A Blogger Blessed With Great Vatican Sources

Pope Francis' Sept. 26 visit to Philadelphia will bring Rocco Palmo full circle.

The first paragraph of Rocco Palmo’s bio at Whispers in the Loggia puts his Vatican reporting success in full context:

One of global Catholicism’s most prominent chroniclers, Palmo has held court as the “Church Whisperer” since 2004, when the pages you’re reading were launched with an audience of three, grown since by nothing but word of mouth, and kept alive throughout solely by means of reader support.

Over the years, Palmo has been the subject of many glowing media profiles. With Pope Francis’ U.S. visit just around the corner, it’s the turn of George Lettis, a reporter with Baltimore TV station WBAL:

Palmo’s papal reporting was inspired by his Catholic upbringing in south Philadelphia and his father, who worked at the renowned Philadelphia Daily News for 30 years.

“I was fascinated by both, and I’m like, ‘How do you bring this together?’ Well, boom, there’s something called the Vatican that’s the oldest government on Earth, and it makes for fascinating news story. On any given day, there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world,” Palmo said.

Asked if the Vatican is difficult to cover as a journalist, Palmo said, “Anything is tough to cover if you want to get the story right. It’s a very secretive world.”

Palmo is an avid sports fan, using several sports analogies in the interview and, on Twitter, hoping his Eagles will win tonight’s season opener against Atlanta. Next week, the blogger will be writing about the Sept. 26 Philadelphia celebration for Pope Francis, which has just added Mark Wahlberg and Aretha Franklin as participants. The pontiff will be in the U.S. Sept. 22-27.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
AP Is All Over the Papal Chair Beat

[Screen grab via: wbaltv.com]