The fact is, the NCR is not a “Catholic” paper or news source. That was established years ago. But clearly NCR has worked incessantly to find every negative thing possible about Bp. Finn, and the tell it over and over again, in a way even Goebbels would admire, so that were Bp. Finn ever to exercise his office as bishop of the place where NCR is published, they could accuse him of retribution.
Talk about deflection of the most sinister kind.
In the newest edition of the diocesan paper of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Bp. Finn’s diocese, the bishop has an interesting column in which he calls out the NCR.
The paper has been released, though as I write this is not on the diocesan website yet.
Bishop Finn wrote a column entitled
The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media.
He cites canon law and explains it and talks about the diocesan paper.
Then he writes:
In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have 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 establised Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.
My predecessor bishops have taken different approches to the challenge. Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail. From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades.
When early in my tenure I requested that the paper submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law, they declined to participate indicating that they considered themselves and “independent newspaper which commented on ‘things Catholic.'” At other times, correspondence has seemed to reach a dead end.
In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name “Catholic.” While I remain open to substantive and respectful discussion with the legitimate representatives of NCR, I find that my ability to influence the National Catholic Reporter toward fidelity to the Church seems limited to the supernatural level. For this we pray: St. Francis DeSales, intercede for us.