The 'free press' in the Catholic World has arrived as Hilaire Belloc hoped, if with still a limited readership in an age that has rejected the Church's message in the West. What is the free press for the Catholic today? It is simply the thoughts expressed by the man and woman in the pew expressed mostly online.
The changes to the liturgy and what many now see as the damage done to the Catholic Faith throughout the 60s and 70s - the 'wreckovation' was overseen by mainstream Catholic media organs owned by a few groups or individuals. I'm not sure how much these publications protested against the destruction of Sanctuaries. I'm not sure how enthusiastically Humanae Vitae was greeted by The Tablet or The Catholic Times or The Universe or even The Catholic Herald. Those who objected to the assault on the Faith at the time (the 'little people') - their voices were left mostly unheard, were silenced by those in positions of power in whose authority and wisdom they had often absolute trust. Only the voices of the 'specialists' were accepted or heard. Even the voices of priests, at the time, were I think ignored.
The LMS Chairman today gives an exemplary example of just what a mess the Catholic press is in with Mgr Basil Loftus attacking Cardinal Raymond Burke in The Catholic Times. Why is this man being employed for his writing services to a Catholic newspaper? Has the editor of this publication not seen that the Church has moved on from the 1970s, even if members of the Hierarchy have ossified. Has he not noticed that the Church has 'moved on' and that not all have 'moved beyond Jesus'?
We live in uncertain times in the Church. I hope that there isn't a 'this time', but if the Catholic Church undergoes another perceived revolution in Her liturgy and belief, it is true to say that it will not be so easy 'this time' as voices will be heard, voices will be raised in objection. Where are these voices? They are evident already and if, in time, the 'worst case scenarios' take place, many will feel it a Christian duty to defend holy doctrine, Church law and belief from those who, deliberately for even good intentions, believe such should be dismantled. This duty I expect will be evident in the writings of mostly priests and laypeople on Catholic blogs, but what, if something goes drastically wrong, will be the response of the mainstream Catholic press 'this time'?
|Our Lady, Undoer of Knots|
The Catholic Herald fulfills its mandate as a chiefly a reporter of weekly Catholic news and has gathered among its writers many who are committed to the Church's mission, but where is that one magazine that Catholics who are faithful to the Church pick up or subscribe to which increases their faith and love of the Most Holy Faith? It doesn't yet exist. It should!
I still maintain that there is a gap in the market for the Catholic press - a magazine to which Catholics can subscribe or buy to which they feel a sense of loyalty because the magazine is loyal to that which we have been privileged by the grace of God to receive and to accept and give full assent. I believe the Church needs a magazine that is loyal to the holy tradition of the Church, loyal to the Mass which we strive with God's grace not only to attend but to live, a magazine that is able to communicate the Faith to those Catholics who receive little nourishment and to newcomers - that will entertain and inform readers of the glory of the Catholic Faith with apologetics and with explanations for the 'hope that is within us'.
Have a think and put your suggestions in the comments box.