I was alerted to criticism of EWTN ( Eternal Word Television Network) yesterday. EWTN is a Catholic television and radio network. A gentleman named Michael Voris, who posts to YouTube under the name ChurchMilitantTV, took the network to task for being too liberal, too Modernist, since forcing Mother Angelica to the sidelines years ago.
I was stunned. I had never heard anything that remotely suggested this.
That led me down a path of discovery this morning and to some websites that were totally off my radar. I was stunned to view and read about EWTN as “whitewashed,” “sanitized,” “Modernist (or maybe more accurately ‘post-Modernist’),” etc., and how Mother Angelica was systematically forced from leadership and control of the network.
I’m not a holy roller. I’m a casual student of the Church, more for my own spiritual growth, that of my children and my family. But I think I have at least a rudimentary handle on what God wants us to do.
I think I remember an epistle verse something along the lines of “if they’re with Christ, they’re with us.” That’s an absolutely horrible paraphrase, but like I said, I’m not a Church scholar!
I’ve watched and listened to many of the regular shows on EWTN. Just read a follow-up comment on a blog post criticizing the show Crossing The Goal, just to pick an example. I’ve watched the show. Not one of my favorites, but if it brings one man closer to Christ, isn’t it worthwhile? The Journey Home, in which host Marcus Grodi, himself a convert to Catholicism, interviews a guest about their journey to — or back to — the Catholic faith, is a magnificent show!
I watch and listen to EWTN every single day. I rediscovered it four or five years ago. It’s been a fixture in my life ever since. With the accessibility of listening to EWTN Radio or now even watching EWTN TV on my phone, there’s no excuse in the world for not making prayer and God a part of every day and being able to focus my thoughts or prayers or study in a specific way. At least for me.
I awake to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy Monday through Friday and I try to watch or listen to at least a portion of the Mass daily if I cannot physically make it to church (which is most days because of my schedule). What a wonderful resource for the average Catholic who isn’t going to spend more than an hour or two in prayer or even simply contemplating their faith. And how many of us, really, are doing that on anything close to a daily basis?
Not once have I thought of EWTN as “bad television” or “sanitized.” I have never caught them in a “liberal” moment. I have specifically heard them cover, discuss, and yes, even criticize some of the liberal movements within the Church. The National Catholic Register (newspaper) seems to take on liberal issues without much problem. Aren’t they wholly owned by EWTN?
The average Catholic, who is already (and still) struggling with the language of the new Missal, is looking for faith answers, for meaning in their own pathetic existence. For me, life is enough of a struggle. I believe in my heart of hearts that the Roman Catholic faith is the true faith as handed down by Jesus Chris through Saint Peter and all the succeeding popes. Hundreds of millions of Christians don’t agree with me.
Should I criticize them for being wrong? What good purpose would that serve?
I know I should go back and correct my previous observation, but I liked the way I said it. You know, the ‘epistle’ that says “if they’re with Christ, they’re with us.” Well, it’s not an epistle. It’s Mark’s Gospel. Jesus says to John (Mark 9:40) “For whoever is not against us is for us.”
Let’s continue to educate and debate one another. Let’s continue to passionately persuade. But let’s not waste time criticizing whatever is clearly not contrary to our own understanding of Truth.
As for me, I will always believe that God is pure Love and pure Mercy. We’re going to screw up just about every second of every day. But if we humbly, earnestly, honestly, passionately plead for forgiveness, let’s not “despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to (God’s) holy will.”