The Diocese of Grand Rapids has been notified that the Michigan Catholic Tribune, a newspaper purporting itself to be Catholic, is being mailed to parishioners within the diocese. The paper includes a photo of and quote from Bishop David Walkowiak along with other politically-related content. The publication also has an accompanying website, americancatholictribune.com. This publication and its accompanying website are not endorsed by nor are they affiliated with the Diocese of Grand Rapids or the Catholic Church. Information about the publisher is not apparent in the print publication.
The Diocese of Grand Rapids wants to assure parishioners that the publisher did not receive mailing information from the diocese or its parishes. The diocese does not sell its database of parishioner contact information.
It should also be noted that Canon 216 of the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law states that no initiative can lay claim to the title “catholic” without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority:
Can. 216 Since they participate in the mission of the Church, all the Christian faithful have the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings, according to their own state and condition. Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority. (Source: https://www.vatican.va/archive/cod-iuris-canonici/eng/documents/cic_lib2-cann208-329_en.html)
If you have questions about the above information, please contact our Diocesan Director of Communcations: Annalise Laumeyer
Local media coverage:
GR Catholic Diocese: That newspaper is not from us (Nov. 3, 2022, Wood TV 8)
Bishops disavow link to politically oriented ‘Catholic’ newspapers (Nov. 3, 2022, CNA)
GR diocese warns of circulating fake Catholic newspaper (Nov. 2, 2022, Fox 17 online)