WASHINGTON (December 3, 1997)--A source book listing background and on-the-record sources on the Catholic Church has been developed by the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Department of Communications.
The book, titled 1998 Source Book, is the first such tool for media produced by the USCC and provides data on the Catholic Church in the United States as well as information on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB)/USCC. It lists 88 persons who have expertise in a variety of areas and notes which ones also are fluent in Spanish, Italian and French.
Topics on which USCC staff can provide background are extensive. Among them are abortion, arms control, civil rights, education, ecumenism, international debt, environment, labor, foreign policy, medial moral issues, euthanasia, the Millennium, vouchers, sacraments, welfare and youth ministry.
In a letter introducing the book to journalists, Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, NCCB/USCC General Secretary, said it is an effort to assist the media.
"The Bishops of the United States seek to do all that they can to provide you access to Catholic Church officials and assistance in understanding the Church and its issues in contemporary society," he said. "We hope you will find our staff helpful to you as you report on the often complex issues which make up our work."
"Your role has been and remains vital for our world," he added.
Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, head of the Bishops' Department of Communications, said the source book was developed after numerous journalists requested such a tool.
"We expect that it will be helpful not only for people on the religion beat but also for journalists who cover issues of interest to the Church, including education, immigration, health, peace, justice and youth."
The 1998 Source Book is available to media who request it by writing to USCC Department of Communications, 3211 fourth St., NE, Washington, DC 20017-1194 or faxing a request to (202) 541-3173. Information from the 1998 Source Book also will be available on the Internet, at www.nccbuscc.org.