Joshua J. McElwee is NCR's Vatican correspondent and international news editor. He is a journalist who has been widely recognized for his in-depth reporting and penetrating analysis on the leadership of the global Catholic Church.

McElwee's dispatches from Rome and during papal trips abroad are frequently cited by his peers, and broadly seen as a touchstone for nuanced Vatican and papal coverage. He often appears as an expert on television and radio programs such as National Public Radio's Morning Edition, BBC's World Service, and PRI's The World.

Among McElwee's most noted work has been his years-long, tenacious coverage of Pope Francis' clergy abuse commission, which through a series of exclusive interviews with ex-members of the group revealed serious shortcomings to its work.

McElwee was also the first journalist to break the news of Pope Francis' promise during a meeting with an international group of sisters and nuns in 2016 to create a commission to study the history of the ordination of women as deacons in the Catholic Church.

McElwee's reporting on the scene from the closed-door encounter, which sparked a global media frenzy, is sometimes credited with ensuring that Francis went forward with the creation of the Vatican's eventual Study Commission on the Women's Diaconate.

McElwee previously served as NCR's national correspondent, based in Washington, DC. 

McElwee is the co-editor, alongside Cindy Wooden, of A Pope Francis Lexicon, a collection of 54 essays exploring the unique words Pope Francis has used in his ministry. 

A graduate of The Catholic University of America, McElwee has reported for NCR from 38 countries and traveled in the press pool abroad with Pope Francis 23 times. He and his wife Kate serve on the pastoral council of Rome's Caravita community.

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Sister at Amazon synod calls for women religious to be granted vote

One of the Catholic sisters taking part in the Vatican's Synod of Bishops for the Amazon has called for women religious attending the gathering to be granted the right to vote, saying their status as non-voting participants has been a "strong topic" of discussion.

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Theologians praise pope's historic appointment of women as members of Vatican congregation

The lack of women members of the religious congregation had drawn special scrutiny in recent years, as Vatican statistics estimate that there are about four times as many women in Catholic religious orders compared to men. Francis' appointments for the religious congregation, which is formally named the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, were announced July 8.

UISG president says group is considering publishing women deacons report

Beyond originally requesting the creation of the women deacons commission, the International Union of Superiors General has pressed for greater involvement of women religious in synods of bishops and in the workings of the Vatican office that oversees the world's religious orders. Claretian Missionary Sr. Jolanda Kafka, UISG's new president, said she believed that such advocacy for women's leadership had now become obligatory for her organization, which represents some 450,000 sisters and nuns worldwide.

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