February 3, 2017



Why keep up with "Catholic news" from (trusted, authentic) Catholic sources? Why also get "secular" news from a (trusted, authentic) Catholic perspective? (If you're reading a Catholic blog, I'm probably LITERALLY preaching to the choir, but here goes.)

1. There's a lot going on in the Church and in the world today, good and bad. We just can't afford not to know. Ignorance is not bliss, it's blindness. It's not knowing where we're going or why. Lack of knowledge leaves us open to be easily manipulated, misled, disillusioned.

2. There's a lot going on in the intersection of the Church and the world today, good and bad.

3. If we don't keep up, we'll drift from our Faith and even become confused. Because we weren't keeping up. If we love something, we want to know it always better and keep pace with it. If we love Jesus' Church, we'll do the same.

4. We need knowledge first and then wisdom to understand the times we're living in and the challenges and opportunities for the Faith.

"The sons of Issachar, who were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do...." 1 Chronicles 12:32

5. Jesus admonished those who couldn't "read the signs of the times."

6. We have today a phenomenon of "the magisterium of the laity"* (phrase coined by a priest friend): a plethora of Catholic YouTubers, authors/speakers and social media influencers of every ilk with huge followings telling us what is true Catholicism. Many of these intelligent and fervent Catholics are disturbed (and rightly so) by the degree of confusion, heresy and corruption at varying levels of Church officialdom, academia as well as "in the pews," and are doing the following: 1) unearthing/reporting no small evildoing, malfeasance (doctrinal, sexual, financial) 2) teaching what they believe is true Catholic doctrine (which may or may not be) 3) interpreting the entirety of the Catholic Faith: doctrine, morals, worship, history, etc.

This "magisterium of the laity"--which I believe is 99.9% extremely well intentioned--is often muddying the waters even more--and yet, without some serious investigative journalism, horrors like clandestine systemic clergy sex abuse could be flourishing. Heresy could sound like genuine "development of doctrine." The glorious intellectual tradition and comprehensive teaching and wisdom of the Catholic Faith could lay fallow: untouched, untaught and untransmitted in favor of the latest spirituality/theology/sociology fads or, quite simply, religious pablum. Today's laity are the most educated in history and can't be talked down to, condescended to, patronized, gaslit. They are too smart (and good) for that. But, there is no such thing as the magisterium of the laity. The Magisterium is the pope and bishops in communion with him. It is they who hold the teaching office of the Church.

7. Even some long-time, respected, established and "establishment" mainstream Catholic media are rather recently succumbing (2020) to BAD JOURNALISM which is mostly LACK OF JOURNALISM, NOT DOING THE JOB OF A JOURNALIST: NOT going to the sources, NOT fact-checking, NOT reporting accurately and impartially. It's getting harder and harder to give rubberstamp approval to any one (or even one!) Catholic news source that's going to get it right even most of the time these days! So...#1 Know your Catholic Faith. #2 Consult trusted Catholic sources/people. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is always the best go-to. #3 Trust but verify. Do your homework. Be your own journalist, fact-checker, etc.

What are some top sources for Catholic news? Here are my picks. 

These are not just websites, but can be followed/subscribed to on both Twitter and Facebook (you can usually just go to the site and sign up from there, as well as follow by email: they'll send updates into your email inbox).

www.Twitter.com is my #1 source of breaking Catholic news. Wanna get started on Twitter? It's pathetically simple to sign up. Then just "follow" me: @SrHelenaBurns and click on "Tweets" and then "Lists" at the top of my Twitter page. I only have one list: "news-secular-and-Catholic." Click on it and voila! You are instantly following 150 top Catholic (and secular news sites), as well as some very informed individual Catholics (including bloggers) who will keep YOU informed. I don't agree with ALL the sources/folks on that list, just so you know. I personally read "everything."

However, the following sources ARE vetted, and I recommend 'em:

www.WordOnFire.org   Bishop Robert Barron instantly comments on current issues with solid Catholic guidance via short YouTubes (see also his YouTube channel). Fr. Barron's YouTubes are easily shareable and very popular among young adults. It seems even young atheists will watch his stuff because "at least this guy makes sense." Or as Brandon Vogt says: "Fr. Barron is on a mission to show that Catholicism is smart, and has one of the world's most brilliant intellectual traditions."

www.CatholicWorldReport.com (from Ignatius Press--thoughtful in-depth articles about stuff I promise you you didn't know and need to. They discontinued their fine, fine print magazine which was my all-time favorite Catholic periodical. *sob*)  (You can subscribe via email.) See also: www.IgnatiusInsight.com

www.RelevantRadio.com  (Listen online!) Hi-quality 24hr Catholic radio station mostly in Chicago & Midwest. Get their app for iPhone & Android: www.relevantradio.com/app. Constant secular and Catholic news updates as well as in-depth instruction, talk shows and news analysis from Emmy-winning journalist, Sheila Liaugminas (show: "A Closer Look"). Shows are also instantly archived and easy to find on their website. I''m addicted to their "Father Simon Says" podcast: a Bible study of the daily readings. NOT a homily, a REAL BIBLE STUDY: what the Greek & Hebrew words are and what they mean, yadda, yadda.

Support Catholic radio in your area (and online)! Radio apps for mobile technology means you can take it wherever you go, too.

From U.S. Bishops regarding religious liberty (free): text "FREEDOM" to 377377 (for Spanish: "LIBERTAD")

(Augustine Institute) Some of the best Catholic speakers addressing some of the most timely issues directly affecting our lives. Can't recommend enough. In general, I'll listen to each talk about 3 times. CDs and .mp3s

--www.TOBinstitute.org and www.CorProject.com Keep up with Theology of the Body! (get on their e-newsletter list) AND simply put "Theology of the Body" in Google alerts!

www.EWTN.com Global Catholic TV and radio network. EWTN is the undisputed granddaddy of Catholic TV (excluding Archbishop Fulton Sheen, of course). Foundress Mother Angelica made an option for teaching: talk shows, talking heads. EWTN does what they do well. Very well. Multimedia, tons of resources, free real-time streaming online. Also in Spanish.

www.NCRegister.com  (Owned by EWTN) National Catholic Register (can subscribe via email) print edition also available. Simply the finest, most balanced, faithful-yet-super-contemporary take on Church and world news. Bravo.

www.Zenit.org (daily headlines from Vatican--unofficial, but quick & easy way to get Vatican news)

www.News.VA/en  The new, revamped Vatican media site. Includes the official Vatican Newspaper (L'Osservatore Romano), Vatican Information Service, Fides New Agency, Vatican Radio, etc.

Blessed James Alberione reading his favorite newspaper:
L'Osservatore Romano (with Bro. Silvio de Blasio, SSP)
Below is L'Osservatore Romano (the official Vatican Newspaper, I believe it's weekly in English). Print edition is well worth the subscription price. It was printed in English in the USA (for USA and Canada) for a little while, but is now mailed directly from the Vatican. Full texts of Holy Father's talks and doings and other important stuff from the Vatican Offices.  

www.CatholicRegister.org (Canada) Voted BEST North American diocesan newspaper (weekly). From Archdiocese of Toronto, but goes all over Canada. Canadians are just so classy and literary and in-depth on the issues and such. Especially read Fr. Raymond J. de Souza column: it's incisive like a Ninja. Digital subscription available.

www.CatholicNews.com  This is the user-friendly "CNS" news service of the U.S. Bishops. This website compiles a lot of news resources, including movie reviews (which are short, dry and focus mostly on what is appropriate for children or family viewing, don't look for an appreciation of artistry). It includes links to top news stories from Origins and international  Church news. See at bottom of website: www.InterMirifica.net --int'l Catholic multimedia directory!

www.MarsHillAudio.org This is a high-brow, high-Christian, monthly NPR-style audio magazine (CD or mp3-download subscription, well worth the shekels) that keeps you up on the latest books (often by Christians) examining our culture under many different aspects. Great if you love PHILOSOPHY. Lots of interviews with authors and professors. MHA is not Catholic, but very Catholic friendly.

www.EnvoyMagazine.com Wicked fun, non-highbrow apologetics. Gorgeous graphic design. Patrick Madrid.

www.MercatorNet.com  Weird title, good info. Dedicated to any issue dealing with human dignity. In-depth, timely and thoughtful digest.

www.LumenChristi.org  Like philosophy? Me, too!!! Watch world-class Catholic (and other) philosophers on video. This amazing Institute (set up by Cardinal George at the University of Chicago, his alma mater) is revitalizing Catholic philosophy. Kind of a think tank. If you live in Chicago you can go to these talks in person. FREE.

www.OSV.com (Our Sunday Visitor) Weekly online and print. Looking for a FUN, positive, family-oriented, EASY-READ-but-still-informative Catholic news source? Look no further. Best of its kind.

www.SaltandLightTV.org (Canada) Catholic shows, news (English, French, Italian, Chinese)

www.CatholicTV.com (out of Boston) 24 hr, streaming online.

www.NETTV.net  (out of Brooklyn) 24 hr, streaming online.

www.CatholicVote.org Timely issues and essays.

www.CardinalNewmanSociety.org What's going on on "Catholic" college campuses....

www.Formed.org (Augustine Institute) Catholic Netflix! Endless resources. Get password from your parish.

www.CCO.ca (Canada) Catholic Christian Outreach: Young Adult Missionaries have great resources to share the Faith.

BEST CATHOLIC PODCASTS (huge compilation): https://hellburns.blogspot.com/2020/09/holy-catholic-podcast-pandemonium-or.html#.X5sm-4hKiM8 With the list is an accompanying explanation of why I listen to "everything," but can't actually tell you or recommend what I listen to!

BestCatholicWebsites.com  For excellence in various digital Catholic media (content and production values)

Oh yes, and a last-but-not-least reason to keep up with Catholic news:
Papa B asked us to be "an engaged, articulate and well-informed Catholic laity" 
specifically in the United States! He said this to a group of U.S. Bishops on their ad limina visit (January 2012)
because of  how religious freedom was being threatened in the USA. 

PUHLEEEEZE do not get your Church news from the New York Times. I was a long-time fan and reader of the Sunday NYT, but not any more. (Their embrace and incessant promotion of abortion is hard to stomach.) When it comes to religion (especially Catholicism) they are intellectually dishonest (misrepresenting, withholding information, pretending they don't grasp the issues) and hostile.


As a matter of fact, why trust secular news to:
1. report accurately (it's just all that draconic mumbo-jumbo that doesn't make sense anyway, right?)
2. care
3. comprehend
4. be honest (see #1.)
5. interpret what it all means for us?

Stop it, people! Time to wise up, keep up, and get your Best Catholic News Sources on!

End rant.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.