National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter
Not to be confused with the National Catholic Register
National Catholic Reporter
Type Bi-weekly
Format Non-profit newspaper
Owner The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company
Founder Robert Hoyt
Editor Thomas C. Fox
Managing editors Dennis Coday
Headquarters Kansas City, Missouri
Circulation 30,000
Official website

The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) is the second largest Catholic newspaper in the United States[citation needed]; its circulation reaches ninety-seven countries on six continents.[citation needed] Based in midtown Kansas City, Missouri, NCR was founded by Robert Hoyt in 1964 as an independent newspaper focusing on the Catholic Church. Hoyt wanted to bring the professional standards of secular news reporting to the Catholic press, maintaining that "if the mayor of a city owned its only newspaper, its citizens will not learn what they need and deserve to know about its affairs".[1] It has won the "General Excellence" award from the Catholic Press Association in the category of national news publications each year from 2000 through 2010.

The publication remains independent of ecclesiastical oversight, something of which NCR is proud, stating that it "is the only significant alternative Catholic voice that provides avenues for expression of diverse perspectives, promoting tolerance and respect for differing ideas."[citation needed] It was the first U.S. publication to write about the clergy sex abuse scandal; its coverage began in 1983 and for years was virtually alone in the Catholic press in drawing attention to the problem.[citation needed]


In 1968, NCR's ordinary, Bishop Charles Herman Helmsing "issue[d] a public reprimand for their policy of crusading against the Church's teachings," condemning its "poisonous character" and "disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith." [2] Helmsing warned that NCR's writers were likely guilty of heresy, had likely incurred latae sententiae excommunications, and because the publication "does not reflect the teaching of the Church, but on the contrary, has openly and deliberately opposed this teaching," he "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."[3]

NCR refused to comply, and 66 Catholic journalists signed a statement disagreeing with the condemnation based on its "underlying definition of the legitimate boundaries of religious journalism in service to the church."[4] The Catholic Press Association reported that the dispute arose from a difference of opinion regarding the function of the press."

Since then, numerous conservative Catholic commentators have criticized the National Catholic Reporter for advocating positions contrary to Church doctrines. Among the dissenting opinions criticized include homosexuals and marriage,[5] ordination of women,[6] stem cell research,[7] and Catholic-identifying politicians who support abortion.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ibid.
  4. ^ The Catholic Press Association weighs in on bishop's statement
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links

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