Religion: Cheeky Reporter

All but a handful of Roman Catholic magazines and newspapers in the U.S. are published by dioceses or religious orders—and usually display a nervous, reverential caution in telling what goes on inside the church. A cheeky, one-year-old exception is Kansas City's National Catholic Reporter, owned and edited by laymen who take orders from no one (although they get moral and financial support from Missouri Bishop Charles Helmsing). "It is the freshest thing that has appeared in Catholic journalism," says Monsignor Francis J. Lally of the Boston Pilot.

In format, the Reporter is a...

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