COLORADO SPRINGS, Feb. 22, 2013, ( – A Colorado bishop is supporting the local bishop in his call for the National Catholic Reporter to drop the name “Catholic.”

Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs told in an interview this week that the national paper is “an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.”

In January, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, where NCR’s offices are located, published a column reminding the paper and the faithful that NCR has been forbidden from using the name “Catholic” since 1968.


The Code of Canon Law stipulates in canon 216 that no organization can use the name Catholic without permission of the ecclesiastical authority.

NCR is renowned for opposing Catholic teaching on women’s ordination, contraception, homosexuality, and other issues, yet still enjoys privileged access to many Church leaders and regularly features ads paid for by Catholic dioceses and parishes.

“I believe exactly what [Bishop Finn is] saying,” said Sheridan. “That is a big deal for me…I don’t understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma.” 

Even if the paper continues to defy the bishop, he continued, churches should “absolutely not” make it available to parishioners on their magazine racks.

In his January 25th column, Bishop Finn noted that NCR’s “positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory” since the original ruling in 1968 by Bishop Charles Helmsing.

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“In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name ‘Catholic,’” he added.

Nevertheless, the paper has remained defiant. “NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication,” wrote Thomas Fox, the paper’s publisher, on January 27th. “We report and comment on church matters including official teachings. We also report and comment on those who call into question some of these official teachings.”

Fox also pointed out that NCR is a member of the Catholic Press Association, which is approved by the Catholic Church.