Appeared in Winter 1991, Vol. XVII, No. 4

Any graduation class is very special but this class, the largest ever at Christendom College, is also a class of a very special year with especially big headlines. Among news that made the headlines in 1990-1991, one item must have struck a special chord here with this graduating class of 1990-1991 and with Christendom College at large. On November 14 came the news that Malcolm Muggeridge had passed away. In spite of the fact that he had become a Roman Catholic, the New york times eulogized him as the greatest journalist of this century.

Muggeridge had for some time been called St. Mugg before he came to speak, in 1978, at a christendom fundraising dinner. He spoke on news-twisters, his great topic. No wonder that he sounded very pessimistic. There is little to cheer about the manner in which the media try to run and ruin the lives of all the people most of the time. That St. Mugg sounded pessimistic chimes with a detail in his obituary in the New york times. I do not mean a negative detail, or a studied omission of an important point. Unlike the times of london, by comparison still a paragon of virtue, the New york times did not recall Muggeridge’s last book, conversion. There he left no doubt about the sincerity and solidity of his conversion to the Catholic Church. This was news “not fit to print” for a newspaper notorious for its counter-spiritual fitness program. Such is a further proof, if one was needed, of the remark, that for the New york times only a bad Catholic is a good Catholic, a remark made by Richard Neuhaus, before his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith.

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