Skip to comments.EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong
Posted on 03/07/2006 9:39:17 AM PST by Slugworth
What Went Wrong at EWTN?
Hoping to avoid a takeover by the American bishops, Mother Angelica resigned from the board of directors of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in March of 2000. She relinquished all control over the network she had founded in 1981. With the departure of that feisty and combative nun, EWTN underwent a change for the worse.
This sure-to-be-controversial book contends that since the departure of its foundress, EWTN has been purveying to millions of Catholics a strange brew of the orthodox and the heterodox, the sacred and the profane. The anti-liberal Popes before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) would have viewed much of EWTNs content as Modernist corruptions of the Faith.
Pope Saint Pius X condemned Modernism as a deadly system of errors. The Modernist views every aspect of the Faithfrom liturgy, to doctrine and dogma, to Catholic practices and devotionsas subject to change and updating in keeping with modern times. St. Pius declared: [T]here is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.
Basing itself on extensive evidence taken from EWTNs own content, and comparing that content to the perennial belief and practice of the Church, the book shows that EWTNs moderately Modernist version of the Faith is precisely what St. Pius X had in view when he condemned Modernism in all its forms, including what His Holiness called the Modernist as reformer.
The book places the problem with EWTN in the larger context of the post-Vatican II crisis in the Church, which resulted from a Modernist insurrection during and after the Council.
The author notes that this breakthrough, with all its disastrous consequences, was foreseen by the future Pope Pius XII when he was still Vatican Secretary of State. Referring to the Blessed Virgins messages to little Lucy of Fatima, the future Pope spoke of this persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church. He warned of the Modernist innovators all around him in the Church, who were poised to attempt the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. He predicted that a day will come when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted.
Four years after the death of Pius XII in 1958, that day came with the commencement of the Second Vatican Council. Forty years after the Councils conclusion, any reasonable observer of the postconciliar crisis in the Church would agree that Pius XIIs dire warnings, uttered in light of the prophecy of the Mother of God at Fatima, have come to pass. The Modernist innovators have triumphed, and the Church has been afflicted by a collapse of faith and discipline on a scale not seen since the Arian heresy spread throughout nearly the entire Church in the fourth century.
The author shows that the moderately Modernist version of Roman Catholicism EWTN purveys on television and over the Internet to millions of Catholics embodies much of what the innovators feared by Pius XII had in mind. The result is far more insidious than any open heresy, for EWTNs fans are induced to imbibe spiritual poison along with seeming spiritual goods. The unwary thus accept under the guise of orthodoxy many of the errors and abuses the Church condemned before the Council.
At the same time, EWTN uses its power and influence to marginalize as extreme traditionalists faithful Catholics who try to defend their Church against the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology, and her soul, which EWTN is helping to advance.
The author demonstrates that while EWTN holds itself out as the gold standard of Catholic orthodoxy today, it is actually a major promoter of Modernist innovation in the Church. EWTN is therefore a major obstacle to the widespread return to traditional Catholic belief and practice in all its integritythe only way to end the crisis in the Church. Catholics thus have a duty to oppose what EWTN is doing and to call for its correction.
This book will shock and outrage many, but the overwhelming evidence it presents will convince the open-minded that EWTN is indeed a network gone wrong.
I hope you have your flame suit on. ;-)
This article is useless in that it cited no examples of EWTN going wrong.
I swear more extreme Traditionalist Catholic humbug in this book. THis too will pass. The schismatic Catholic groups are seperating into so many little factions they will be a non factor in a few years.
I am sure what this book wants is for EWTN to denounce Vatican II as a council of the devil. It also prob miffed that EWTN has not condemmed POpe John PAul the II on daily basis.
Referring to EWTN as "liberal" or "Modernist" is like calling Hillary a centralist. You can say it, but it doesn't make it true. I watch the programming of EWTN and I'm a conservative Catholic and I sure can't see anything liberal about it.
Thats true. I guess I nned to start paying attention to the Remenant crowd again. I guess I was so disheartened when two prominent Catholic Apologist went over to that side recently. Esp since they were converts. Well I guess only one went that way totally(Matetics) but even Robert Sungenis who wrote two of the best apologetic books I have read is getting wackier it seems.
Please cite one statement from EWTN that is unorthodox and not compatible with the Deposit of Faith.
The 'last hurrah' before the SSPX is reunited to the Magisterium.
I am curious if they are going to be reunited. I hear alot of so called reliable news that its in the works. BUt then its followed by a alot of denials. I mean the latin mass issue can be resolved. How though is SSPX going to swallow all these feeling as to Vatican II. It seems the SSPX has just hardened in those issues to me or at least the laity in those groups have.
The trads have already begun to splinter amongst themselves. Assuming the SSPX returns to the fold, expect some to splinter of into a new group. This is what happens to those who separate from the Magisterium.
I watch Father Corapi all the time. No way is he a liberal.
Another pet peeve I have about EWTN is that I really appreciate them broadcasting the Pope's Masses but the person who translates the Popes homilies is a woman. That is so annoying to me that I do not watch it. One time they had a woman translating during the consecration. I know they receive a feed from Vatican radio but I still do not like listening to a woman voice coming out of the Pope.
It is nice to have a Catholic TV Network.
Did you forget the SCHISMATIC BARKING MOONBAT alert again?????
Slugworth may well have a point; yet I am so grateful for EWTN even so. Just look at the Protestant networks, the insipid Inspirtional one run by Benny Hinn (oh how I wish for a Benny HILL network!) and the unspeakable TBN--the Pink-Haired Lady, aka Jan Crouch, is the only thing I can bear on them! (OK, also the reruns of that movie The Robe!)
Even with its faults, EWTN is the only religious channel I trust--and I'm a Presbyterian! (Not to be confused with PresLEYtariansim, the truest American religion.) Where else would I have seen (more than once) the truly moving funeral of kind John Paul the Great? Where else would I be so moved by good Bishop Sheen, the man for all seasons?
All I can say is that, rightly or wrongly, I am grateful for what is there.
Most likely a nun from Vatican Television. The times I've watched Mass from the Vatican on EWTN when Archbishop Foley hasn't been giving running translation it has been either of two nuns, one has an English accent.
Good heavens! I think this is just not a reasonable article.
I'm not Catholic and I love that man. No liberal there. And I love the old Black and White of some priest(I can't remember his name) who uses a chalk board. Espically his preaching on Communism.
I'm not Catholic and I love that man. No liberal there. And I love the old Black and White of Bishop Sheen who uses a chalk board. Espically his preaching on Communism.
Sorry but I repeated and corrected myself as I saw it was Bishop Sheen.
So true! I had the privelege of hearing Fr. Corapi in person at my liberal parish, invited by an influential parishioner. Fr. Corapi was speaking about sin, the devil, the 10 Commandments and so much more. He was and is riveting, and people didn't budge, so hungry were we for something substantial from the pulpit. The turnout of locals was smaller than expected, but busloads came from as far as 5 hours away. He is indeed no way a liberal.
Get your feed directly from the Vatican. There's no simultaneous translation. It's a good way to brush up on your Italian. I find that I understand a good deal more than with a simul-translation. My brain's not having to switch back and forth.
You know, my friend never made any friends in her SSPX church, they are all too holy for each other, I think.
You know what is really funny? My friend's mother is seriously considering converting to Catholicism (not SSPX) and my friend is very angry about it. She would have been doing cartwheels a few years ago.
Whats a "trad"? And, assuming you can define the term, perhaps you'll share your opinions on the splinter issue.
The problem for Ferrara seems to be that EWTN does not "do" Catholicism his way. And, as another posted so aptly pointed out, Ferrara didn't like EWTN before Mother Angelica had her stroke. I know in some of the more conservative circles there was genuine relief when Fr. Pacwa became more involved at EWTN as the rumor was that Mother Angelica was "being controlled by feminists." I thought the rumor was "over the top" but since reading about this book I wonder if some of those who have always thought EWTN was Post Vatican II Catholic heresy (not me), are emboldened by her weakened state and are using it as an opportunity to sell books.
I sincerely doubt that Ferrara would have had the guts to openly criticize EWTN if Mother Angelica hadn't had her stroke. He would have either been ignored as being unworthy of notice or slain with a few well-put comments.
I think you are correct. Some of the conservative Catholic writers who I would normally have no problem with have jumped onto the "I am holier than thou band-wagon" and use their traditionalism as a hammer on others.
I'm a semi-traditionalist Catholic (attend the Tridentine Mass twice a month and the Novus Ordo every Sunday as I sing in two choirs) and I know exactly what you mean.
Furthermore, this article cites no instance of wrong on the part of EWTN; it makes accusations but doesn't back them up with facts.
Christopher Ferrara bumpus ad summum
Do you (or anyone else) know if there are Fr Corapi transcripts online? I can't seem to find any.
I just received the following from Michael J W via FreepMail:
Respectfully, as one who has read the book,..EWTN - A Network Gone Wrong by Ferrara and also having read the posted criticisms on Free Republic it seems that those criticizing the Ferrara book should read it prior to discounting it. It is written in a most fair manner and documents exactly each of it's assertions. It never casts blankets of unsubstantiated doubt but rather cites verifiable specifics, quotations, Infallible Dogma and direct transcriptions of programming in order to support its assertions. I ask,..Why do those quick to criticize this book have little interest in reading it or investigating its claims and are instead content to dismiss it based on the scant and unsubstantiated reply from Fr. Trigilio and others who fail to address it's most well documented assertions. With all respect to Fr Trigilio, I would ask him to refute Ferraras claims with what the church and Popes have pronounced infallibly rather than with what modern thought may have interpreted these infallible and unchangable truths to mean in our day. Truth does not change, can not contradict itself and is not subject to revision. The Holy Spirit does not change His Mind and is never in error.
The call for mindless obedience by Fr Trigilio inadvertantly but sadly casts dispersions on the many Saints and Doctors of the Church who in history have had the bravery and commitment to Infallible Dogma to correct the faithfull, Priests, religious and even Popes when they were in error or danger of contradicting or trying to change the faith or Dogma. If one feels inclined to criticize this thoughtfull book please address it's documented claims point by point with the same documentation and infallible doctrine as the book does to support its claims. The book should be read, the Truths it proposes are not those of the author or of his opinion but are instead relying on the Infallible Pronoucements of the Popes of 2000 years under the guidence of the Holy Spirit. I ask,..What Ex Cathedra infallible truths does Fr. Trigilio use to support his criticism of the book ? In Christ, Michael J W
While I admit that I have not yet read the book in question, I point out once again that there are no specific incidents of EWTN's wrongdoing mentioned either by the article or by Michael J W.
I recieved this e-mail as well and I began a response and kept coming up against the same issue as you mention here. Perhaps I have a "rosey" view of manners but it seems to me if you are going to dish out this level of accusation you darn well ought to back it up with at least one example. Its so negative (the title alone), that it turns me away from reading the book. Why? Because it sounds like so many other mean-spirited accusations I've heard coming from both conservatives and liberals or anyone with an axe to grind.
I have concerns about some of the stuff I've seen on EWTN and, going back to the 1980s! But, overall I think the network is very good and I am just tired of seeing Catholics rend each other over human error or ignorance. Yes, EWTN has a responsibility to broadcast accurate Catholic teaching and to avoid Enthusiams of all sorts, including Mr. Ferrara's brand. However, I think I will read this book. I'm sure some of my friends will have purchased it and will let me borrow a copy.
Precisely. I am sure that EWTN is not perfect (what human endeavor is?) but without any facts (and I still have yet to read any posts that provide them) to back these accusations up, this review reads like a New York Slimes book review of Treason, Slander or How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must); lots of noise and no substance.
I am currently reading this book. Ferrara critiques EWTN in a spirit of charity, just as St. Paul corrected St. Peter. No one says that St. Paul thought he was superior to the first Pope do they? Ferrara does not offer rhetoric on the novelties promoted by EWTN; he provides infallible Church statements from various Popes and councils. Of course, no one can argue against infallible Church statements, so they attack the messenger. The Blessed Virgin Mary predicted these sorrowful times at LaSalette and Fatima, and Pope St. Pius X's encyclical, "On Modernism" provides a prophetic view of the strategy of those who would attmpt to destroy the Church. Once you understand Modernism, then the scales fall from your eyes, and you understand how the wolves confuse the sheep by placing infallible doctrine beside novelty. Read the book before you condemn it.