Wooden is named chief of CNS Rome bureau

Cindy Wooden (CNS/Paul Haring)

Cindy Wooden (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic News Service announced June 16 that Cindy Wooden will be the new chief of the CNS Rome bureau.

Wooden, who has worked in the Rome bureau since 1989, starts in the position July 1. She will be the first woman to hold the position of bureau chief.

“Cindy Wooden is a valued member of Catholic News Service, and her tenure as senior correspondent in Rome has been exemplary. She is one of the most esteemed members of the Vatican press corps. She brings an extraordinary depth of experience, accomplishment and news savvy to the position of bureau chief,” said Tony Spence, CNS director and editor-in-chief.

As Rome bureau chief, Wooden will lead a staff of six people who cover daily the activities of Pope Francis and the Roman Curia. The bureau also reports on global issues that affect the church and society.

“I am honored by this appointment, which comes at an exciting time in the life of the church. With the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, his imminent trip to South America, his upcoming trip to Cuba and the United States and the opening of the world Synod of Bishops on the family, we have our work cut out for us,” Wooden said in a statement.

“Fortunately, the Rome bureau is filled with talented and energetic professionals who have proven they are up to the task of covering a challenging and passionate pope. With the guidance, assistance and collaboration of the staff in Washington, I am confident we will serve our clients well and provide Catholic readers with the information they need as they live out their faith,” she said.

Wooden joined CNS in 1988 after four years with The Northwest Catholic Progress in Seattle. She served as a general assignment reporter and on the international desk writing and editing stories from correspondents worldwide.

She joined the CNS Rome bureau in 1989 and became senior correspondent in 1997. Wooden has covered church events around the world, including 24 papal trips. She has represented CNS as a speaker at various symposia.

In addition, Wooden has served for 13 years as the officer of the Association of Accredited Journalists at the Vatican, for which she organizes press pools for papal trips and the pope’s meetings with heads of governments and states. She has been acting bureau chief since March 1.

With photographs by CNS Rome photographer, Paul Haring, she wrote “Pope Francis: A Guide to God’s Time,” which was published in 2014 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and LEV, the Vatican publishing house. Her biography of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, will be published by Liturgical Press this summer.

A graduate of Seattle University, Wooden furthered her Jesuit education at the Pontifical Gregorian University, studying interreligious dialogue with an emphasis on Islam and Judaism.

Wooden succeeds Francis X. Rocca, who now is the Wall Street Journal’s Vatican correspondent.

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