From OSV’s mailbag: Disappointment in ‘Church strikes back’ headline

Once a week, OSV Newsweekly Editor Gretchen R. Crowe will respond to a recent letter to the editor. We invite you to contribute your own comments by emailing

From Msgr William J.J. O’Donnell in Warminster, Pa.:
What a disappointment to see “Church strikes back” on the front page of the Feb. 23 issue. I would hope that I would never again see in your newspaper a statement like “Church strikes back.” On that same Sunday, the Gospel reading from Mt. 5:38-48 gave us the directive from our divine teacher stating thus: “Offer no resistance to the one who is evil… . Turn the other cheek.”

Editor’s response:
We received a couple of letters questioning this cover headline and relating it to that week’s Gospel reading. This cover is a bit more provocative than we usually run, and is something the editorial team debated over. We ultimately decided to run with it because we felt it accurately reflected, in particular, the response of Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi to the egregious comments from the United Nations regarding the Holy See a few weeks before. We wanted a front page that was strong, and one that reflected how outrageous it was for the United Nations to recommend that the Church change its canon law. That said, it’s always valuable to be reminded of Jesus’ challenge for us to turn the other cheek — a request that we particularly should be mindful of during the penitential season of Lent.

Gretchen R. Crowe is editor of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.