Be Not Afraid says U.S. Catholic Editor
“Mary of Magdala is a model of not being afraid to go and
speak the truth. This is the message she has for us all, but for
journalists in particular...But first you’ve got to expel
those demons,” said Heidi Schlumpf to 150 people at the July
19 Cleveland FutureChurch celebration. Managing Editor of U.S.
Catholic, Schlumpf spoke about The Prophetic Voice of Jounalism:
What Would Mary of Magdala Say. She named “seven
to be expelled if journalists are to take Mary of Magdala as their
patron. The demons are timidity, blandness, officiousness (too
many photos of the bishop), sexism, ageism (too often geared to
over 60s), paternalism (avoid controversy because “readers
can’t handle it”), and “PR/marketting slant” (the
diocesan paper is the mouthpiece for the bishop).
Heidi Schlumpf shows National
Catholic Reporter cover story at Cleveland celebration.
“Many Catholic journalists are frankly fearful for their jobs. If they
don’t self-censor, will they passed over for promotion, downsized, or blatantly
fired?” Schlumpf said. But then she gave examples of Catholic media who
were not afraid to be prophetic such as the National Catholic Reporter for breaking
the clergy sex abuse story many years ago, the website bustedhalo.com for a recent
courageous article about faithful gay priests and her own publication, U.S.
Catholic for being among the few willing to speak to the media about the Vatican’s
chilling decision to fire America editor Fr. Thomas Reese.
Schlumpf ended by asking the crowd to remember the first letter of John: “ ‘Whoever
fears, has not reached perfection in love … perfect love casts out fear.’ Let
us remember that love preached and modeled by Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and all
do the same.”
Photos from St.
Mary of Magdala Celebrations across the country