Our 30th Anniversary
February 2007By Dale Vree
Dale Vree is Editor of New Oxford Review.
In February 1977 the New Oxford Review was born. Originally an Anglo-Catholic publication, we opposed the Episcopal Church when it ordained priestesses. And we opposed many other things in the Episcopal Church, especially homosexual clergy.
The Episcopal Church went merrily along, but many little splinter groups started. We didn't want to be a rump (a splinter group) of a rump (Episcopal) of the Roman Catholic Church.
In September 1983 the NOR became Roman Catholic. And we helped bring many Episcopalians into the Catholic Church.
However, we lost many of our subscribers, down to 3,400, and were near bankruptcy. Many people wanted to buy or control us, especially the neocons. We turned down their offers. By the grace of God, we survived. No bailout needed, but it was still a rocky road. We maintained our independence. Nobody owned us.
The Catholic Church is a big ocean, and we tiptoed into that big ocean. The Episcopal Church was a bust; but little by little we recognized that the Catholic Church was afflicted with the same temptations -- dissent, heresy, and laxity, outrageous laxity. Not as bad as in the Episcopal Church, but if we didn't fight, many souls might be lost. We certainly did not want to be Episcopalians all over again!
Then there are the clerical sex scandals and the resultant cover-ups. Have you forgotten? We hope not. When Michael S. Rose's book Goodbye, Good Men came out (about the clerical and seminary sex scandals), many orthodox, especially neocon, Catholic publications pooh-poohed it or were openly hostile. We defended Rose's book, and Rose and the NOR were right -- in spades.
We went after Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, when it was not popular to do so in orthodox, especially neocon, circles. We were proved right.
We supported Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) when they condemned the Iraq war, when many orthodox, especially neocon, periodicals supported the war. Again we were proved right.
We've been proved right again and again, but we won't belabor the point.
We've been outspoken, but we've always given our readers ample opportunity to reply.
We bucked the neocon Catholics. Why did we do this? Because we don't live in a Manichaean world, where everyone on our side is absolutely right and those on the other side are absolutely wrong. We know that many of our readers don't like to be given bad news, especially about the neocons.
Nevertheless, we will fight the good fight, come what may.