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The Ax Falls

In a book review in our January 1999 issue, your Editor noted that The Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI), published by the Catholic Library Association (CLA), refuses to index The Wanderer. Why? Because the CLA considers The Wanderer extremist and outside the mainstream.

However, the CPLI does index the antipapal and anti-Magisterial National Catholic Reporter. Now, The Wanderer stands staunchly with the Pope and the Magisterium. Apparently, the Pope is extremist too, and the Magisterium is also outside the mainstream.

If The Wanderer is extremist, so is the Reporter. But the self-styled guardians of the mainstream at the CLA would likely call the Reporter “prophetic,” not extremist.

Why is it important to be indexed in the CPLI? Because those who do research on Catholic affairs rely on it to understand the full range of the debate taking place in the Church. So when historians and others write about the Vatican II aftermath, The Wanderer will to a large extent be excluded from “the public record.” If the exclusion of The Wanderer is not censorship, what is?

In that January 1999 review, your Editor asked rhetorically: “The NEW OXFORD REVIEW is indexed in the CPLI, and one wonders if that should be a matter of pride or shame.”

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