The Catholic Herald, the influential British Catholic magazine founded in London in 1888 whose writers included Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and J.R.R. Tolkien, has launched in the United States on November 16. For 130 years, the Catholic Herald – which was a newspaper before becoming a magazine sometimes described as the Catholic equivalent of The Spectator – has been the most respected voice in British Catholicism. G.K. Chesterton, the great essayist and creator of the fictional detective Father Brown, described it as the only newspaper he trusted. J.R.R. Tolkien, a practicing Catholic, was an avid Herald reader and correspondent while writing Lord of the Rings.
The Herald’s new US edition, based in Washington, DC, will fill a significant gap in the Catholic media market. It will be the only national weekly Catholic current affairs and arts magazine in the United States. Its powerful reporting, opinion pieces and cultural analysis will be a resource for orthodox Catholics who face a time of crisis in the American Church. “We regard this as a huge opportunity. Even more than Britain, America has a huge community of intelligent Catholics who wish to be enlightened and engage with their faith at this critical time,” said Sir Rocco Forte, co-owner of the Herald.
William Cash, the Herald’s chairman, said: “We will be a fresh and independent voice and we will refuse to be dragged into the politicization that has so divided the US church. There has never been more need for debate, measured opinion and bold reporting that is not merely sycophantic.” The Herald’s American operations will be managed by Robert Wargas, the US chief executive officer. The US Catholic Herald’s star writers and its US editor Michael Davis will bring a distinctly American perspective to the publication’s heritage, joining such well-known voices as Tim Stanley, Cristina Odone, A.N. Wilson, Taki, Piers Paul Read, Allan Massie, the independent Labour MP Frank Field and our contributing editor Princess Michael of Kent.