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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Putting Catholic Social Teaching into Practice

Dom Bettinelli has a popular and, to my mind, quite good blog. Recently, along with his usual commentary on church-related issues, he's also blogged about his wife and their newborn baby. Dom is also the editor of Catholic World Report, a great magazine with a great website (featuring the great Diogenes) (Subscription is required to receive the full range of online services.) But CWR has decided they want to go in a new direction and has reached an agreement with Dom that the July issue shall be his last as editor. (I'm very curious about what new direction CWR wishes to pursue. I thought the old direction was pretty true. I'm well aware that this may be a gentlemanly euphemising of other issues, but if anyone knows anything about a new direction, let me in on it. Otherwise, I'll just have to keep reading, trying to discern for myself what's new.)

So who "lets go" an editor right when his wife has a new baby? Well, CWR is published by Ignatius Press, which was founded by Fr. Fessio, who is still "editor" there as well as Chancellor at AMU. I've let this story go for a few days, but now these issues have come up in Dom's combox. Dom is very gentlemanly about it all and has played down any connection between "Ave Maria/Monaghan" and Ignatius Press, claiming they are "completely separate." (Well, I wouldn't go that far, Dom.)

This story illustrates an important facet of the whole brouhaha with which we're all so familiar. There are problems with the way Monaghan's enterprises are run: promises broken and justice denied. (Cf. AMC, St. Mary's, IPT, Campion College, and, of course, AMSoL.) Well, who's gonna get the word out about these problems, sunlight being such a powerful disinfectant? Tom Monaghan's association with Fr. Fessio raises two problems in this regard. First, it means that CWR is no longer an unbiased reporter and commentator upon circumstances Ave Marian. And (b), Ignatius Press is a major advertizer in other Catholic publications, like First Things. Most orthodox Catholic publications are barely getting by on a wing and a prayer and can ill afford to upset major revenue sources. (I note here that the Ave Maria Fund appears to be one of the biggest advertizers on National Review's NRO website. Kate O'Beirne, call your office.)

Pray to St. Joseph for Dom and his family. Pray to Sts. Maximillian Kolbe, Francis de Sales, and Paul the Apostle for Catholic journalists. And pray that the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Finals so that Mark Cuban's basketball dreams are satisfied and he can then turn his attention to buying the Pittsburgh Pirates and lifting them and their fans out of the hell we've been in lo, these many years.