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Arkansas Catholic editor dismissed.

The first woman editor of the Arkansas Catholic, the Little Rock diocesan newspaper, has been dismissed from her job. "Because of deep differences between us, Bishop Andrew J. McDonald, publisher, has asked me to step down," wrote Deborah Halter in an open letter earlier this month to her colleagues.

Halter, who had been editor of the newspaper since 1989, told NCR that the bishop had refused to discuss his reasons for firing her. But she speculated that pro-life groups had pressured him to do so. Halter said that, in the past year, she had come under fire from abortion foes for, among other things, publishing a story about the local. Catholic school that President Clinton, a pro-choice advocate, attended as a boy.

She said she also received criticism after reporting that the bishop had approved a visit by Jesse Jackson, who is also pro-choice, last November at St. Teresa's Catholic Church. "I wanted to report the news regardless of what it was," said Halter. McDonald later forced her to run a retraction.

Diocesan officials said the bishop was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

She added that she also heard from many pro-life activists who criticized her for not endorsing George Bush in the last election, even though the nonprofit newspaper cannot make such endorsements. She added that she also came under fire after running a guest column last year by a gay Catholic. "Being Catholic does not mean you must put your bead in the sand at every turn," said Halter."
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Title Annotation:diocesan newspaper; Deborah Halter
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:Feb 26, 1993
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