Bishop says National Catholic Reporter isn’t Catholic

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph in Missouri says the National Catholic Reporter — published in his diocese — rejects Church teachings and should not call itself Catholic, but the paper insists it is “proud to call itself a Catholic publication”.

In a column for World Communications Day in his diocesan paper, The Catholic Key, Bishop Finn said he had a responsibility to “instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name ‘Catholic’ ”.

He said he had been “deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues”.

Bishop Finn — who was once editor of the St Louis diocesan newspaper — said he had asked the Reporter to “submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law” but the paper declined to participate, indicating it considered itself an “independent newspaper which commented on ‘things Catholic’ ”.

The 49-year-old Reporter, which describes itself as “one of the few independent journalistic outlets for Catholics and others who struggle with the complex moral and societal issues of the day”, has won many awards for its journalism.

Last year it called for Bishop Finn to resign after he became the first bishops in the United States to be convicted of failing to report a priest suspected of child sex-abuse.

Reponding to Bishop Finn’s column, the Reporter’s publisher, Thomas Fox, said his paper had enjoyed cordial relations with most of his predecessors, one of whom blessed its building.

He added: “NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication. We report and comment on church matters, including official teachings. We also report and comment on those who call into question some of these official teachings.”


The Catholic Key

National Catholic Reporter

Image: USA Today

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