Catholic news site's major grant to cover women religious
National Catholic Reporter to focus on sisters worldwide
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Amid continued controversy over the Catholic identity of U.S. women religious, a dissenting Catholic newspaper has been awarded a multi-million dollar grant to cover religious sisters locally and globally.
Brad Myers, a senior program officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's Catholic Sisters Initiative, confirmed to CNA on Aug. 22 that the foundation board last week approved a three-year, $2.3 million grant to the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Catholic Reporter.
He said the grant is designed to create “what we're calling a global sisters' net.”
“The idea is a website devoted to the coverage of Catholic sisters globally,” he said. “Initially our focus is going to be on issues facing Catholic sisters in the United States and Africa. Ultimately we do have global ambitions. We have stronger networks between these two countries, so that’s where we'll start.”
“For the most part, we’re looking to improve the support systems among religious life among women. Our approach is to look at ways to make the systems work better for all women religious,” he added.
Myers noted that the grant was only recently approved by the board and the newspaper has not yet officially accepted the grant.
The National Catholic Reporter's Catholic identity has been called into question by its local bishops several times.
Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in January 2013 said the National Catholic Reporter takes positions “against authentic Church teaching and leadership.” He said the agency's perspectives “have not changed trajectory” since October 1968.
At that time, Bishop Finn's predecessor Bishop Charles H. Helmsing condemned the newspaper for “its disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith,” and asked it to remove the name “Catholic” from the title.
The newspaper's editorial staff announced their dissent from Church teaching on the ordination of women in an editoral last December.
Source: Catholic News Agency
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