The Catholic Times is a currently-published weekly newspaper and the official organ of the diocese of Columbus, a Roman-Catholic district that serves 23 counties in central and south-central Ohio. The paper began in 1875 as the Catholic Columbian, which ran through 1939 with the motto “This is the Victory Which Overcometh the World—Our Faith,” derived from John 5:4. Under the editorial supervision of Bishop Rosecrans, the first bishop of Columbus, the Catholic Columbian established a principled tone to defend Catholic beliefs against secular and Protestant criticisms. Roman Catholics often faced suspicion from their Protestant neighbors, who questioned their loyalty to the United States due to their affiliation with the Pope in Rome. Treated with distrust, and increasingly concerned about secular, consumerist entertainment they deemed incompatible with their values, the Catholic community sought to provide their own source of news and ideological leadership.
The paper published church news and advertisements for household goods and clothing. Parochial news in the form of church calendars, sports updates, and charity events, was often provided after national and international news, which took up the first few pages. The paper also published “reputable” serialized fiction, which was eventually replaced by trivia, and usually included a few single-panel cartoons to comment on whatever the week’s hot topic was. The Catholic Times also published special issues around Christmas, telling stories and urging giving. The Catholic Columbian retained a strong focus on advice and opinion columns, as did its successors the Columbus Register and the currently-published Catholic Times. From politics and economics to entertainment, marriage, and adolescence, the Catholic Times editors helped answer theological and moral questions posed by the diocesan community. In the fifties and sixties, common topics included racial integration, women’s rights, labor, communism, and war.
The Catholic Times and its predecessors had no competition from other Catholic newspapers in the diocese. The Church itself governed each of the newspapers’ publishers, the Columbian Printing and Publishing Company, the Catholic Press Society, and the Catholic Times Inc.. Editors were local clergy who styled the paper as a point of unity among the many parishes in the diocese. In August 1911, Catholic newspapers from around the country met at the Chittenden Hotel in Columbus to promote the publication of Catholic perspectives. The Catholic Times continues to be published in Columbus, Ohio.
Researched and written by Jen Cabiya