David Gibson, Religion News Service

David Gibson is an award-winning religion journalist, author, filmmaker, and a convert to Catholicism. He came by all those vocations by accident, or Providence, during a longer-than-expected sojourn in Rome in the 1980s.

Gibson began his journalistic career as a walk-on sports editor and columnist at The International Courier, a tiny daily in Rome serving Italy's English-language community. He then found work as a newscaster across the Tiber at Vatican Radio, an entity he sees as a cross between NPR and Armed Forces Radio for the pope. The Jesuits who ran the radio were charitable enough to hire Gibson even though he had no radio background, could not pronounce the name "Karol Wojtyla" (go ahead -- try it) and wasn't Catholic --- at the time.

When Gibson returned to the United States in 1990 he returned to print journalism to cover the religion beat in his native New Jersey for two dailies and to write for leading magazines and newspapers in the New York area. Among other journalism prizes, Gibson has won the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year Award, the top honor for journalists covering religion in the secular press, and has twice won the top prize writing on religion from the American Academy of Religion.

Gibson currently writes for Religion News Service and until recently was covering the religion beat for AOL's Politics Daily. He blogs at Commonweal magazine, and has written two books on Catholic topics, the latest a biography of Pope Benedict XVI. He would like to write another -- but can’t seem to find the time.

He has co-written documentaries on early Christian and Jewish history for CNN, and recently worked on a March 2011 History Channel special on the Vatican. He currently has several other film projects in development. Gibson has written for leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, Boston magazine, Fortune, Commonweal, America and, yes, The Ladies Home Journal.

Gibson is a longtime member of the Religion Newswriters Association.  He and his wife and daughter live in Brooklyn.

Posts By This Author

Pope Francis' New Cardinal Choices Illustrate the Church's Continued Shift

Cardinals hold palm branches at the start of the Palm Sunday Mass led by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on March 20. REUTERS/Max Rossi

With these picks, the third round of cardinal appointments Francis has made since he himself was elected pope in 2013, he did a number of nontraditional things that have become almost customary for him:

First of all, he moved the church’s center of gravity further away from the Old World and toward the “peripheries,” as he says, by selecting more cardinals (six total) from Africa, Asia, and Oceania than from Europe (five).

Is This The Tipping Point for Christians Supporting Trump?

Donald Trump and Hillarry Clinton at the Oct. 9 presidential debate in St. Louis. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

But even after a weekend spent huddling in Manhattan plotting strategy, a crucial question for the Republican nominee was whether this latest outrage would finally repel conservative Christians who are key to the GOP’s hopes for recapturing the White House.

So far the verdict appears mixed.

'Liturgy Shaming' Is a Growing Internet Phenomenon

Image via Tatjana Splichal/Shutterstock.com

In a telephone interview, Bornhoft stood by his critique, but said he understood the sense of powerlessness that seemed to motivate many liturgy shamers:

“There are a lot of liturgical issues today and they don’t trust that leadership can do anything. So they see liturgy shaming as an important and effective tool we didn’t have before.”

Indeed, diehard traditionalists — who tend to be the main liturgy-shamers — say the stakes are too high and they don’t feel they have a choice.

Trump, Clinton to Trade Jokes Instead of Barbs at Al Smith Dinner

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

“The presidential nominees will share the dais with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and they will deliver the evening’s speeches in the spirit of collegiality and good-humor that has become a hallmark of the gala,” said a statement issued Sept. 27 by the New York Archdiocese and the foundation that runs the event.

The Oct. 20 dinner “honors a cause that transcends the polarizing political rhetoric of the day and exemplifies the vision of Gov. Alfred E. Smith, known as ‘The Happy Warrior,’ for his ability to maintain his positive outlook even as he tackled the pressing social issues of his day,” the statement said.

Does the Pope Ever Fall in Love?

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Centuries ago, of course, the love lives of the popes — and cardinals and various powerful prelates — became a source of constant fascination and scandal. In these days of great anxiety in the church about the role of gays and gay rights, leaking stories about papal crushes can also be useful for signaling that a pope is straight, and not just straight but also virile and seriously attractive to women, an attraction he naturally must renounce.

But it’s still a balancing act — trying to advertise a pontiff’s shared humanity with the flock while not encouraging prurient speculation.

Mother Teresa Is 'Saint of the Doubters,' Says Author

Image via RNS/Reuters/Savita Kirloskar

The Rev. James Martin is a Jesuit priest and popular author who wrote about his lifelong fascination with the saints and the many aspects of sainthood in the Catholic tradition in the best-selling book My Life With the Saints.

Loyola Press is issuing a 10th anniversary edition of Martin’s memoir in September, which also coincides with the Sept. 4 canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who even during her lifetime – she died in 1997 – was regarded by millions as a “living saint” for her work with the destitute in India and around the world.

Pope Francis and Mark Zuckerberg Aren't Facebook Friends ...Yet

Image via RNS/Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis is the king of Twitter and other social media outlets but he’s still not on Facebook, the most dominant digital platform in the world.

Will that change following his meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Aug. 29?

Cardinal Burke: 'I Will Never Be Part of a Schism' Within Catholic Church

Image via RNS/REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Ever since Pope Francis was elected in March 2013, he has faced strong opposition from traditionalists unhappy with his push for church reforms — and the face of that opposition has often been Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American prelate who has worked in senior positions in Rome for most of the past decade.

Police, Muslims Seek Answers After Cleric and Associate Killed in Queens

Community members and religious leaders gather at the mosque of Imam Maulama Akonjee, who was shot to death along with an associate on Aug. 13, while walking nearby after prayers. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Stephanie Keith.

Police were questioning a possible suspect in the double homicide of a popular imam and his associate in Queens but there was still no clear motive even as the shocking daylight murders were becoming a flashpoint in the national debate over anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Authorities and news reports on Monday said police had taken a “person of interest” into custody on unrelated charges and were interrogating him about the Saturday shootings of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his associate, Tharam Uddin, 64.

Top Catholic Bishops Criticize Biden for Officiating at Gay Marriage

Vice President Joe Biden talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 29, 2016. Courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi 

When Vice President Joe Biden last week tweeted a photo of himself proudly officiating at the same-sex civil wedding of two White House staffers, it quickly became fodder for news stories and commentary both pro and con — the latter by religious conservatives who thought Biden was betraying his Catholic faith and deserved a rebuke.