More Trouble in Dodge City

September 2004

Everyone should know who Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas is. He’s the author of 32 books and more than 500 articles. Another one of his achievements is that he was the founding Editor in 1987 of The Catholic Answer (TCA), published by Our Sunday Visitor Inc. (OSV).

Yes, we’ve had our problems with OSV, but we have regarded TCA as the best publication offered by OSV. But no longer, for Fr. Stravinskas has been fired from his post as Editor of TCA, having been replaced by a relatively unknown new Editor.

Late last year Fr. Stravinskas was told by OSV that he would no longer be TCA’s Editor, though he was allowed to keep doing the Q&A section. Fr. Stravinskas declined the demotion, especially since he knew he would be subject to possible editing and toning down by the new Editor.

OSV rolled out its New Coke with the May-June 2004 issue. The new TCA has a drastic redesign, with a larger size but fewer pages, and with glossy paper and lots more color (does anyone really care about all that?). But Fr. Stravinskas is gone.

So, what’s wrong with Fr. Stravinskas? It’s no secret that Fr. Stravinskas has been a pain in the neck of OSV for a long time. Why? Because the laity write in to Fr. Stravinskas’s Q&A section expressing their perplexity or annoyance or outrage when their priest violates liturgical rubrics or canon law, preaches dissent, or does all sorts of screwy things. Fr. Stravinskas answers with the real deal, quoting chapter and verse. The laity then take the response to their priest and say, “Look! You’re mistaken. Fr. Stravinskas says so!” Such priests are offended and resentful, and complain to OSV and threaten to stop buying OSV products. You see, Fr. Stravinskas makes life difficult for these priests, makes them accountable to the laity.


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New Oxford Notes: September 2004

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