We are at the beginning of the Easter Triduum, when Christianity remembers and memorializes the Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Recently there was a resurrection in the world of U.S. Catholic media. As I posted last week, Crux along with John L. Allen, Jr. and Ines St. Martin transformed from being a part of The Boston Globe into an independent entity with the Knights of Columbus as a sponsor. This new situation has generated a lot of discussion with many Catholic liberals expressing fear that the Knights of Columbus will influence content at Crux while numerous conservatives are expecting and praising it.
Laura Hazard Owen deputy editor at the Nieman Lab spoke with Allen and Martin about the “Catholic Corporate Resurrection” at Crux. Allen said The Boston Globe decision to jettison Crux and the partnership with the Knights of Columbus materialized in 3 days (March 9th – 11th), “My soundbite is that this was a corporate resurrection. We died and rose again on the third business day.”
One Catholic organization is concerned about this new arrangement. Marianne Duddy-Burke executive director of DignityUSA, “the nation’s foremost organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) Catholics,” is concerned that the shift for Crux from The Boston Globe’s ownership to the Knights of Columbus partnership will affect the coverage, “When it was sponsored by a major news organization, I think its audience came to expect high quality, independent journalism. In shifting to Knights of Columbus sponsorship, I fear that independence could be compromised. The Knights are deeply invested in advancing a particular brand of Catholicism, and I am concerned that Crux’s coverage of the diversity and breadth of our Church will be diminished.” Duddy-Burke points to the $6.25 million that was directed to anti-marriage equality measures by the Knights of Columbus.
In the interview with Owen, Allen was adamant about Crux’s journalistic independence, “This is a partnership, not a buyout. We have not been purchased by the Knights of Columbus; Crux remains fully independent. Up until this point, of course, we’ve been under the legal aegis of The Boston Globe. We are now incorporating as a separate entity. My home happens to be in Denver, so we’re going to be incorporated in the state of Colorado. It will be its own independent outfit and we retain full editorial control of the content. All the editorial decisions will be made by us.” Allen was not directly addressing DignityUSA’s concerns, however he was responding to those – liberal or conservative – who believe that he is now a lackey for Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson.
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