The USCCB: Creating a new media monopoly on the Word of God

The USCCB: Creating a new media monopoly on the Word of God

Some months ago, a tech-savvy Catholic named Brian Noe decided to do a service for busy Catholics everywhere by making audio recordings of the daily Lectionary and turning them into a podcast you could download every day and listen to as you work, commute, do errands, or what have you. If your schedule prevents you from getting daily Mass, at least this would be a way to hear the Word of God. He named his podcast Verbum Domini and distributed it for free via the usual methods.

The problem is that the Lectionary in the United States is based on the New American Bible translation and that translation’s copyright is owned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Thus earlier this year Noe received a cease-and-desist letter from the USCCB telling him to stop his podcasts. They wouldn’t even discuss the matter.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about how the USCCB selectively enforces its copyrights, allowing heterodox web sites to publish USCCB documents while bringing the hammer down on orthodox users.

Now we see why the USCCB shut down Verbum Domini. They didn’t want the competition. The USCCB now offers its own podcast of the daily Lectionary readings and they’ve spent $30,000 of our donations on it.

“Listening to each day’s readings will be much like hearing them proclaimed in a parish setting,” says Patricia Ryan Garcia, CCC coordinator of the project. “Several readers, including bishops, clergy, and laity from different ethnic backgrounds, have lent their voices to the project so listeners will hear at least three different voices on any given day.”

On Sundays and solemn feasts, such as Christmas (December 25) and All Saints Day (November 1), musical presentations of the Responsorial Psalms will be included in the USCCB ‘podcasts,’ through the generosity of music publishers GIA Publications, Inc., of Chicago, Ill., Oregon Catholic Press of Portland, Ore., and World Library Publications of Franklin Park, Ill.

Oh boy! Now, not only do we get to hear politically correct readings, we get them set to the musical stylings of Marty Haugen, David Haas, and Dan Schutte. This is just what I’ve been missing in my spiritual life. I was just saying the other day that it’s such a shame I can only hear Haugen-Haas-Schutte on Sundays, but now I’m sure I can hear them every day now.

What. Joy.

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1 comment
  • Have they written music for the responsorial psalms?

    Yes, unfortunately. We’re subjected to the lamentable settings (which frequently alter the text of the psalm!) on most Sundays.