MUMBAI, India — Since 1850, the Archdiocese of Bombay has been served by a newspaper now called The Examiner.
Founded as the Bombay Diocesan Bulletin, the newsweekly has for 168 years been a point of reference for the Catholic community in what is now called Mumbai. The city and its environs are predominantly Hindu, and Christians only make up about 3.27 percent of the population.
Despite its small size, the Christian community has a long history: The Portuguese established missions in the area in the 16th century.
“Catholics need their own voice to engage society and be heard in the public square, but first and foremost, they need a voice to inform Catholics themselves, helping them to see reality through Catholic eyes. It needs a voice to tell the stories that are not being told, or not being told well, and it needs a voice to mobilize Catholics,” Father Anthony Charanghat wrote in the anniversary issue.
Charanghat has served as the newspaper’s editor since 1994.
“The Examiner, for over a century and six decades, has tried to play a vital role of Christian Communication in our local churches. Periodically, the publication has been a vehicle of evangelization and accountability, offering a way for Catholics to make their faith relevant to their daily lives,” the priest said. “The Examiner is a ‘newspaper of the people and among the people,’ for a loyal exchange and debate among diverse opinions, promoting authentic dialogue, which is indispensable for the growth of the civic and Church communities.”
Charanghat said diocesan publications are often the first step for Catholics who are interested in reading and learning more about their faith, and help readers realize that they are part of a larger family that extends well beyond their parish to the rest of the diocese, and to the entire Catholic world.
He said the diocesan newspaper may be the only Catholic reading material that comes into the home.
“This has been an underlying perspective that guides and directs the newsweekly,” the priest said.
“Catholics need their own voice to engage society and be heard in the public square, but first and foremost, they need a voice to inform Catholics themselves, helping them to see reality through Catholic eyes,” Charanghat said. “It needs a voice to tell the stories that are not being told, or not being told well, and it needs a voice to mobilize Catholics.”
He said the newspaper is trying to be in alignment with Pope Francis’s vision of Catholic communications.
“He [Francis] affirmed that diocesan papers can represent significant places of encounter and attentive discernment for lay faithful involved in the social and political arena,” Charanghat said. “This would promote ‘dialogue,’ ‘convergences,’ and ‘objectives’ for joint action in the service of the Gospel and the common good.”
The priest said “to inform, to form and to inspire should be part of the DNA of any Catholic media organisation,” and said this “holistic approach” is how he sees The Examiner fulfilling its vocation.