The question will naturally arise why the editors of The Commonweal believe there is room for another journal to discuss public affairs, to review the important publications of the day, and produce original fiction, essays, and poetry. Do they hope to find place for The Commonweal through competition with the weekly reviews that already occupy the field? To such questions we reply:
We believe that The Commonweal will be so fundamentally different to our contemporaries that in place of competition in an over-crowded field we shall occupy a position that hitherto has been left vacant. For the difference between The Commonweal and other weekly literary reviews designed for general circulation is that The Commonweal will be definitely Christian in its presentation of orthodox religious principles and their application to the subjects that fall within its purview: principles which until now have not, we believe, been expressed in American journalism except through the medium of the official organs of the Catholic Church and of the various denominations. As a sure background The Commonweal will have the continuous, unbroken tradition and teachings of the historic Mother Church.
But it will be in no sense-nor could it possibly assert itself to be-an authoritative or authorized mouth piece of the Catholic Church. It will be the independent, personal product of its editors and contributors, who, for the most part, will be laymen. Its pages will be open to writers holding different forms of Catholic belief, and in some cases to authors who do not profess any form of Christian faith. Where the opinion of its editors, contributors, and readers differs on subjects yet unsettled by competent authority, it will be an open forum for the discussion of such differences in a spirit of good temper....
November 12, 1924