Day One: NCR Webathon -- Please give generously

by Thomas C. Fox

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Greetings to everyone – especially devotees of the NCR website, Today, and throughout this week, we’re asking for your help as part of NCR’s Second Annual “Webathon.”

I will get right to the point: Your support is vital, absolutely essential, to the work of providing the independent news, analysis and commentary you have grown to expect from the nation’s leading Catholic newspaper and Website – Please take a moment, right now to show your support for the online and print journalism NCR provides to the Catholic community.

As you read this, the world’s leading “Vaticonologist,” NCR’s John L. Allen, Jr. has been reporting from St. Peter’s Square the beatification ceremonies of Pope John Paul II. Actually, he has been writing about this event for the past week and longer, as have other NCR contributors.

Today John will be double dipping, writing for us and well as doing commentary for CNN during their broadcasts.

How do other journalists see John Allen? For more than a decade, he has set the standard on authoritative Vatican reporting (Don’t take my word for it. Newsweek Magazine said “Allen has become the journalist other reporters — and not a few cardinals — look to for the inside story on how all the pope's men direct the world's largest church.”)

It’s one thing to watch an event on CNN and then tell the world what happened, quite another to provide that analysis for both NCR and a worldwide cable audience. NCR’s team of correspondents and reporters are respected by their secular peers (“A brave little paper,” said the New York Times; “A leading religious newspaper,” according to Huffington Post; “respected,” according to Salon) because we not only take the time to get it right, but we have the expertise to set important stories in their proper context.

Meanwhile, our colleagues in the Catholic press recognize what NCR is all about: We were recently named, for the eleventh year running, the Catholic press’ outstanding national newspaper.

Today’s beatification, of course, is taking place in the midst of controversy. It is being criticized as being “fast tracked” by men hand-picked by the late pope to be his bishops and to be members of his curia. At no time in modern history has a pope beatified his predecessor.

Meanwhile, many survivors of clergy sex abuse, and many others, feel Pope John Paul II failed to protect them (and he wider church) from clergy predators and the bishops who enabled them. For some this beatification is salt in open wounds. John Paul supporters, on the other hand, say his holiness and dedication to spreading the faith to the corners of the world is without equal. Those supporters will be abundantly visible today in St. Peter’s Square.

So what does John Allen think about the beatification? His views were recorder earlier today in an interview on National Public Radio.

Now back to NCR – and to you.

You are here on this Web site today because you find NCR valuable. You are here because NCR offers you something vital. You are here because you want to be informed. You want to hear all sides of the controversy. This is where the conversation takes place. This is where adult Catholics come to stay informed and to make up their own minds.

Please do not take for granted the services we offer you. We cannot continue our mission of providing independent Catholic journalism without your support.

Also, please consider making a recurring gift to NCR either monthly, quarterly or yearly. The gift amount you designate will automatically be charged to your credit card as you indicate. Go to the "Donate to NCR" button, click on it, then simply fill in the box with the amount you want to donate, click on the drop-down box to specify the frequency of your gift, and complete the rest of the form as normal. This is a painless, simple means of providing NCR with the support it needs to continue reporting the news of the Church and the world.

Please give to the NCR right now. We need your support.

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