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Flak flying between high profile Catholic Editors

There's some flak flying in the decision of the National Catholic Reporter to carry a report on the decision of a Vatican prosecutor to reopen paedophilia investigations against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

The letters page of NCR carries a complaint by Fr Owen Kearns who is editor-in-chief and publisher of the Legion-owned National Catholic Register. In a separate lengthy response the Editor of NCR, Tom Roberts, has defended his paper's decision to cover this story.

Roberts writes: "Among the elements that form NCR's mission is a deep commitment to a community's right to know, even a church community. That extends to its right to know about what the late Jesuit Fr. John Courtney Murray, in a speech about Catholic journalism, referred to as 'the dirty stuff of history'."

In his letter, Fr Kearns, writes "I would like to remind NCR readers that Fr. Marcial Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ have already made it clear that the allegations mentioned in the articles are false."

NCR and the Legion: an explanation including edited version of Fr Kearn's letter (NCR 14/1/05)

National Catholic Register website

Vatican to reopen case against Maciel (NCR report 7/1/05)

19 Jan 2005