Bishop confirms National Catholic Reporter is not a 'Catholic' publication [CWN]

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, has confirmed that the National Catholic Reporter should not advertise itself as a “Catholic” publication.In a column appearing in his …

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Kansas City, Mo., Jan 25, 2013 / 05:47 pm (CNA).- Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-Saint Joseph has announced his discouragement that the National Catholic Reporter has failed to live up to the “Catholic”portion of its name.

“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,'“[he wrote in his Jan. 25 column for his diocesan paper, “The Catholic Key”.]("http://catholickey.org/2013/01/25/the-bishops-role-in-fostering-the-mission-of-the-catholic-media/")

His comments on the National Catholic Reporter came in the context of World Communications Day, held on Jan. 24. He noted that the day is celebrated then as it is the the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of journalists and the Catholic press.

Bishop Finn reflected on the role bishops play in fostering Catholic media, and their responsibility over local media for the promotion and protection of the faith.

The bishop noted that he is well-pleased with The Catholic Key and its staff, who “use the paper to teach Catholic doctrine, to provide trustworthy reflections on issues that take place in our culture, and to provide stories of apostolic life and work – particularly from our local diocese – that inspire us to live our Catholic faith more fully.”

Bishop Finn said he is similarly happy with the Catholic radio station located in the diocese, KEXS 1090, for helping Catholics to “know and live their faith.”

In contrast to these positive, faithful Catholic media outlets located in the Kansas City-Saint Joseph diocese, Bishop Finn examined the National Catholic Reporter.

“I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here,”saod Bishop Finn, who was consecrated the diocese's coadjutor in May, 2004.

He continued, “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 established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.”

He noted that the problem of the National Catholic Reporter did not start under his time as bishop.

“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.”

He noted that early on in his time as bishop he asked that the Reporter “submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law.”

“They declined to participate,”he wrote, “indicating that they considered themselves an 'independent newspaper which commented on 'things Catholic.'' At other times, correspondence has seemed to reach a dead end.”

Bishop Finn wrote that “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.”

Noting Bishop Finn's column, Edward Peters, professor of canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, posited that National Catholic Reporter's use of “Catholic”in their title is canonically illicit.

“There is simply zero question about this assertion, for they 'claim the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.' Second, once one is shown to be acting illegally under canon law, a number of canonical responses to illicit activity come into play including precepts, the invocation of penal law, and certain sacramental consequences for organizational leadership,”Peters wrote Jan. 25 at “In the Light of the Law.”

Bishop Finn's column concluded as it began, with an appeal to St. Francis de Sales.

Realizing that by natural means he has been unable to bring the Reporter to fidelity to the Church, he wrote: “For this we pray: St. Francis DeSales, intercede for us.”

feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/catholicnewsagency/dailynews?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/catholicnewsagency/dailynews/~4/hABxNcuBFAE

Full article…

Finn was too kind to them.”

That is Prof. Ed Peters, canonist over at his fine blog, In The Light Of The Law.

Peters has written about the Bp. Robert Finn’s column about the National catholic Fishwrap… Reporter. *Bp. Finn, bishop of the place where the *Fishwrap *is headquartered, has finally called them out. *In effect *NCR**is not a Catholic paper or web source.

Thus, Peters…

Recognizing the National Catholic Reporter for what it is (actually, for what it isn’t)

Bp. Robert Finn (KC, MO) has a very good column on a local bishop’s responsibility over local media in regard to the promotion and protection of the Catholic Faith. HERE] Most folks, however, will likely skim the first part of the essay, and go right for Finn’s critique of the National Catholic Reporter in the second.

In my opinion, Finn was too kind to them.

NCRep has carried on a steady tirade against ecclesiastical authority in general, and against numerous Church teachings in particular, for several decades, but the last few years have seen a shrillness that should discomfort even its dwindling number of friends. Besides my own efforts to reply to them (e.g., July 2010, October 2009, March 2009) Fr. Z’s blog has long served as a clearing house for reasonable, Catholic responses to the NCRep (what a thankless task that is). [You are welcome.] I won’t try to summarize his efforts here, but I will recall my own experiences of the unprofessionalism of the NCRep (March 2011, January 2011) and wonder again whether its one-time editor Joe Feuerherd ever retracted his 2008 “bishops be damned” screed in the Washington Post. If he did, I missed it.

Finn’s remarks re the NCRep focus on their use of the name “Catholic” in their title and it is here that he goes too gently, I think, against their continued use of that title. Finn writes: 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.”

First, I would have expressly argued that NCRep’s use of the word “Catholic” in their title is canonically illicit per Canons 216 and 300. There is simply zero question about this assertion, for they “claim the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.” Second, once one is shown to be acting illegally under canon law, a number of canonical responses to illicit activity come into play including precepts, the invocation of penal law, and certain sacramental consequences for organizational leadership. Not to mention, of course, those supernatural tools that a prayerful bishop thinks of first in times of trial. Thus, my opinion that Finn is being too kind; at the very least, there are more arrows in his quiver than a quick read of his essay lets on.

Anyone who follows American Catholic media issues knows that, over the years, some other groups using the name “Catholic” for their operations—groups with, frankly, a better claim to be Catholic than the NCRep could ever assert—have dropped that name when asked or directed to do so by ecclesiastical authority. Such actions speak directly to and well of their sensus Ecclesiae. **[A good example is that of Michael Voris’s initiative. *The changed their name after a dustup with the Archd. of Detroit. Say what you will about that dustup, but in the end Voris and company followed authority. Fishwrap reviles authority.]

The most notorious and neuralgic refusal to comply, however, remains that of the National Catholic Reporter.

I’m all for the “consequences” phase now. *Forget the dialogue.

The New Evangelization also requires a sweeping of the floors.

Prof. Peters does not have an open combox. *I bet I know why!

Full entry…

I was unsure about mentioning this publication before here, seems sensitive.

God bless Bishop Finn for clarifying what ncr is not

And right on cue, pride tightens its hold on being the first sin:

“Non serviam”

(Did not give actual link but rather coverage of of it from Patheos Catholic Channel; no need to generate extra NCR page views)

Thanks for the link. I notice it does not say that the NCR is faithful to Church teachings or agrees with the Church.

Indeed. Conversely I liked this line from the original defiance:

“NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication.”

Emphasis mine.

Canon lawyer Ed Peters

Recognizing the National Catholic Reporter for what it is (actually, for what it isn’t)

Bp. Robert Finn (KC, MO) has a very good column

on a local bishop’s responsibility over local media in regard to the promotion and protection of the Catholic Faith. Most folks, however, will likely skim the first part of the essay, and go right for Finn’s critique of the National Catholic Reporter in the second.

In my opinion, Finn was too kind to them.

NCRep has carried on a steady tirade against ecclesiastical authority in general, and against numerous Church teachings in particular, for several decades, but the last few years have seen a shrillness that should discomfort even its dwindling number of friends. Besides my own efforts to reply to them (e.g., July 2010, October 2009, March 2009) Fr. Z’s blog has long served as a clearing house for reasonable, Catholic responses to the NCRep (what a thankless task that is). I won’t try to summarize his efforts here, but I will recall my own experiences of the unprofessionalism of the NCRep (March 2011, January 2011) and wonder again whether its one-time editor Joe Feuerherd ever retracted his 2008 “bishops be damned” screed in the Washington Post. If he did, I missed it.

Finn’s remarks re the NCRep focus on their use of the name “Catholic” in their title and it is here that he goes too gently, I think, against their continued use of that title. Finn writes: 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.

First, I would have expressly argued that NCRep’s use of the word “Catholic” in their title is canonically illicit per Canons 216 and 300. There is simply zero question about this assertion, for they “claim the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.” Second, once one is shown to be acting illegally under canon law, a number of canonical responses to illicit activity come into play including precepts, the invocation of penal law, and certain sacramental consequences for organizational leadership. Not to mention, of course, those supernatural tools that a prayerful bishop thinks of first in times of trial. Thus, my opinion that Finn is being too kind; at the very least, there are more arrows in his quiver than a quick read of his essay lets on.

Anyone who follows American Catholic media issues knows that, over the years, some other groups using the name “Catholic” for their operations—groups with, frankly, a better claim to be Catholic than the NCRep could ever assert—have dropped that name when asked or directed to do so by ecclesiastical authority. Such actions speak directly to and well of their sensus Ecclesiae.

The most notorious and neuralgic refusal to comply, however, remains that of the National Catholic Reporter.
canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/recognizing-the-national-catholic-reporter-for-what-it-is-actually-for-what-it-isnt

The National Catholic Reporter itself has written an article about this as well:

ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/kansas-city-bishop-says-ncr-undermines-faith

They claim that they are sanctioned by the Church and have had friendly relations with the bishops in the past. It may be true that they have had friendly relations with the bishops in the past but it is also true that they have had “unfriendly” relations with the bishops in the past.

That said, I consider The National Catholic Reporter to be a heterodox newspaper claiming to be Catholic.

As Father Z said, a bishop can come bless a fishmongers, but that doesn’t give the owner the right to call it “Dave’s Catholic Fishmarket.”

That is true but why would a bishop bless a heterodox media publisher? That doesn’t make sense to me. I mean if a bishop is going to give his blessing to some place then I would think it would have to be following Catholic teaching and morality.

I once heard Sr Joan on secular TV state that “pride was more important than faith”

This reminded me of a similar situation with Cardinal Spellman and Dorthy Day; when the Cardinal ordered that “Catholic” be drooped from the Catholic Worker organization. Day refused the order and did not change the name.

Br Mark osb

Hardly an accurate comparison.

Dorthy Day’s politics are what got her in trouble. But politics are a fallible matter. Dorthy Day was never disobedient on issues of Faith and Morals. That is the difference between her and the NCR.

In thinking of this situation with NCR, the following Scripture came to mind:

He said to his disciples, “Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!” (Luke 17:1-3)

    I wonder why so late the truth was realised  !   I have seen the publication through on line sometime in 2010.  By reading news items, articles and editorials I concluded that the National Catholic Reporter is an anti- catholic publication.  When I wrote to them asking why a Catholic publication is throwing accusations and  indulging in mud slinging on the Pope and clergy, I got a reply calling me names and in extremely uncivilized langage.

So why American Bishops and American Catholics cannot discern such a simple thing for such a long time is troubling my mind. Of course some rebel priests and nuns may be behind it and feeding them. The Catholics who believe in Catholicism , in Pope, in Magisterium must protest against the publication for using bthe word " Catholic" as it is misguiding

Nishkalank K.

Oy. We are too much a church divided.

Rather than battling publications like “First Things” and NCR. Conservative readers like “First Things” and other publications, while conservative writers write in such publications. Liberal readers and writers often read and write in NCR and other such publications.

Why don’t more liberals read and write First Things? Why don’t more conservatives read and write NCR? Why don’t both talk with one another like we sometimes seem to here?

We are too much a church divided. This seems to verge on scandal, by seeking to push “the other” out of communion. Both liberals and conservatives do it, and really, we are one body.

Gaudium et spes (at 43 about the role of bishops):
"By unremitting study they should fit themselves to do their part in establishing dialogue with the world and with men of all shades of opinion. Above all let them take to heart the words which this council has spoken: “Since humanity today increasingly moves toward civil, economic and social unity, it is more than ever necessary that priests, with joint concern and energy, and under the guidance of the bishops and the supreme pontiff, erase every cause of division, so that the whole human race may be led to the unity of God’s family.”

1 Corinthians:
10 urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 give thanks [to God] that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 (I baptized the household of Stephanas also; beyond that I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The truth always divides. The issue is not simply about “dialogue”. The issue is claiming to be Catholic while rejecting His Church. Not really consistent with Truth or charity.

I thank God every week for NCR. Bishop sanctioned publications are self serving apologists for the continual arrogance and often ignorant pontifications they so frequently pronounce.

I think you meant to say NCR rather than Bishops. It fits better.

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