THE VATICAN you are literally getting it "right from the horse's mouth." Moynihan, Galazka, Gaspari, Hagar and the rest of the staff have access to the highest ecclesial curial members. They have an excellent rapport with Vatican Press Spokesman Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who has the Pope's ear every single day. INSIDE THE VATICAN shares this with all in a way everyone can comprehend and know what is truly happening inside the Vatican so they can better understand how they should truly live as loyal Catholics.

    Those who have known our integrity over the years will attest to the fact we promote very little unless we truly, truly believe in the product. That is why we endorsed Pro Life Communications so enthusiastically and now INSIDE THE VATICAN. Both are essential in helping us live as better Catholics. Through an agreement with Robert, we will also begin carrying special features and articles extolling the virtues of exemplary Catholics which we will debut in the future.

    In summary, we cannot recommend INSIDE THE VATICAN enough. It is, as Robert says, "for anyone who would like to know more about the role of the Holy See in guiding the spiritual lives of one billion Catholics and more about the extensive impact of the papacy in today's world. Perhaps the easiest way to describe this magazine is to say it is both 'a window on Rome' and 'a door' thorugh which one enters the Vatican. It is a window through which one sees the day-to-day activities of the Vatican, it is a door through which one can enter to encounter a variety of people and ideas. It provides in-depth interviews with the finest minds in the Church today, with saints - canonized and uncanonized - and with those who are trying to 'shake things up.' This magazine introduces its readers not only to movers and shakers of eccesiastical policy, but also to members of new and emerging groups that ecclesiastical leaders hardly know how to deal with. On the pages of INSIDE THE VATICAN one will find up-to-the-minute news reported with an eye on historical and theological contexts. The one feature that most immediately strikes the typical reader is the visual - the magazine's color photos of news stories and in its reproduction of great art works in its regular essays on Church art and architecture."

    Truly INSIDE THE VATICAN is a publishing architectural phenomenon in itself, radiating the beauty of our Faith in the spires of features and essays, all mirrored in the bigger-than-life full color images filling the pages of each issue, all documented in the construction of language that leaves little doubt as to it's growing reputation of becoming the cornerstone of Catholic publications today!

Michael Cain, editor

For past editorials, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives

February 26, 2001
volume 12, no. 57
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary
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