Should Catholic Newspapers Employ Lapsed Journalists?

Confessions of a part-time Mass-goer    newmass

It’s the time of year when the experience of Jesus is most profound and vivid, even for non-regular Mass attenders, says KEVIN McKenna

My name is Kevin McKenna and I don’t go to Mass every week. If there was a self-help group for Catholic back-sliders like me I’d probably be getting the hugs and back-rubbing treatment right now. “Amen brother, just let it out,” someone would say, gently. “We’ve all been there,” another would whisper. There could be tears. Afterwards someone might quote Luke 15:7. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” It is one of the favourite Biblical verses of recusants everywhere. Along with ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ and ‘judge ye not, lest ye be judged.’ All three of these verses, taken together, offer a wee exegesis of redemption for those of us who have become, ahem, somewhat neglectful of our Catholic duties.

I can’t quite recall when the rot first set in. And it certainly wasn’t due to any theological or philosophical quarrel I had with Rome, or the teachings of Holy Mother Church. I might be a haphazard Catholic but I still believe in the whole package, even those bits of it that I cheerfully choose to ignore in the trade winds of everyday secular life. I remain within the ambit of the magisterium, as they say. Nor is it because of the recent waves of scandal that have broken on our shores. I may have been vociferous in my criticism of our leadership over some of these issues but, in the midst of it all, I acknowledge that these are only mere human beings and as prone to error as the rest of us.

The Faith is eternal, sacred and divine… and unshakeable—except on some Sundays where I’ve lamentably found other things to do.

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Now, it would take too long to highlight all the questionable statements in Kevin McKenna’s article. He has, for example, made his views on “gay rights” abundantly clear over time,  notably at the time of the same-sex marriage debate, so to claim that he “believes the whole package” is stretching it a bit, to put it mildly.

McKenna was once Deputy Editor of The (notoriously anti-Catholic) Herald, which position he abused by instructing the then Letters Editor to send anything from Catholic Truth “upstairs” (to him) and so it came to pass that our letters, which once graced the letters page of The Herald with reasonable frequency, were seen no more and this state of affairs continues at the present time. 

Kevin McKenna, then, is not a man of integrity.  That’s a given.  This latest revelation – that he’s a lapsed Catholic, employed to write for Scotland’s only national Catholic (in inverted commas) newspaper – is but one more piece of evidence in that regard. 

Don’t fall for all that pseudo-humility dressed in selective biblical quotes, wrongly interpreted. For example, he blithely quotes the verse about there being “more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents…” without mentioning the fact that he has shown no sign of repenting of his deliberate choice of lapsation – which is, contrary to his personal opinion, a mortal sin.

What kind of journalist – and what kind of editor – would imagine that practising, regular Mass-going Catholics are remotely interested in reading the ramblings of a man who cannot even get the basics right in his own life? What has he got to say that is of any interest to any Catholic? A man who doesn’t even know the teaching of the Church, that to miss Mass on Sundays without good cause is very much a mortal sin. Who, in other words, does Kevin McKenna think he is, to mislead readers as he does – shamelessly… Or maybe you think it’s no big deal that a lapsed journalist should be employed to write for the Scottish Catholic Observer? After all, they handed a column to the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge not so long ago.

Come to think of it, maybe I’m making much ado about nothing… what do you think?