John Allen, the veteran Vatican reporter who has covered Catholicism and the Holy See for the National Catholic Reporter for more than a decade, will be leaving that publication and joining the Boston Globe as an associate editor, it was announced today.
Allen, who has written nine books on topics relating to the Catholic faith and serves as CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, will also be working with the Globe staff on exploring “the very real possibility of launching a free-standing publication devoted to Catholicism, drawing in other correspondents and leading voices from near and far,” according to a press release put out by the newspaper.
NCR’s editor, Dennis Coday, published a blog post on the announcement:
Although John will be working a similar beat as he did with NCR and in one sense will be a competitor, we look forward to a continued friendly, professional relationship as colleagues carried out in mutual respect.
When John called me this morning to let me know the announcement was coming from The Boston Globe, he asked me to share this with the NCR readers:
“Although it’s time for me to take on a new challenge, I know I’m leaving the paper in great hands and that it will continue to produce the kind of reporting and analysis that make it absolutely indispensable.”
Terry Mattingly, who has long advocated for the hiring of top-notch, knowledgeable journalists to cover religion for mainstream news organizations, praised Allen’s move to the Globe, which received a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its reporting on the clergy sex abuse scandals:
For several decades now, I have been telling mainstream newsroom managers that all they have to do to improve religion-news coverage is to approach the beat the same way that they approach any other major news beat that they respect, such as sports, politics, education, crime and, of course, entertainment gossip. … They. Hired. A. Pro. Just do it, editors.