Enlarge the tent: A mandate for NCR as well as the church

Two time periods, each filled with energy and challenge, stand out for me over the course of NCR's 58-year history. The first was immediately following the Second Vatican Council, an era recalled by founding editor Bob Hoyt as ideal for the launch of the nation's first independent source of news about the Catholic church... The second period of NCR history that I want to spotlight is right now...

A note from the publisher

When I wrote my first story for the National Catholic Reporter as a college freshman in 1967, I certainly had no idea I'd end up as its publisher and CEO a half century later. When I accepted the position two years ago, I told the board I would serve until my 75th birthday, with the goal of helping the board identify a longer-term publisher to lead NCR into the second half of its first century. Although my 75th birthday is a year off, NCR is on a positive trajectory and now is the time to begin...

Catholic News Service shutdown is about more than just the news

In announcing the elimination of the domestic operations of Catholic News Service May 4, the American bishops delivered a brutally blunt message: The work of these lay journalists, at least in the view of the bishops, is expendable. James Rogers, the bishops' chief communications officer, delivered the news to CNS staff without any prior consultation or discussion with them. So much for synodal listening.

Listening, investigating, reporting: A message from Francis and an invitation to readers

In the summer of 1964, when NCR co-founder Robert Hoyt was making the case for a Catholic newspaper independent of church control, he distributed a flyer re-printing a treatise on freedom of the Catholic press by theologian and Jesuit Fr. John Courtney Murray. Murray argued that any "well-ordered society" — secular or religious — requires unfettered access to what's really going on. And that, of course, requires freedom for journalists to dig up the truth and share it with readers without fear o

James Carroll's book outlines struggling relationship with Catholic Church

Catholics of a certain age and outlook, like many of NCR's readers, will find in James Carroll's latest book, The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul — A Memoir of Faith, a useful framing of our relationship with the church. I'm thinking, especially, of Catholics encouraged by the inclusiveness and compassion exhibited by Pope Francis but confounded by a church that remains bogged down by clericalism and resistant to reforms already too long delayed.

Asking for a friend: Can a Catholic vote for Biden?

It comes up in phone calls and email exchanges: "Given his support for legal abortion, can a faithful Catholic vote for Joe Biden?" Both of us have fielded questions like that in recent weeks. Maybe you have, too. The short answer is "Yes." The longer answer relies on a combination of church teaching and the conscience of individual Catholics. But you might not know that to hear from some priests, politicians and prelates, not to mention other Catholic media and an occasional former college football coach.

EarthBeat Weekly: Need an encouraging boost? Check out our Interfaith Climate Tracker

One of my favorite paths to an encouraging word begins with a scroll down the EarthBeat homepage to our Interfaith Climate Tracker. The Tracker updates 24 hours a day with the latest news from 45 groups around the world that are working on climate issues from the perspective of faith. Many faiths, in fact. It's not that these groups are drawing a happy face on the sobering prospects for the planet.

EarthBeat Weekly: Discerning what the Vatican really means when it comes to divestment

News organizations wrote quite different stories Thursday about the 226-page report issued by the Vatican five years after the release of Laudato Si'. Whatever the particular significance of the Vatican's wording on Thursday, one thing is clear: Divestment is coming up more and more frequently in the strategies the Vatican is recommending for addressing the climate crisis.
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