National Catholic Reporter's $2.3 million grant to cover religious sisters

*Amid continued controversy over the Catholic identity of U.S. women religious, a dissenting Catholic newspaper has been awarded a multi-million dollar grant to cover religious sisters locally and globally.

Brad Myers, a senior program officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative, confirmed to CNA on Aug. 22 that the foundation board last week approved a three-year, $2.3 million grant to the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Catholic Reporter.

The National Catholic Reporter’s Catholic identity has been called into question by its local bishops several times.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in January 2013 said the National Catholic Reporter takes positions “against authentic Church teaching and leadership.” He said the agency’s perspectives “have not changed trajectory” since October 1968.*Story: Catholic News Agency

Bishop Helmsing said 45 years ago, the National Catholic Reporter ‘does not reflect the teaching of the Church, but on the contrary, has openly and deliberately opposed this teaching…’ and he asked them to drop ‘Catholic’ from their heading, because 'y retaining it they deceive their Catholic readers and do a great disservice to ecumenism by being responsible for the false irenicism of watering down Catholic teachings.'

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

I won’t be spending my money at Hilton hotels and their associates anymore.

Brad Myers, a senior program officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative, confirmed to CNA on Aug. 22 that the foundation board last week approved a three-year, $2.3 million grant to the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Catholic Reporter.

What could possibly go wrong? :stuck_out_tongue:

It sounds like a great idea for an initiative and it could have great potential. Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in the group the Hilton Foundation is tasking to do it. I would think it would be better to have a group do this that is allowed to call themselves a Catholic organization. :shrug:

I hope they go bankrupt. I think it’s only a matter of time.

If NCR is so bad, why do Church leaders continue to grant them interviews?

Just last month, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia sat down for an interview with John Allen, Jr. while in Rio (See: Right wing ‘generally not happy’ with Francis, Chaput says).

I like NCR, because as one priest in my parish put it, “They are the ants in the pants of the establishment!”. Good! The Holy Spirit guides the Church in many ways and one of them may be to make sure our all to imperfect Church leaders have someone looking over their shoulders with a critical eye.

I am sure they will do a great job covering women religious - they have already demonstrated great respect and a keen sympathy for them.

I’ll bet it was not a scheduled interview. The National “Catholic” Reporter reporter probably ambushed the Archbishop. By the way, the NCR headline is not true. I’m what NCR would call “rightwing”, and I love Pope Francis more than NCR does since my love for him is not conditional on whether or not the Pope does something I want. And if you would notice, all the major websites that NCR would like to label as “rightwing” like Catholic Answers and EWTN love Pope Francis, too. It’s the liberals who talk about how they would only like him if…

I want nothing more than for everyone to simply love Pope Francis and am glad you love him too. :thumbsup:

However, before you start trashing John Allen with unfounded accusations of ambushing the Archbishop, perhaps you should read some of his articles. Here’s a link to the archive of his weekly columns - if you find anything unorthodox let me know:

NCR is certainly the foil to CAF. However, while I have occasionally found mention of CAF in the comment sections, I don’t believe I have ever heard mention of this site in any of their articles except for this quote that I found by doing a search on the website:

Some sites sought to temper the heated response, including the Catholic Answers forum, which posted rules for users when talking about the new pope. Among them: “[No] bashing the Holy Father” or “speaking about his papacy in a negative way, without giving the man a chance.”

Which is accurate if my memory serves me right and is hardly an indictment. In that story, they even speak positively of Father Z’s blog, which I also enjoy reading.

I love that phrase! The ants in the pants of the establishment. Hear, hear!

I am convinced that the conniving and instigating that the majority of NCR writers do–excluding the good John Allen–is not the work of the Holy Spirit, but, more often, of the Enemy Himself. God is looking over the bishops’ shoulders. Having some conversations with your acquaintances is different from blabbering all sorts of half-heresies and silly leftist platitudes on a nationally distributed publication. Their fiery tongues–fingers–are like snakes, not because they are rude–they usually aren’t–but because they are supremely sneaky and they implant little packets of addictive poison in their readers’ minds.

When bishops do things that are positively destructive, or are publicly shameful, the dirty garbage will be aired out eventually. It always is, quite naturally. We do not need “concerned Catholics with very strong feelings!” pretending to be bishop PIs; the last time I checked, Inspectors General were limited to the government.

Why are they granted interviews? I suppose it is better to try to control the destruction as much as possible; it’s not like they can just go shut them down.

When their bloggers (Jamie Manson) pine about the priesthood and say, “Oh, I’ve been discerning the priesthood [sic] for twenty years,” or things like that, they feed a massive wildfire that is engulfing the minds of Catholics and is no better than secularism. Then they have articles written that say things like, “The status quo with priesthood assignments is not working, we need something more,” that so clearly mean, “Oh gosh, let’s ordain everyone!” In fact, several months ago their editorial was some Communist-esque utilitarian garbage in which the editors argued that “the lack of women’s ordination [sic] is an injustice” or some other such nonsense.

It is easy to see right through them. Whether they are nefarious or they are just so fabulously misguided that they cannot possibly be guilty of anything is not for me to judge, but their actions have done irreparable harm to generations of Catholics, and that must stop.

Their coverage of the women religious is not, “Let us pray for the sisters that they fulfill their vocations fruitfully.” Rather, they are more like, “The bishops are SO MEAN! ZOMG, if we just had lesbian women bishops the world would be a utopia!” Of course, their first false tendency is that they seem to believe that there can be such a thing on earth as a utopia, “if we just___, if we just ___,” but meh.

So much of their -]literature/-], er, propaganda seems to boil down to a sort of militaristic flower-power Age of Aquarius nonsense. That has thankfully run its course, and it is a dying monster that I shall not miss.

“There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos) - Satis Cognitum

Granting interviews does not imply endorsement. Bishops grant interviews to the mainstream secular press, too. It doesn’t mean they endorse everything contained therein.

I like John Allen’s reporting. Michael Sean Winters has his moments, too. The rest of NCR – not so much.

I’ve no doubt NCR will demonstrate sympathy for women religious. I just hope it isn’t at the expense of denigrating the hierarchy (as is usually the case with them).

But whose ants in whose pants? From Bp Finn:

"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.

The Code of Canon Law stipulates in canon 216 that no organization can use the name Catholic without permission of the ecclesiastical authority."

Now, that’s either true or it isn’t. If it’s true, then NCR is falsely labeling itself. And if its chosen tormentee is the Church, which seems to be the case, then one should not cheer it for being anti-“establishment”.

And if NCR is receiving millions to publish about the dissident nuns of the LCWR, one can hardly doubt what those publications are going to be like; a dissident publication reporting on dissident organizations. Not good news for the Church.

From the editorial:

Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.

Enough said.



The NC Reporter isn’t the boogeyman – it is one of a very, very few, limited outlets that speak to progressive Catholics. Its reporting emphasizes a different set of issues that aren’t always addressed in Catholic media (I rarely if ever hear about social justice issues other than abortion and marriage via any EWTN outlet). Discounting the voices of Catholics who are concerned about the application of the Church’s social teachings is draconian and unnecessary. Frankly, without the NC Reporter, we’re stuck with publications that focus on rule-following (which has its place) and ignore the Spirit (“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:6). It’s sad that it’s been labeled – as someone who’s been through the whole “You’re not really Catholic!” bit several times here, I empathize. But overall, the LCWR has such little influence – I can never understand why people feel so passionately about it. It’s involved in ongoing dialogues with the Church and that should be enough to satisfy onlookers. Instead, we get this kind of garbage related to religious women… :rolleyes:

The problem is not that they emphasize social issues. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that they emphasize them to the absolute exclusion of everything else. And not just that, but they actively blabber on about pining for heretical things. Their aspirations are not legitimate. They are, very often, antithetical to Catholicism.

NCR does not purport to be some kind of specialized publication with limited audience, like a theological journal or something. They purport to be a mainstream, run-of-the-mill, “average” Catholic publication. So when they publish garbage, things they know are not just unlikely to happen but that cannot happen–in the realm of dogma–after they have been reprimanded time and time again, and they keep doing it, yes, their work cannot really be reasonably chalked up to anything except the actions of powers and principalities.

The damage that they do far outweighs any glimmer of positivity that they do.

Your anger is palpable but confusing in its purpose. “Blabbering”? I suppose I could use that word to describe any number of NC Register writers and bloggers but why would I want to? It’s unclear why you think there’s a problem with a publication focusing on social justice issues, even to the exclusion of other issues. The Catholics who read and appreciate the NC Reporter aren’t, I think, trying to refashion the Church into something heretical – from what I can gather, they have legitimate questions about interpretations of Christ. Putting a hand up to silence these people, in my humble opinion, is the worst way to respond to them. The Church obviously has no reason to fear their questions – it’s survived much more and much worse and no doubt will continue to do so. And I really don’t see someone like the Pontiff exhibiting fear and anger, but these responses definitely come from laymen quite often. Why? I’ll have to disagree that the NC Reporter does more harm than good – many Catholics, I think, would leave the Church altogether with no avenue to discuss issues of importance to them. And as Christians, I don’t think we should desire their absence.

I wouldn’t try to “silence” them. But I think it’s disingenuous for them to put themselves forth as a “Catholic” publication when they publish editorials that promote stances that contradict Catholic teaching (such as with women’s ordination).

They are certainly entitled to their opinion. And they can certainly publsih it if they choose. But to put it forth as though it is a position that is within the boundaries of acceptable Catholic belief is just dishonest. From a free press perspective, we have just as much a right to call them on the inconsistency as they do to publish it.

I could be wrong but I really don’t think that’s what they’re doing – no one I know who reads an editorial via the NC Reporter that advocates anything other than Catholic teachings actually believes the Church also espouses such views. Maybe they think the Church *should *espouse such views, but that’s not the same thing.

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