Journalist Priests: Editors of the Catholic Standard and Times Have Doctorates in Theology and Masters' Degrees in Journalism

By Haughton, Jim | Editor & Publisher, October 5, 1991 | Go to article overview

Journalist Priests: Editors of the Catholic Standard and Times Have Doctorates in Theology and Masters' Degrees in Journalism


Haughton, Jim, Editor & Publisher


Journalist priests

Editors of the Catholic Standard and Times have doctorates in theology and masters' degrees in journalism

You don't have to have a doctorate in philosophy or theology earned in Rome, plus a master's degree in journalism, to become editor of Philadelphia's Catholic Standard and Times, but it helps.

The new editor of the archdiocesan weekly, the Rev. Paul S. Quinter, and his two predecessors, the Rev. David W. Givey and Archbishop John Foley, all studied at major Vatican-affiliated schools in Rome before studying journalism in the United States. Father Quinter, 35, earned his doctorate in theology at Gregorian University in 1987, then received an M.S. in journalism at Columbia University in 1988.

Father Givey, who had been editor from 1984 until June, graduated magna cum laude in philosophy from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1977 and earned a cum laude degree in journalism at Temple University in 1983. He is 47 years old.

Archbishop Foley, the paper's editor from 1970 to 1984, graduated with honors from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and was top honor graduate of Columbia's journalism school. He is now head of the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Social Communications and works worldwide, often serving as network television commentator of major church events in Rome.

Father Quinter studied journalism because of the management style of John Cardinal Krol, retired head of Philadelphia's archdiocese. He believed in having trained people in the wings to fill important posts. The priest was an assistant pastor in Drexel Hill, Pa., after having graduated from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Pa., when the cardinal told him he was going to Rome for doctoral studies, then to Columbia.

"I thought, |What if I don't get accepted to Columbia?'" the priest said. After Columbia, he returned to Philadelphia as administrative secretary to Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua, recently elevated to cardinal, then spent two years teaching theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He wrote a regular column for the diocesan paper.

Father Givey moves to a new assignment as chaplain at West Chester (Pa.) State University. He is not unfamiliar with college life because he taught at LaSalle University for many years. While editor, he also served as an assistant pastor at a Philadelphia inner-city church.

Father Quinter has assumed direction of a thriving 65,000-plus weekly that is regarded as one of the best among the 160 diocesan weekly and biweekly papers.

"The Standard and Times is a multimillion-dollar business and we're not subsidized. The paper is very responsible and well-read," Father Givey said.

He wrote in a recent departing editorial, "We are one of the only Catholic papers in the country that operate without a subsidy. We raise all the money for operating expenses, including salaries, mailing costs, rent and health benefits through subscriptions and advertising. We even have some money in reserve with the archdiocese for that |rainy day,' which we hope never comes."

The elevation of Archbishop Bevilacqua saw the paper publish a 96-page special section the day before the Rome event. It normally does not publish the weeks of July 4 and Christmas but, with the cardinal's elevation, Father Quinter decided to publish a special issue to cover Rome rather than have a two-week-delayed report. Both Fathers Givey and Quinter covered the Rome news and Vatican photographers provided pictures.

The Standard & Times publishes a number of special issues throughout the year, including one health issue, ordination, priests' and nuns' anniversaries, and marriages. With an estimated 1.4 million Roman Catholics--more than 35% of the population--in the five-county area of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, the paper has a broad audience and editorial impact.

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