National Catholic Reporter Exercises Censorship Again: Jerry Slevin Reports Being Blocked from Commenting at NCR — Without Any Explanation


William D. Lindsey

An important discussion has been taking place here in the past several days on two different threads. At both threads (cited below), Jerry Slevin reports that he was recently blocked from making comments at National Catholic Reporter — blocked without explanation or warning. And when he has sought an explanation for this from the powers that be at NCR, he receives no replies to his questions.

Bilgrimage readers will perhaps know Jerry (who’s a Harvard-trained interational lawyer with extensive experience in the legal field) as the author of provocative, valuable statements about various issues in the Catholic church today. He’s published some of his pieces here, and they can be retrieved by clicking on his name in the labels beneath this posting. Jerry also maintains the noteworthy Christian Catholicism blog, which is in my blog list here at Bilgrimage, and has contributed significantly to discussions of Catholic issues in discussion threads at NCR for several years now.

The inexplicable choice of NCR‘s managing staff to block Jerry Slevin from commenting at that site — again, according to Jerry, he received no forewarning and has been not been done the bare courtesy of being provided with any explanation — deserves attention, in my view. For my own discussion of (and serious concerns) about NCR‘s mechanism of censorship, which I’ve found directed against me, too, please see these postings — here, here, and here.

Unlike Jerry, I have not been blocked from commenting at NCR, though I’ve found comments I’ve made there deleted with no explanation, while nasty, and in many cases, outright homophobic, commenters to whom those comments were directed in some cases are allowed free rein to keep commenting. I decided after my last experience of censorship by NCR that I will no longer leave comments at that site. In my view, its process for censoring contributors is not in the least transparent, and it’s capricious in a way that often serves the interests of folks who want to misuse the Catholic tradition and Catholic teaching to inflict misery on others — while it takes away from those who want to respond to these commenters any effective voice to respond.

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