Recently, I viewed the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) website; it featured an editorial titled, I am a Pro-Choice Catholic. I wondered, does anyone actually read this crap? The ideas promulgated by the National Catholic Reporter are so stupid that I can't imagine anyone paying $40 a month for the privilege of reading them. Faithful Catholic bloggers make a habit of skewering NCR and other heretical publications, but what if no one actually subscribes to them? After some online research and phone calls, I came up with a list of readership statistics for leading Catholic publications in the United States and the number of monthly visitors to their websites.
Number of Subscribers\Monthly Web Visitors
St. Anthony Messenger: 300,000*\790,800
Our Sunday Visitor: 48,000\127,750
America Magazine: 40,000\164,250
National Catholic Reporter: 35,000\1.217 Million
National Catholic Register: 33,000**\1.125 Million
Catholic World Report 12,000\97,300
It would appear that the heterodox publications National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal, and the borderline America magazine, are in the mainstream of Catholic publications in terms of readership. Especially disturbing are the 1.217 Million monthly visitors to the NCR website. Perhaps most of those visits were by LarryD looking for something to lampoon, but I rather doubt it. It is too bad that the awful National Catholic Reporter is so popular, but it is heartening to see such high readership of Our Sunday Visitor and the National Catholic Register website. At the very least, Catholic bloggers have no shortage of material when it comes to heresy. Nothing cures writers block like outrageous attacks on the faith and the National Catholic Reporter is generous to continually produce them.
*This number seems very high but I corroborated it using both the SAM website and an outside source. I suspect that they give away a lot of issues.
**This figure is from 2008 and may not reflect current subscription levels, but it was all I could find.