Bp. Sheridan: the Fishwrap is “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church”

You know that I am now calling Fishwrap (aka National catholic Reporter) the National Schismatic Reporter.

You know that Bp. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph finally called out the NSR and pointed out that his predecessor determined that it was not a Catholic paper. The NSR HQ is in KC.

This is in from LifeSiteNews:

Colorado bishop: National Catholic Reporter ‘is an embarrassment to the Catholic Church’

by Patrick B. Craine

COLORADO SPRINGS, Feb. 22, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Colorado bishop is supporting the local bishop in his call for the National Catholic Reporter to drop the name “Catholic.”

Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview this week that the national paper is “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.”  [oorah!]

In January, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, where NCR’s offices are located, published a column reminding the paper and the faithful that NCR has been forbidden from using the name “Catholic” since 1968.


I believe exactly what [Bishop Finn is] saying,” said Sheridan. “That is a big deal for me…I don’t understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma.”

Even if the paper continues to defy the bishop, he continued, churches should “absolutely not” make it available to parishioners on their magazine racks.


Nevertheless, the paper has remained defiant. “NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication,” wrote Thomas Fox, the paper’s publisher, on January 27th. “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.” [Note the code language… “official” teachings.  For the NSR there is the “official” church, which they can ignore or diss as they will, and there is the, what to call it, “groovy” church of Chicago-style voting on doctrine, etc.]

Fox also pointed out that NCR is a member of the Catholic Press Association, which is approved by the Catholic Church.

The National Schismatic Reporter… journal of record for schismatics and heretics.

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Sheridan!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. future_sister says:

    So… any advice as to what I should do about the copies that are here on the rack at the campus chapel at my school?

  2. avecrux says:

    future_sister: I think it is totally legit for them to “disappear”… without any qualms of conscience.

  3. future_sister says:

    @avecrux: I was thinking that, but I’m wondering if I should try talking to one of the priests here about them so they don’t get more… but then I remember how liberal they are on many things and realize they might think I’m more insane than they already think I am.

  4. Shamrock says:

    @future-sister…You are sure going to be busy between making the NYT and the NSR disappear
    from your campus!!!! Seriously, avecrux is correct about making the NSR *go away*…maybe
    you can recruit others of like mind to pitch in and help…and have a grand bonfire…or toss in
    a dumpster off campus somewhere…..then contact your local Newman club for further instructions, assuming you have one. If not, still contact them and enlist their advice. God bless
    and God speed!

  5. Rich Leonardi says:

    Place them in the nearest round file. It’s what I did when similar publications were placed in our vestibule literature rack under a previous pastor.

  6. future_sister says:

    @Shamrock: We’ve got FOCUS here. Which is pretty epic but, lately I’ve started noticing people saying things just slightly off. Never from the missionaries but the people who “discipled” under them and are leading Bible studies have said interesting things… Actually, everything here is just “slightly off”… It’s aggravating. Well, I’ve got four more years to make an impact living by example and following God, and I may be “discipling” and getting a Bible study of my own.

  7. poohbear says:

    Looks like the Bishops need to speak to the Catholic Press Association.

  8. BLB Oregon says:

    On their web page and in interviews with the press, we can read “Roman Catholic Womenpriests reject the penalty of excommunication issued by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on May 29, 2008 ” and “Roman Catholic Womenpriests are loyal members of the church”. Of all the contemporary schisms between self-definition and truth we might run across, it does not get much extreme than that!

    They’re Protestants in denial. I don’t know how else to describe them. They have an inescapably self-contradicting identity….and it does not bother them! As nearly as I can tell, having a self-contradictory identity bolsters their self-esteem, if anything! It reminds me of the devil’s advice to his nephew, from Letter 1 of the Screwtape Letters:

    “Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false,” but as “academic” or “practical,” “outworn” or “contemporary,” “conventional” or “ruthless.” Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.”

  9. gracie says:

    How do we get the ‘Catholic Press Association’ to dis-member them?

  10. Will D. says:

    Bishop Sheridan is my bishop, and I thank the Lord for him.

  11. louder says:

    The real problem for me is their website, no one reads papers anymore, but the NCR website is the haven for anyone who has outright hatred for the Church, bishops, Pope or doctrines. Close down the website bishops, please!

  12. Moro says:

    Collegiality you can believe in!

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  14. iPadre says:

    I wouldn’t sell the rag in my church’s magazine rack, even in little squares. It would be too course for that use.

    By the way, would that be a Fox in sheep’s clothing?

  15. TNCath says:

    Nothing is going to happen to the NCR until Bishop Finn orders them to shut down and the NCR refuses. I hate to say it, but open war needs to be waged in this matter because until it is, nothing is going to happen.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    We have a lot of disgraces to the Catholic Church in the Catholic Church, and we have to do something about that. Calling the National Catholic Reporter to task is a good start. We may not be able to do anything legally about the use of the name “Catholic” because it’s entered the public domain, but we can certainly do something about having it in the literature racks in Catholic Churches. People should not be able to get a copy of this at Church. It explicitly contradicts everything that should be happening in local parishes.

  17. William Tighe says:

    Bishop Finn should dig out that old bell-book-candle that’s been in some dusty storeroom in his episcopal residence since about 1964, and put them to good use.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    future_sister: maybe you can tell all birdowners and catlovers in town, that there are free cage- and litterbox-liners stacked all over the campus ;-P

  19. frjim4321 says:

    If nothing else, this kerfuffle over what an independent newspaper chooses to call itself points out the power of language.

    The fact is that neither of these bishops has any control whatsoever over what the NCR chooses to call itself. In all due respect, all this bluster on their part further demonstrates their impotence in this regard.

    On the other hand, the bishops presumably had the authority and purportedly the competence to influence the language of the current English missal product and in my opinion (probably a minority opinion here) they abdicated their responsibility.

    Thus I have very little sympathy for bishops who would attempt to control language over which they have no authority or competence, because this is not something they have demonstrated any particular ability doing.

  20. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Presumably had the authority and purportedly the competence to influence the language of the current English missal product and in my opinion (probably a minority opinion here) they abdicated their responsibility.

    I find it amusing that you seem to prefer the previous translation, which has always seemed to me the product of semi-literates.

  21. frjim4321 says:

    Well, Robert, you haven’t paid much attention to be because I have always stipulated that the 1973 product was an imperfect work and was intended to be improved upon from the outset.

    Anyway I brought it up not to open up a rabbit hole on the missal but simply to exemplify the power of language, which is pertinent to this thread, and point up the inadequacy of current leadership regarding matters of language which is also pertinent to this theme.

  22. Gail F says:

    Throw them all away? Who died and left you in charge? Go to the priest and say the NsCR advocates women priests and holds a number of other heretical positions, and that you are not comfortable seeing it in your church (use FEELING words — who can dispute your feelings? feelings are king to those folks). Then if they’re still there write to your bishop. But it’s not your parish and you are not the pastor.

  23. Gail F says:

    Ooh, that sounds harsher than I meant it to. Let me put it this way… what if the parish had something else out that you liked — the NCRep, say — and some other parishioner threw them all away? What would your opinion of that person be? By all means try to get rid of it but do it the right way, don’t appoint yourself the arbiter of what does and doesn’t get put out at your parish. That ain’t your job.

  24. Imrahil says:

    Power of language is one thing, but let us not forget that this is also about the right of one’s own name.

    If it would be as it should be, a Catholic bishop could enforce not-using the name “Catholic” (without clarfying addition such as “Old” etc.) via civil courts. The Catholic Church has a right to her own name.

    (As ruled in present case law of Germany, Supreme Court for Civil Matters, originally from the 1950s. I’m not so sure, however, whether one would have chances to carry a lawsuit through on this, today.)

  25. Paul M. says:

    “The fact is that neither of these bishops has any control whatsoever over what the NCR chooses to call itself.”

    Father Jim, if the people who own the paper are baptized into the Catholic Church or received into it after non-Catholic but valid baptism, then their bishop has every right to prevent them from claiming the name “Catholic” to their enterprise. See Canon 216, 300, and plenty of others.

  26. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    Well, Robert, you haven’t paid much attention to be because I have always stipulated that the 1973 product was an imperfect work and was intended to be improved upon from the outset.

    The vernacular means there will always be complaints about translations: They are too formal or too casual, too theological or not theological enough, too sentimental or not sentimental enough.

    Lingua Latina lingua ecclesiae

  27. wmeyer says:

    future-sister: The real problem comes later, after you have achieved removal of the Fishwrap. Then you will need to repeat for Commonweal, Amerika, and so on. At some point, the priest will become less sympathetic, as there will be nothing left but lots of space for NCRegister, The Wanderer, and little else.

  28. JKnott says:

    All talk and no action.

    Publicly promoting heresy is a scandal. When will the bishops teach the faithful the truth about these radicals in terms that have meaning for their souls, and then, act like men and demand they remove the name Catholic or be denied Holy Communion. Give them some public penances as in days gone by.
    How about a big time Visitation of the Jesuits for their corrupt universities and writings such as America.

    We are all so happy a one other bishop in the USA expressed a truthful opinion. How desperately poor we are.

    All talk and no action.

  29. wmeyer says:

    Thus I have very little sympathy for bishops who would attempt to control language over which they have no authority or competence, because this is not something they have demonstrated any particular ability doing.

    Oh, frjim, how sadly predictable of you.

    On the other hand, it is entirely within the purview of the bishops to condemn the NSR, each in his own diocese, and to publish that to his own parishes. I think it would be an excellent thing for the Church in this country. It may not stop the rag from publishing, but there is no reason for the Church to be bolstering the strength of an obvious enemy.

  30. catholicmidwest says:

    The word “Catholic” has entered the public domain. You only need surf the internet for a few minutes to see that. I don’t think people realize how much money and legal force it takes to control the use of a trademark or name. [I do because I am familiar with an organization that has spent millions to protect its name and trademark, and its trademark is much more specialized and unusual than the word “Catholic.” Words like this have enormous market and recognition value, and they are very difficult to protect, particularly now that the Internet exists.

    On the other hand, if a parish has faithful & educated staff, it’s a rather simple matter for that parish to have a policy about the distribution of reading material that isn’t in line with Church teaching. All they have to do is post the requirements in the bulletin, and then when they shut the lights off for the night, toss all offending literary barnacles in the trash can on the way out the door. Easy-peasy.

    The bigger problem lies in the ignorance of many parish staff. That’s really why this simple maneuver doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, many people who work for Catholic parishes are not very knowledgeable about Church teaching, and some of them are downright negative about it and favor some of the things that appear in the likes of these regrettable magazines & newspapers.

  31. BLB Oregon says:

    –The word “Catholic” has entered the public domain.–

    Unfortunately, the word “obedient” seems to have been left in the back of a closet somewhere, a garment deemed not so much out of fashion as beneath the dignity of the laity. It is as if there are no bad Catholics any more, only bad leaders….that is, leaders who are bad precisely because they actually lead instead of following the “folk wisdom” of “progressive” opinion polls.

    Many of these “loyal Catholics” claim kinship with St. Catherine and St. Hildegard, but how many think the obedience those women showed towards those legitimately in authority is worthy of their imitation?

  32. catholicmidwest says:

    A person can decry the way things are going all they want, but it doesn’t change facts. And it doesn’t affect most people, and you can decry that too, but it won’t change it.

    The word “Catholic” has entered the public domain. If we want things to be better, then we have to take practical steps, be aware of what’s going on, and be vigilant about small things. That’s just how things are.

  33. poohbear says:

    I think a person who removes a publication from their parish only on the basis of a personal dislike for that publication would be overstepping. However, two Bishops have stated this paper is not Catholic and should not be read. A person who then removes said publication is certainly not
    ‘appointing herself the arbiter of what does and doesn’t get put out at her parish’, the Bishops have already spoken on this issue and decided this paper should not be there. She is simply obeying the Bishops by removing the un-Catholic and anti-Catholic materials to prevent others from being led astray.

  34. AnAmericanMother says:

    This is not a question of trademark law, so “public domain” doesn’t really enter into the issue.
    A clever civil attorney could approach this from a standpoint of fraud: representing oneself as something one is not, with the intention of misleading. There are five elements of fraud, and I think it would be possible to make out a good case — with the proviso that I do not know the details of the law in Missouri on civil fraud.
    I will say this: here in Atlanta there was a fly-by-night “church” that held itself out to the Mexican immigrant community, especially the recent and non-English-speaking, as a Catholic church. They were defrauding the faithful of not only the plate collection, but also “fees” for baptisms, marriages, and what not. The Archdiocese filed suit for an injunction to stop this group calling themselves Catholic, and I believe they got the injunction. This was back in ’03 or ’04 some time.

  35. Magash says:

    The real problem here is that the USCCB should have taken care of this problem a long time ago, rather than letting their staff stake out left wing liberal positions in support of liberal social programs.
    As I understand it on most issues the USCCB has allowed the local bishop to make decisions about Catholic (or “catholic”) businesses and provide approval for their oversight and approval for their actions. This is how GIA and OCP get approval for their music publications.
    One would assume that by this precedent once the local bishop called NCR to heel that it should automatically follow that other bishops would banish the publication from the dioceses. Since they have not the USCCB should act. I’m not holding my breath, but perhaps it still might be useful for the faithful to write to the president of the USCCB and it staff requesting action. Barring that, it might be time for someone with the resources to take it to court. I’m talking about the canonical court of the Catholic Church. They claim to be Catholic that makes them under the jurisdiction of the Church. It would be priceless for them to publicly claim they are not. It might even make some of the priests and bishops take action, from embarrassment if nothing else.

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