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Bill's Blog: Balleza covers the Vatican summit on sex abuse of minors

Bill Balleza in Rome, Italy, on Feb. 20, 2019.

ROME – KPRC2's Bill Balleza is in Rome, Italy, to cover the Vatican summit on the prevention of sex abuse of minors.

Bill, along with KPRC2 producer Debbie Strauss, is posting a blog-like journal of his coverage of the big stories on his trip, as well as behind-the-scenes photos and videos.

Follow Bill on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for more coverage, and look for his live reports on KPRC Channel 2 News.

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019

When you're a journalist sometimes you are afforded the opportunity to travel to beautiful places like Rome. If you're truly fortunate, you get the chance to sample the local cuisine.

Tonight, the KPRC team dined on a delicacy ... Pringles!

The standard chives and onion were not too shabby.

We really went wild with Ham & Cheese. They tasted like a French Croque Monsieur.

And finally, Ketchup.  Smelled just like... ketchup. 

It was a great taste test, but I'm ready for a Whataburger!

Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

Is a four-day summit enough for survivors?

Today survivors of clergy abuse met with the UN Ambassador to Vatican City. A handful of representatives from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), Bishop Accountability and ECA (End Clergy Abuse) met with Ambassador Gingrich. This was the first-ever meeting between survivors and a UN Ambassador.

Waiting outside the Vatican Embassy

They were joined by Mark Rozzi, a legislator from Pennsylvania.

Rozzi PA legislator and Dr Denise Buchanan ECA Board Member and Global Coordinator

Mark Rozzi PA legislator and Dr Denise Buchanan ECA Board Member and Global Coordinator met with US Vatican Ambassador Gingrich and her staffers.

Earlier in the day, SNAP delegates from the U.S. delivered a letter to the office of the Mother Superior.

SNAP delivers letter

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

Seminarians from Texas study at Vatican

The Pontifical North American College is tucked away behind St. Peters Square in the Vatican. It’s where American seminarians with the most promise are selected to complete the final four years of theological study before ordination to the priesthood.

Fourteen seminarians from Texas are studying at NAC.

I chatted with 25-year-old Joe White from Lake Jackson. He graduated from Brazoswood High School in 2013 and he was an altar boy at St. Michael’s Church.

Joe White from Lake Jackson is studying at the Pontifical North American College.

Seminarian Sam Bass is from Austin.

Bass first thought about becoming a priest while he was in college.

Rome is different from Austin, but he feels a sense of honor and responsibility to bring what he learns back home.

Seminarian Sam Bass said he feels a sense of honor and responsibility to bring what he learns back home.

Ismael Rodriguez, of Dallas, was the first seminarian in eight years from his Diocese to go to NAC. Being in the seminary is more than a brotherhood for Rodriguez. He eats with the other seminarians, studies with them and prays with them.

Ismael Rodriguez, of Dallas, was the first seminarian in eight years from his Diocese to go to NAC. Being in the seminary is more than a brotherhood for Rodriguez. He eats with the other seminarians, studies with them and prays with them.

 

 

 

A working dinner of takeout pasta as we prepare our reports from the Vatican for this evening’s newscasts, with photojournalist, Byron Nichols and producer, Debbie Levy Strauss.

Posted by KPRC2 Bill Balleza on Thursday, February 21, 2019

VIDEO: Local seminarian in Vatican City

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019

Today is our first day in Rome. We landed at noon and quickly made our way over to the Vatican's North American College. A select few seminarians from the United States are studying here for the priesthood. We spent time today interviewing Cardinal Daniel DiNardo at the NAC.

 

 

You can watch the interview below.

In the 1980s the cardinal was a professor at the NAC. This is also where the cardinal is staying during the four-day summit.

 

 

 

Back to Rome; this time to report on a Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church.

Posted by KPRC2 Bill Balleza on Monday, February 18, 2019