August 30, 2010

ANTIGONISH, N.S. - The Atlantic Catholic will cease publication after its Aug. 21 issue.

In eight years, the paper - a publication of the Casket Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd. - failed to increase its readership, said Vince MacLean, chair of the Casket's board of directors.

"We were still not breaking even on the paper," MacLean said.

"The decision was made that if there wasn't enough support in Atlantic Canada and, in particular, eastern Nova Scotia, to support the newspaper, then we'd have to stop publication."

The biweekly paper has a final circulation of about 1,280. The Atlantic Catholic grew from the Casket as the Antigonish paper became more focused on the local community, MacLean said.

"We continued to pursue that objective and we thought if we were going to do religious news, we thought there was a niche for a Catholic newspaper."

The Casket will not absorb religious coverage from the Atlantic Catholic, he said.


Two positions - one part-time and one contract - will be eliminated, Atlantic Catholic editor Brian Lazzuri said.

The Diocese of Antigonish is the majority shareholder in the Casket Printing and Publishing Co. (2006) Ltd., and is in the process of selling all properties except occupied churches and rectories.

The diocese must raise more than $15 million to pay for a legal settlement and other lawsuits related to the sexual abuse of children by clergy.


MacLean said the decision to end the Atlantic Catholic was not related to the diocese's legal issues.

"It just finally came to a situation where the board thought after seven years we had given it a fair shot," he said.

"If we had gotten the circulation up and the interest up, then we certainly would have continued."