SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 2005 — Domenico Bettinelli has been named editor of The Catholic World Report, America’s leading Catholic news magazine and Ignatius Press’ flagship journal. After 12 years with CWR, retiring editor Phil Lawler will become editor emeritus, and will continue to be an active presence and will occasionally write for the magazine.
Bettinelli, 36, has worked with Lawler since 1995, first as assistant editor and then as managing editor of The Catholic World Report. He has also been managing editor of Lawler’s web news service CWNews.com. Bettinelli is a native of Boston and holds a theology degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH.
Bettinelli plans to continue delivering the same hard-hitting news and investigation that is CWR’s trademark.
“While the person of the editor is changing, the mission of CWR is not,” Bettinelli said. “We will continue to look at news of the Church and the world with the same unwavering commitment to the truth and the Gospel.
“With the election of a new Pope, the Church’s continuing efforts to recover from the clergy sex-abuse scandal, the challenges of new sects in Latin America, the increasing ascendance of secularism in Europe, the rise of radical Islam worldwide, as well as the oppression of religion in many countries around the globe, there is plenty of journalistic work to be done. CWR will remain the source for the fearless reporting and analysis that has become our signature.”
Bettinelli’s well-trafficked Catholic blog, Bettnet.com, is a regular stop for Catholics with an interest in current events, including those who enjoy his at-times acerbic commentary and news scoops. Bettinelli has appeared on national and local television news stations, and has been published in a number of Catholic magazines and newspapers.
Although the retiring Lawler will still be involved with the magazine, he plans to focus on writing a book about a subject that has preoccupied him throughout his adult life: the collapse of Catholic culture in his native Boston. He will also continue as publisher and editor of the Catholic World News website.
“The death of Pope John Paul II, and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, marked a crucial transition in the life of the Church. Covering that process was an enormous challenge, and it struck me as an appropriate final act for my editorial tenure,” Lawler said. “The presence of Domenico Bettinelli, a talented and capable colleague who is clearly ready to take the helm, has made it very easy to take the last step, confident that CWR will be in good hands.”
“I am grateful to Father Fessio and Ignatius Press for giving me the opportunity to edit their magazine. And I am especially grateful to the loyal and discerning Catholic readers who have made it such a joy to be associated with CWR.”
Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., the publisher of Catholic World Report, thanked Lawler for his service as editor and for his ongoing presence with the magazine as editor emeritus:
“It has been a great blessing to work with Phil Lawler these past twelve years. I think Catholic World Report is still the best source of news about the world from the Catholic perspective and for news about the Catholic Church that is balanced and objective. All this has been Phil Lawler’s doing and I think that English-speaking Catholics have been much enriched by him. I am certainly profoundly grateful and confident that Phil will continue to do great work for the Church. Phil has also been an outstanding mentor to Domenico Bettinelli, who I believe will continue the wonderful work that Phil has done.”