Religion Unplugged

The most compelling headlines from Pope Francis’ ‘penitential pilgrimage’ to Canada

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-in” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Subscribe now to get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Got feedback or ideas? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

Pope Francis made a “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada this week to apologize to Indigenous peoples for abuses at church-run residential schools.

Rome-based journalists traveling with Francis did an excellent job covering the historic trip.

I’m talking about folks such as Religion News Service’s Claire Giangravé, the Wall Street Journal’s Francis X. Rocca and the National Catholic Reporter’s Christopher White.

But a single correspondent can’t match the powerful reporting of a global team of religion writers, such as that assembled by The Associated Press.

Besides Vatican reporter Nicole Winfield, AP dispatched Pulitzer-winning religion writer Peter Smith, whose home base is Pittsburgh, and Rob Gillies, its bureau chief in Toronto, to cover the papal visit. Other writers, such as David Crary, Holly Meyer and Anita Snow, helped with the various angles. (That’s not even to mention the amazing photography of the global religion team’s Jessie Wardarski.)

The result: a stellar package highlighted by headlines such as these:

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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