Even close readers of the Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver, overseen by Archbishop Charles Chaput (pictured), probably missed a contradiction on page two of the publication's July 16 edition. The info box in the lower right-hand corner of the page notes that the Register "is published weekly except the last week of December and the first week of January." But a "NOTICE TO READERS" placed immediately above this mention reveals that this is no longer the case.
The second item reads:
"To be better stewards, the Denver Catholic Register is reorganizing its publication calendar and is reducing the number of issues published annually from 50 to 44. Be aware that there will not be a Register published the weeks of July 30 or Aug. 6...."
Given the horrid economics afflicting the print-journalism business as a whole, such changes are becoming ever more common. Note that the venerable magazine U.S. News & World Report announced last month that it would move from a weekly to a biweekly publication schedule. Then again, the reason for the Archdiocese's decision about the Register likely has less to do with advertising shortfalls than it does with recent settlements of eighteen claims of sexual abuse by two priests, Harold Robert White and Leonard Abercrombie, pertaining to the years between 1954 and 1981. The total outlay: just over $5.5 million. Read Archbishop Chaput's July 2 statement about the settlements here.
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The Archdiocese is no doubt looking for ways to offset these expenses -- and that effort appears to be registering at the Register. -- Michael Roberts