Your Excellencies: Tell the National ‘c’atholic Reporter to drop the term “Catholic”

I see the other day, election day, that The National Catholic Reporter – aka Fishwrap –  pandered for The First Gay President, effectively begging Catholics to endanger our nation and their souls by voting for him.  They have an editorial in which they gush about supporters of homosexual “marriage” and applaud unnatural act promoters in another article.  In another editorial they attack bishops who publicly uphold the Church’s teachings as extremists.  They also have a panegyric of the late Card. Bernardin, whose “seamless garment” notion gave permission to Catholics to support pro-abortion positions and politicians.

I love this quote from the editorial about US bishops as extremists:

“Were their words and actions during the recent election season the kind of discourse that informs and persuades or did they contribute to the partisan shrillness that we hope our teachers are educating youngsters to rise above as they mature into voting citizens?”

Are they talking about the bishops? Or the Nuns on the Bus?

Again, abortion is the sacrament of the religion of liberalism.  As such, liberals will not permit that it be endangered.  They will therefore shill for those who will even expand it and make us tax payers pay for it against our properly-formed Catholic consciences.

To this end, Fishwrap has a hit piece against Bp. Walter Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa because he bought a half page ad in Sunday’s Sioux City Journal.  He has something to say how to vote.  NCR didn’t like his message.

“But Father! But Father!” you might be asking, “What did Bp. Nickless write?  Is he bad?”

Apparently Bp. Nickless is very bad indeed, as far as the Fishwrap is concerned.

Here is the offending ad:

How we vote in the upcoming election is of the utmost importance. Even our salvation may depend on it. Many moral and prudential issues are at stake, and Catholics are not single-issue voters. But one issue stands above all in its gravity and its consequences.

Abortion is our nation’s gravest injustice

The blood of 55 million murdered babies “cries out to heaven for justice.” It is always gravely sinful to support or condone abortion. Abortions’ mere legality corrupts our culture, our government, and the rule of law.

As you vote this year you have a chance to speak up for the defenseless unborn.

Your vote can save innocent lives.

Supporting the dignity of all human life I remain your bother in Christ.

(signed) +R. Walker Nickless

Bishop Walker Nickless

Diocese of Sioux City

Not only did Nickless dare to raise his voice in the public square, but he defended the Church’s teaching about the right of human beings to be born.

The ad took the Fishwrapers to other things written by Bp. Nickless.  What really set them off was THIS (read it all):

Bishop Nickless ends by encouraging “everyone who is eligible to vote, if you have not already done so by an early or absentee ballot, to vote according to a well-formed and devout Catholic conscience …”

Remember: Abortion is the liberals’ sacrament. But deep down they know that they are on the wrong side of the Church’s teaching. They do not, in fact, have properly formed consciences if they think that they can give such support to the most aggressive promoter of abortion we have seen on the public stage, perhaps ever.

Therefore, Fishwrap carries some water, again, for the pro-abortion extremist Obama administration by taking the position that it isn’t really a sin to vote for such a candidate. Not really. Abortion can just be set aside, left out of the equation, given the nod.

When the US Bishops meet in November – and I know Your Excellencies are reading this – you ought to have a chat about the National catholic Reporter.

Why, again, do they get to use the term “Catholic” in their title?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Dogs and Fleas, Emanations from Penumbras, Liberals, Magisterium of Nuns, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, Religious Liberty, The Drill, The future and our choices, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. thefeds says:

    Fr. Z,
    If you were taking a poll on this question, I know how I would surely vote. Take away their privilege to use the word “Catholic”!

  2. acricketchirps says:

    That would be fun if they could actually make them drop the “C” into lowercase and put inverted commas around it.

  3. Joe in Canada says:

    I thought that action was taken decades ago. Of course, given the sort of things they publish, I doubt very much they would take it seriously.

  4. wmeyer says:

    By now, I assume they use it because for decades no one has objected. Some attorney may even take their case of “entitlement” if a bishop strips them of it.

  5. Southern Catholic says:

    Do they even receive any funding from the Church?

    I don’t believe the Bishops could do much to stop them from using the title “Catholic”, but making a strong statement about why they do not represent the Church or Her teachings would be a good start.

  6. acardnal says:

    Yes, USCCB and Bishop Finn, please take action to have the NCR cease and desist from using the word “Catholic” in its moniker. It should have happened years ago. Wasn’t it AB Vigneron of Detroit who asked just a few months ago that Michael Voris remove the same word from his RealCatholicTV apostolate?

    Abortion is not only the “sacrament of the liberals” but also of Satan.

  7. wmeyer says:

    I don’t believe the Bishops could do much to stop them from using the title “Catholic”

    Why not? They have removed it from a hospital in Phoenix, at least one school in recent memory, and from

  8. acardnal says:

    Bishops have won this issue in the courts previously.

  9. Christopher says:

    What about contacting the USCCB on the issue?

    God Bless.

  10. Fr. Erik Richtsteig says:

    Agree 100%. But as it would require spine, I am not holding my breathe.

  11. jflare says:

    I don’t think NCR ever really expected any bishop to be so..bold.
    They seem quite accustomed to less vigor.

  12. dnicoll says:

    I agree. The use of “Catholic” should be granted in very limited circumstances and it should be reviewed regularly, and taken away if not totally in tune with the Magesterium. If they want to be Protestants, they can use “Christian” :-/

  13. dominic1955 says:

    There is no need to make them drop the word “Catholic” from their title (though in a more perfect world, that would happen too) but the people who write heterodox and misleading things in this paper should be excommunicated and the paper itself should be clearly listed as something that DOES NOT speak for the Catholic Church or the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. There was a statement issued by the bishop back in the ’60s but hardly anyone knows of that anymore.

    Reading the articles in this garbage is aggravating, but reading the comment section is just painful. One really wonders how people can be so stupid, even with being indoctrinated in whatever “college” or “university” they may have went to. People of this time simply do not know how to think, like I said, just peruse the NcR and its comment system and behold for yourself.

  14. chantgirl says:

    I will repost what HeatherPA posted on this blog awile back when the same question was asked. She wrote to Bishop Finn and asked him about the NCR, and this is the response she received:

    “Dear Mrs.—-

    Since the 1960?s The National Catholic Reporter has operated in Kansas
    City, MO, not far from the Catholic Chancery offices. They have been notoriously contrary to many aspects of Church teaching.
    One of my predecessors lost a court case attempting to have them
    remove the title Catholic from their name. I have attempted to have them
    moderate their position. I pray for their demise, and suggest you do the
    same. They also have written against me a number of times. They attack
    many bishops and any number of faithful people.

    Perhaps this responds in part to your note. Thank you for your

    In Christ and Mary,
    +Bishop Finn”

    I don’t know if any further court action is possible, but other consequences might be.

  15. wmeyer says:

    So there you are. The Fishwrap is proudly dissident AND disobedient, to an extreme. I would have thought that under law, the diocese would be treated as a corporation, and therefor with the right to control its “brand”. Perhaps some judge was prepared to rule that the name was in public domain, which would be a disaster, to be sure.

    Dominic, the problem in dealing with the dissidence of the paper in other ways is that it is an unending and expensive task.

  16. StWinefride says:

    acardnal, you say: Abortion is not only the “sacrament of the liberals” but also of Satan.

    How true and how tragic that so many priests and bishops have forgotten that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. (Ephesians 6:12)

    Mother Teresa said that “there are two victims in every abortion: a dead baby and a dead conscience”.

    Two birds with one stone – Satan knows exactly what he’s doing.

    St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    The mistake was suing in a secular court. St. Paul wrote [1Cr 6: 1 – 10 RSV]:

    When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?
    Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
    Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!
    If then you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the church?
    I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood,
    but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?
    To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
    But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren.
    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts,
    nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    The Bishop should simply excommunicate anyone who will work for the paper and be done with it.

    The Chicken

  18. Glen M says:

    It’s quite telling that the NcR was instructed by their bishop at the time to drop the word “Catholic” but they refused. Michael Voris got the same request and he obeyed.

    Wolves in sheep’s clothing…Heretics calling themselves Catholic. We’ve seen worse.

    Instead of going to court with the Fishwrap, I suggest people of good will focus their efforts at getting this rag out of any parish, institution, or any other Catholic place. Perhaps we should collaboratively create a standard form letter to submit to the ‘powers that be’ who purchase the publication. Hit them at their most vulnerable spot – their revenues.

  19. APX says:

    One really wonders how people can be so stupid,

    It’s the effects of Original Sin and blindness of the intellect. The more we sin, the dumber we get. Given the amount of sin in the world, it really is no wonder how people can be so dumb.

  20. AnnAsher says:

    Canon 216: Can. 216 Since they participate in the mission of the Church, all the Christian faithful have the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings, according to their own state and condition. Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.

    It seems to me if the Bishop must giveth then the Bishop can taketh away.

  21. benedetta says:

    It seems to me that if the ncr is not willing to join in the suffering and sacrifice afoot then they should not enjoy the privileges associated with the name either.

  22. Alan Aversa says:

    Isn’t stripping “Catholic” from their name the bishop’s job?

  23. frjim4321 says:

    It would be difficult to change and probably impossible for an outside for to effect a change because this is the legal name of the entity.

    I would be interested if there have been any cases of the title “Catholic” being removed from an entity from an outside force and having this supported by the civil courts.

    Then how do we draw the line around various private entities using the word “Catholic” in their title? “Catholic Digest,” “U.S. Catholic,” “Catholic Register,” “The Catholic League,” “The Catholic Credit Union,” etc. These are all worthy/unworthy of the appellation to lesser or greater degrees.

    It would probably be a waste of time, money and effort for a prelate to try to force the NCR to change its name. I think the publisher would be unwilling to do so.

    Regarding the NCR, it’s homily preparation branch, “Celebration,” is wonderful.

  24. Allan S. says:

    I think a widely publicized statement announcing their disobedience, their lack of authority to use the word, and a bar against clergy participating in contributing to etc. would work, and a bar against distribution in any church building. Having your name appear affiliated with the paper is a bar on employment with the diocese.

    Or..declare it an “anti Catholic organization” under canon 1374.

  25. rollingrj says:

    “When the US Bishops meet in November – and I know Your Excellencies are reading this – you ought to have a chat about the National catholic Reporter.

    “Why, again, do they get to use the term ‘Catholic’ in their title?”

    It would be interesting to see, if there was something that could be done about it, which committee would get this headache.

  26. catholicmidwest says:

    The term “catholic” has entered the public domain, unfortunately. It’s used by a lot of people who aren’t Catholic. There has to be something else done to help people tell what’s authentic and what’s not.

  27. Papabile says:

    When I worked at the NCCB (now USCCB) in the mid 90’s, the National Catholic Reporter was the most read and appreciated paper in the Conference. This was particularly true among the 5th floor guys who ran the place, two of whom are now Bishops.

    Now, I believe some things have changed at the Conference in the last 15 years, but I would love to hear if this has changed.

    I know several USCCB staff read this blog. Someone should pipe up.

  28. Joe in Canada says:

    The Bishops might have to agree to penalize anyone directly or indirectly under their control who writes in it (priests, religious) and retired bishops. They might also have to forbid its sales or presence in church buildings.

  29. Marie S. says:

    I suppose they could just claim to be affiliated with the ‘American Catholic Church’.

    There’s nothing the church can do in secular court as long as NcR and other organizations are not representing themselves as being affiliated with the Diocese or Church as a whole.

  30. Jerry says:

    @Glen M: “It’s quite telling that the NcR was instructed by their bishop at the time to drop the word “Catholic” but they refused. Michael Voris got the same request and he obeyed. ”

    Voris changed the name. In his own good time. After a bit of a temper tantrum and, as I recall, being a bit less that forthright in his presentation of the situation. Not the example I would have expected…

  31. Jerry says:

    Here is the text of KC Bishop Helmsing’s condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter from 1968:

  32. Fuquay Steve says:

    The me first generation needs something to read when they are staring at their navel. Oh if only they were looking longingly into their reflection in a deep pool and wished they could embrace it.

  33. Pingback: Your Excellencies: Tell the National ‘c’atholic Reporter to drop the term “Catholic” | Fr. Z’s Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say? | Servus Fidelis: the faithful servant

  34. Glen M says:

    Jerry, did Voris make the change or not? Did the NcR? Results matter. Actions have consequences.

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