Chad Pecknold , associate professor, theology, was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report story on the role of Pope Francis in diplomacy in Cuba. See below.

Pope Francis Brokers Renewed Relations Between U.S. and Cuba

From: U.S. News & World Report Date: Dec. 17, 2014 Author: Teresa Welsh

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Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, says Gross' case was likely raised with Francis as well when he became pope in 2013. He says Vatican diplomacy is usually handled by cardinals and bishops who intervene on behalf of the pope.

"What I see as unusual here is the very personal touch of Francis in the sense of enabling the diplomatic corps' work through his own personal intervention," Pecknold says. "You can see now you have a pope who is hands on with Vatican diplomacy."

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