15 March 2009

The Catholic Press

I have been following Fr Clifton's fisking of the writings of a Mgr Basil Loftus and am becoming more and more bemused that the man is allowed to peddle heresy in a newspaper which is sold in Catholic Churches.

I feel at a bit of a loss where this is concerned: once you bought the Universe (Catholic Daily Mirror), the Catholic Herald (Catholic Broadsheet), the Tablet (Catholic Staggers) or Ireland's Own (Catholic People's Friend) at Church, confident that you would never read a word which couldn't have been praised by any Pope currently or formerly gloriously reigning, and that you were contributing income to the parish.

Today I can buy the same as before, plus the Catholic Times and the Irish Times, but have no idea at all what level of virtue or theological exactitude they might contain, nor, given the quantities that seem to lie about, what the financial model on which their contribution to parish income is based.

(We can't expect our clergy to read through all of the Catholic press each week to be able to ensure that it provides fit reading for their parishioners, but it might help if they either established a top shelf for the Tablet and Catholic Times, or just decided that Catholics might be able to do without.)

I can't read the Tablet; the Universe is turning into parody; I thought the Catholic Times was just an anti-Herald spoiler but begin to wonder what it's really all about and if it's much worse than that; and the Herald, while mainly OK is nevertheless happy to feature all sorts of ne'er-do-wells, and Fr Rolheiser every week.

After twenty-something years, I haven't renewed my Spectator subscription when it fell due last month: I'm in the market for something weekly, challenging, intelligent, topical and Catholic. Any ideas?


Moretben said...

I fell out of love with the Speccie after the editorship of Charles Moore. Dominic Lawson was all right, but then it slipped into partisan, party-political thuggishness. All my old favourites died or emigrated. I never found a replacement.

Today I got banned from the Universe Forum, for (in my totally unbiased opinion) the unforgivable offense of having its Moderator bang-to-rights over the Pope's letter.

henry said...

I gave up the Speccie a few years ago as well. It gradually seemed to lose its sparkle and now it's a brand name.
Have you tried 'First Things'?

Shepherd said...

Yes, where did they dig Fr Rolheiser up from? The CH needs to sharpen up. It would not be hard against such competition, for it to become the prime Catholic newspaper.

Rita said...

I'm still hanging on to the Catholic Times, partly because it is a northern paper, yet not as parochial as the Universe and partly because all human life is there. Fr Francis Marsden is a gem and Auntie Joanna is a good read and the editorials are usually sound. I think it is good to read the likes of Mgr Loftus and the strange Marist from Dublin who rants in the letters page, it helps me brush up on my knowledge of sound doctrine.

I find the Catholic Herald annoyingly convinced of its own superiority.

Then again I have no taste, I'm the only person I know who mourned the demise of "The Listener" all those years ago.

Ttony said...

Rita: The Listener, and the Alan Coren-edited Punch. Going through somebody's effects, I found a copy of the Listener from the 1980s which he'd kept for some reason: I've kept it. And some old Punches.

Henry: I've heard of "First Things" but it seems to be ten times a year rather than a weekly. There is a vast difference between monthlies and weeklies (though, to tell the truth, I've just cancelled a subscription to a monthly today as well).

No: what most closely approximates (see, I'm tacking already!) to "weekly, challenging, intelligent, topical and Catholic"?