The Wanderer (Roman Catholic 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 on 7 October 1867. Unlike diocesan publications or those of religious institutes, the newspaper 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin in German to minister to German immigrants to Minnesota, Wisconsin,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 nostrae. 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] Among the initial acts of the Nazi party to control the press in 1933 was a ban on The Wanderer German-language edition (some 3,000 German subscribers).

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]


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