Decisions affecting CNS, Catholic New York unleash flood of questions, concerns — and unity


Please allow me to express my gratitude for the outpouring of support for our friends at Catholic News Service and Catholic New York. These two events, one so quickly on the heels of the other, resulted in a lot of emotion — heartbreak, anger, sorrow and distress — from our association members, the Twittersphere and beyond.

On May 4, the day the news broke about Catholic News Services’ domestic operations closing at the end of 2022, the Catholic Media Association Board of Directors convened an emergency meeting to try and make sense of this situation. Later that day, we first shared a note with members that gave an opportunity to check in, express concerns, and ask questions. In under a week, we had heard from more than 70 different organizations representing Catholic media throughout North America and beyond. We compiled a list of more than 75 different questions.

The next day, the CMA-CNS Liaison Committee — a group of CNS-client editors who interface directly with the news service on behalf of Catholic publications — met to discuss the impact this will have on print and digital publications, websites, communications offices, evangelization and formation efforts, and the Catholic faithful.

We are working to get answers on what this means for you and your readers.

Allow me this space, too, to give thanks to everyone who is stepping up to help. In addition to the aforementioned responses from members, dozens of people have stepped up with ideas and determination to help our North American network of Catholic journalists and media professionals. The way our colleagues and friends have been rolling up their sleeves to make a positive difference has been nothing but inspiring.

To address these many important questions and concerns surrounding CNS, and to help chart a path forward, a new breakout session has been added to the Catholic Media Conference at 8:30 a.m. PDT, July 7.

Please make time to join us at the conference during this unprecedented time in our 111-year history as an association. We are working to provide a livestream for those unable to join in person.

Additional ideas and plans are under consideration, and we look forward to sharing more as soon as we can.

I encourage you to join us as we discuss these pressing issues and more at the Catholic Media Conference. This will be our first in-person conference since 2019, and it is important that we come together as community. Book your hotel and explore your registration options today.

See you at #CMCportland.

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 edition of The Catholic Journalist.

Rob DeFrancesco is executive director of the Catholic Media Association. Reach him at