The Wanderer (newspaper)

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The Wanderer is a lay Roman Catholic weekly newspaper published in Saint Paul, Minnesota and distributed to a national market. It was founded by Joseph Matt (later named KSG) on 7 October 1867. Unlike diocesan publications or those of religious institutes, it is independent of ecclesiastical oversight.


The Wanderer gives the following self-description:

"The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly journal of news, commentary, and analysis, has been publishing continually since 1867. Owned and operated by Catholic laymen, The Wanderer is independent of ecclesiastical oversight but maintains a fiercely loyal adherence to Catholic doctrine and discipline."[1]

It was originally published in German to minister to German immigrants to Minnesota and the Dakotas who were being "attracted to and influenced by Masonic and quasi-Masonic German-language newspapers and organizations." A German language edition was published until 1957. The English edition began in 1931.[1]


Early on, it was a major opponent of a perceived "Americanizing" of the Church. That tendency was addressed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1899 apostolic letter, Testem Benevolentiae. It claims to have been one of the first newspapers to decry Nazi ascendancy as anti-Christian, and opposed Russia's participation in the Allied response as an "unholy alliance". The Wanderer was also noticed by Joseph Stalin in these efforts, as a repudiation of the paper's stance was published in Pravda. [1]

Through the Vatican II years, a dispute over the Council led to Walter Matt leaving The Wanderer to his brother, Alphonse Matt, and founding The Remnant in 1967. As The Wanderer states, "... the council was not a rejection or an abandonment of tradition, but a development of that tradition, safeguarded for 2,000 years by the Holy Spirit, to better enable the Church to continue to bring the gospel to all men."[1]

The Wanderer remains faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, including the Church's prohibition of artificial contraception and abortion. This has often placed the newspaper in opposition to individuals and groups claiming to operate in line with the "spirit of Vatican II". The paper found itself in opposition to the Call to Action Program in 1976, which advocates reform regarding the Church's official teachings with respect to the position of women and homosexuals within the Church. [1]


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