The National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper renowned for its “liberal” editorial stance on numerous doctrinal and moral issues, should not advertise itself as Catholic, according to Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City.
The headquarters of the Reporter (not to be confused with the National Catholic Register) are located in Bishop Finn’s diocese, putting the paper under his ecclesiastical authority.
“I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here,” writes Bishop Finn in a new column published today in the diocesan newspaper. The column was published to coincide with the feast of St. Francis de Sales, considered the patron saint of journalists by the Catholic Church.
The bishop listed the editorial positions taken by NCR that officially condemn Catholic Church teaching, including “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.”
Bishop Finn pointed out that his predecessor, Bishop Charles Helmsin, had demanded that NCR remove the name “Catholic” from its name in the late sixties, a request that was ignored at the time.
“From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades,” said Bishop Finn.
The bishop also said that he has attempted to dialogue with the leadership of the newspaper, but to no avail.
“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,’” concluded the bishop.
“While I remain open to substantive and respectful discussion with the legitimate representatives of NCR, I find that my ability to influence theNational Catholic Reporter toward fidelity to the Church seems limited to the supernatural level. For this we pray: St. Francis DeSales, intercede for us.”