Boston Globe Media Partners launches Catholic site

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


BOSTON -- Boston Globe Media Partners launched Tuesday a new website called Crux, exploring news and issues of the Catholic Church, faith, spirituality and Catholic lifestyle. The free, standalone site is at cruxnow.com.

Crux provides national and international news and analysis of the Catholic Church and the practice of Catholicism, with a focus on how news from the Vatican and the words and actions of Pope Francis affect Catholics worldwide.

Its content will appeal to a broad swath of people: active Catholics who regularly follow religious news, “casual” Catholics who may not be regular Mass attendees, those who are simply interested in the dynamic and popular Pope Francis, and readers of all faiths who are eager to explore spirituality in general.

“Now is as good a time as I’ve ever seen to launch a site like this,” said Globe editor Brian McGrory. “The pope is a champion of inclusiveness, openness and social justice, and he has reignited interest in the Catholic faith and faith in general.”

Teresa Hanafin, a 29-year veteran of the Globe, will be the editor of Crux.

“We are going to explore traditional Catholic life within the context of modern day Catholicism, as well as give full voice to disagreements and challenges within the Church,” she said.

Like the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters of The Boston Globe, the reporters at Crux will approach coverage from a journalistic point of view, rather than one of advocacy or evangelism. Readers can expect to see contentious topics discussed, including abortion, gay marriage and the role of women in the church.

John L. Allen Jr., considered the premier Vatican reporter in the country, if not the world, will serve as associate editor for Crux. He is also the senior Vatican analyst for CNN and has written nine books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs. He will continue his regular Sunday column, “All Things Catholic,” for the print edition of the Globe.

Additionally, Crux will feature lighter fare, including quizzes, travel coverage and recipes. A column called “OMG,” for example, written by New York magazine writer Lisa Miller, will offer advice on readers’ ethical and moral dilemmas. The site will regularly feature contributions from leading religious voices, as well as contributions from readers, who will be invited to submit essays on weekly topics.

“Crux is not just about the Church, but about life and faith,” said David Skok, Boston Globe digital adviser. “Our goal is to make the site as inclusive as possible. It is journalistic above all else, so we are not coming at this with any ideological bent.”

Margery Eagan, formerly of the Boston Herald, joins Crux as spirituality columnist. She will explore issues of spirituality, contemplation and devotion, drawing on her personal experience with faith, as well as that of other Catholics and those of various religious traditions.

Inés San Martín, a journalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, joins the staff as the on-the-ground reporter in Rome, covering the day-to-day news and events at the Vatican. National reporter Michael J. O’Loughlin will focus on the role of the Catholic Church in everyday American life.

Crux is Boston Globe Media’s second standalone “vertical” website. Its first, BetaBoston.com, launched in 2013 and covers technology and innovation. The Globe is actively exploring other verticals for the future. (PR)

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