Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Idle Musings on "The Fishwrap"

Today I have some idle musings on a question most readers of this blog have probably asked themselves: why does the National Catholic Reporter get a pass on being faithful to Church teaching?

Fr. Z just calls it the “Fishwrap”, and the print version of NCR is surely not worth any more than that, since its content only detracts from the value of the paper itself. The NCR misleads and misinforms faithful Catholics, blatantly presenting the antithesis of objectively and clearly defined teachings of the Church. Currently, of course, the issue of homosexual marriage is in the forefront, and “gay marriage” is cheerfully endorsed by the enlightened NCR. They’re pretty much on the same page as the dissident nuns, too.

NCR was established in 1964, and seems to have always been on the side of the “revolution”, as Anne Muggeridge terms it. In 1968, Bishop Charles H. Helmsing, NCR’s ordinary in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, publicly reprimanded the news organization for its heterodox ways, noting that the newspaper did not reflect the teaching of the Church, and in fact directly contradicted it in some cases. (See more history in this Wikipedia article.)

But NCR, of course, refused to comply, and here we are 44 years later with the same publication with the same name spouting the same often-heretical notions it always has…plus some.

NCR’s “Mission and Values” statement includes the note that “NCR is the only significant alternative Catholic voice that provides avenues for expression of diverse perspectives, promoting tolerance and respect for differing ideas”.  Puh-lease. Just like the liberal political left, they promote “tolerance”…as long as that which they are tolerating is in line with their own beliefs. I don’t think they’re known for featuring down-trodden “trads” on their pages.

The statement also claims that:

We are concerned for all people and we are committed to shaping a world that recognizes the dignity of every human being, regardless of religious belief, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other characteristic. Throughout our history, we have been a voice for the disadvantaged and the marginalized, and we have told the stories of injustice that others simply will not print.

Wow! Maybe they can help me out! I certainly feel “disadvantaged” every Sunday when I cannot find an EF Mass within driving distance; and I am definitely “marginalized” (as is anyone who prefers the EF Mass to the NO), having been ostracized in my own “parish community” for a variety of reasons and at the hands of the pastor. As for “stories that others simply will not print” – well, I can certainly identify with that, since it appears my “ultra-trad” view of NFP has made me an untouchable blogger. But…somehow…I just don’t think NCR is going to come to my defense.

Their Mission Statement says that NCR seeks to “renew the life of the Church”, and that

…[h]aving developed through the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council, our spirit is independent, our management lay, our vision ecumenical. We attempt to contribute to the Catholic conversation by supporting freedom, honesty, openness and shared responsibility within the NCR reader community, the communities in which we live, and in the church…

What strikes me throughout this mission and values statement is the way words have been redefined. “Dignity of every human being” means everyone except the unborn. “Openness” means “we want the Church to change”. “Freedom” means “dissent”. And “shared responsibility”? Hmmm…your guess is as good as mine.

Of course, NCR isn’t the only entity to engage in this deception; it seems to be something that runs rampant in society at large. Most notable is the phrase “pro-choice” – its most vocal proponents seem to recognize only one “choice”…which means no choice at all.

Still, this weasel-wording is a particularly egregious practice in the Church, where we should be all about truth, and honesty. According to Wikipedia, way back in 1964, Bishop Helsming

..."ask[ed] the editors in all honesty to drop the term 'Catholic' from their masthead," because "[b]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."

Well, in a way, I suppose NCR isn’t really dishonest: their mission statement comes right out and says they want to “shape the world” according to their own purposes. And they never say they are faithful to the magisterium of the Church...
Caveat emptor.

But I guess I haven't even answered the question: why does the NCR get a pass?! Maybe it's just because they can.

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