|Photo: From the Pews|
I have previously warned that our South African Catholic newspaper, The Southern Cross, was clearly beginning to head down the same road as the dissident National Catholic Reporter in the USA. I wrote about this in a post that was entitled “Catholic Newspapers - Beware the Trojan Horse”.
One of my readers, because of his shared concern over the content of The Southern Cross, at that time sent my Blog post to his bishop and asked the archbishop to take note of what I had written.
In the archbishop’s written response he acknowledged that there was reason to be concerned about some of the content in The Southern Cross. He further gave assurances that the bishops shared these concerns and that they were due to be addressed by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference with the editor of The Southern Cross at the next admin meeting.
The archbishop did however reject the idea that The Southern Cross had degenerated to the level of the National Catholic Reporter. He gave assurances that the bishops of Southern Africa would not permit that to occur. That was at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013.
Since those assurances by the archbishop, The Southern Cross has introduced two new writers to the readers of The Southern Cross.
In February 2013 the writing of Tony Magliano began to be published in The Southern Cross. Tony Magliano was, and remains, a regular writer for, amongst others, the National Catholic Reporter.
Now, in March 2014, The Southern Cross has chosen to introduce its readers to yet another regular writer of the dissident National Catholic Reporter. This time it’s Phyllis Zagano.
In my 2012 Blog post I warned that “if a scenario similar to that of the National Catholic Reporter were to play out in South Africa, the South African bishops would most certainly find that they were “up the creek without a paddle”.” They simply do not have the resources to establish an alternate newspaper if they were to allow The Southern Cross to progress to the same point that the National Catholic Reporter did in the USA.
As I see the editor of The Southern Cross slowly introducing more and more of the writings of writers from the dissident National Catholic Reporter, I cannot help but think that the bishops of Southern Africa are slowly and surely being duped by this editor.
There is no doubt in my mind that my warning in December 2012 is becoming a reality. The Southern Cross is being constantly transformed so that it is ideally positioned to promote dissident teaching to the Catholic faithful right there within the pews of the parish churches.
When will our bishops courageously insist that our Catholic newspaper must remain completely faithful in all respects to the teaching of the Catholic Church and not permit it to be a source of controversy and a promoter of dissident ideas, no matter how subtle these may be?