Skip to comments.The Banishement of Mother Angelica from EWTN
Posted on 04/10/2011 2:25:01 AM PDT by verdugo
The Banishment of Mother Angelica and EWTN'S Promotion of Modernism
Page 2 While EWTN says the strokes have rendered Mother Angelica unable to appear on television, in truth she had already been driven from her position of control over the network she founded by an episcopal power play orchestrated with the assistance of a Vatican congregation.
It all began in November 1997 with Mother's unforgettable televised denunciation of the infamous Cardinal Mahony, that celebrity prelate who is the very embodiment of post conciliar Modernism and decay in the Church. Mother rightly denounced Mahony's "pastoral letter" on the Holy Eucharist as a Modernist obfuscation of the true doctrine of the Mass. Under pressure from Mahony's friends in the Vatican apparatus, Mother made an on the air apology; but the "apology" was even more defiant than the original commentary. For nearly an hour Mother "served up a point by point critique of the pastoral letter,"3 demonstrating that Mahony had slighted and thus undermined the doctrine of transubstantiation. An infuriated Mahony filed a canonical complaint in Rome. Arroyo quotes one elderly curial Cardinal as admitting that "Mother Angelica has the guts to tell him [Mahony] what we do not."4 Mahony's canonical complaint ultimately went nowhere, but he had already begun to agitate the Vatican apparatus to take action against Mother. Arroyo quotes Mahony's director of media relations as stating "The Cardinal wants the Holy See to do something about Mother Angelica's whole attitude that she is not responsible to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops or to any of the individual bishops."5
Page 3 Then Mother Angelica tangled with another liberal prelate, Bishop David Foley, the ordinary of her diocese in Alabama. Foley had no real authority over Mother's apostolate, the Poor Clares of the Perpetual Adoration. Nevertheless, he insisted that in the new Shrine to the Blessed Sacrament Mother was building in Hanceville, Alabama, no Masses were to be said in the traditional "ad orientern"6 manner that is, facing the altar and God in an eastward direction, rather than facing the people.7 When Mother refused to knuckle under to this illegal demand, in October 1999 Foley issued a preposterous decree stating that Mass facing the altar an unbroken tradition of the Church from her earliest days was an "illicit innovation or sacrilege" and that anyone "guilty" of this "sacrilege" would be subject to "suspension or removal of faculties." All Masses in his diocese, Foley declared, would "henceforth be celebrated at a freestanding altar and... the priest would face the people."8
In a courageous act of resistance to this abuse of power, Mother Angelica boycotted the dedication of the new Shrine in December 1999, presided over by none other than Foley himself, who celebrated Mass facing the people. Arroyo reports that a clearly humiliated Foley called Mother to the podium to say a few words, but "in silent protest" she remained with her nuns in the cloistered area behind the altar, refusing to serve as Foley's prop.9 Clearly determined to get revenge, Foley went to the Vatican as the representative of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to demand action against Mother Angelica (no doubt with Mahony's blessing). Foley, with the advice of Cardinal Medina, head of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, promulgated norms" that banned any televised Mass facing East (i.e. the altar) in his diocese and requiring Mass facing the people. EWTN complied with these "norms," even though they were as preposterous and illegal as Foley's earlier decree, for Foley had no authority to ban the Church's immemorial practice, on television or otherwise.
But the matter did not end there. Foley also induced the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of
Page 4 Apostolic Life to send an Apostolic Visitor, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Alabama to investigate the entire EWTN operational It quickly became apparent that the aim of the visitation (which took place in February March 2000) was to establish that Mother Angelica's order, the Poor Clares, owned EWTN's assets, including the new Shrine, and not EWTN's civil corporation board of directors, of which Mother was CEO with full veto power over the board's decisions. If it could be established that Mother's order owned the assets, then the whole EWTN enterprise could be subjected to ecclesiastical control, including the possible appointment of a 'progressive" replacement for Mother Angelica herself.
In desperation, Mother made a prudential decision that in retrospect was a huge mistake: Fearing that Archbishop Gonzalez's report to the Vatican would recommend an ecclesiastical takeover of her apostolate, Mother surrendered all control over EWTN to the lay people who run it today. At an emergency board meeting in March of 2000, she resigned as CEO of EWTN, relinquishing her veto power, and with it her control over EWTN's affairs. At the same meeting EWTN's board amended the corporate by laws to insure lay control and preclude any control in the future by a bishop, priest or religious." Thus, instead of continuing her direct resistance to liberal prelates, Mother Angelica thought she could defeat them by a strategic retreat.
One reviewer of Arroyo's biography opines that "by resigning, Mother Angelica had defeated her enemies within the Church and entrusted her network to lay people who shared her orthodox views...."As we will see, however, Mother's retreat was actually a complete rout. For it was precisely Mother's "enemies within the Church" who had gained the victory by driving her from her position of control over EWTN, leaving the network entirely in the hands of lay people, many of them ex Protestants, who did not have her traditional pre Vatican II spiritual formation and old fashioned Catholic militancy. The nun Arroyo calls "the undisputed matriarch of Catholic communications"12 had been neutralized.
Page 5 compromised in its mission of presenting the integral Catholic Faith was already in motion. With Mother Angelica's departure as the network's signature personality by the end of 2001, the original vision of the network as a counter Modernist force for a Catholic restoration was quickly lost and has never been recovered. Mother's vision has been replaced by an "ecumenical," watered down blandness, delivered largely by ex Protestant ministers, combined with lame attempts at "cool" Catholicism with a heavy emphasis on rock music. 13
The new and "slicker" EWTN appears to be in large part the work of its vice president for production, Doug Keck, who had for twenty years headed operations at a cable TV conglomerate whose programming included The Playboy Channel. It was Keck who, as Arroyo writes, was responsible for "transforming the on air look and content of the network."
Less than six years later, EWTN's programming now exhibits the same emasculation and liberalization of the Church militant that we see everywhere today in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The robust Roman Catholicism the fiery Italian nun (formerly Rita Rizzo) exemplified is almost entirely gone from the network. As we will see..
No longer, then, does EWTN exhibit the kind of anti Modernist fervor we witnessed when Mother blasted not only Cardinal Mahony, but all the American bishops for allowing a woman to perform the role of Christ during the Stations of the Cross at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993.
"This is it. I've had all I'm going to take," she said in disgust.15 A few days later she blasted the bishops on her live television show. Arroyo recounts that after reciting a long train of abuses arising from the governance of liberal prelates, including disrespect for the Blessed Sacrament and mandatory sex education in Catholic schools, she continued:
It's blasphemous that you dare to portray Jesus as a woman, You know, as Catholics we've been quiet all these years.... I'm tired, tired of being pushed in the corners. I'm tired of your inclusive language that refuses to admit that the Son of God is a man. I'm tired of your tricks. I'm tired of you making a crack, and the first thing you know there's a hole, and all of us fall in. No, this was deliberate... you made a statement that was not accidental. I am so tired of you, liberal Church in America. You're sick.... You have nothing to offer. You do nothing but destroy. You don't have vocations, and you don't even care-your whole purpose is to destroy... You can't stand Catholicism at its height, so you try to spoil it, as you've spoiled so many things in these thirty years....
I saw that broadcast, and I will never forget the sight of Mother shaking with righteous anger before the cameras as she uttered these and so many other words that reflected the suffering of Catholics throughout the entire nation. In that very broadcast Mother vowed that in reaction to the increasingly dissolute state of the Church in America, she and her fellow Poor Clare Sisters would return to the wearing of full habits, which they did immediately.
In March of 1994 one of the most staunchly Catholic newspapers in America, The Remnant (for which I am privileged to be a columnist), expressed its admiration for Mother's decision to return to the full habit, taking it as a sign that the restoration (or perhaps we should say Catholic revival) is beginning to take place in the Church today.
It is no longer only the 'traditionalists' who have come to the sad and desperate realization that we must go back to our Catholic past in order to see the path of our Catholic future.... Mother Angelica and her wonderful sisters are to be congratulated for their courage and fortitude, but also we should pray that they go even a step further.... It is our hope that along with all her other courageous work, Mother Angelica will one day consider calling for the unconditional return of the historical Latin Mass and strike the ultimate blow against the modernist onslaught of the Catholic Church
In another hard-hitting commentary, Mother seemed to be moving in precisely the direction hoped for by The Remnant when she drew a long and quite ironic comparison between the actions of the Protestant "reformers" in destroying the Catholic liturgy in the sixteenth century and what the post-conciliar "reformers" did to the traditional Latin Mass after Vatican II.
But that was all before the sacking of Mother Angelica, her departure from the airwaves, and EWTN's subsequent change of direction. As this book will make clear, post-Mother Angelica EWTN has not only accommodated itself to the Modernist revolution in the Church after Vatican II, abandoning all opposition to its excesses for the sake of maintaining "good standing" with the powers that be (the likes of Foley and Mahony), but has also become a positive promoter of that same revolution. And it has done so under the guise of being traditionally Roman Catholic, continuing to capitalize on Mother Angelica's name while providing none of her militantly Catholic spirit or her common-sense Catholicism.
Worse, owing to the very nature of the television medium EWTN has evolved into something much more insidious than the overtly liberal organs of the revolution, such as the National Catholic Reporter. As Bishop Foley had correctly perceived in the controversy over the eastward-facing altar in the Shrine, Mother Angelica was wielding an instrument that is more powerful than anything else in the world [humanly speaking].
The sad story to be told by this book is that Foley, Mahony and their collaborators in the "Modernist Mafia," from the Vatican on down, have insured that this same powerful instrument would henceforth broadcast and thus inculcate, via EWTN, not only the liturgical revolution which turned the altar around, but all the other basic elements of the post-Vatican 11 revolution as a whole.
It must be stipulated at the outset that even after the victory of Modernist prelates over Mother Angelica, EWTN still retains certain elements of good Catholic programming. Yet it is the very presence of these good elements that poses a spiritual hazard for EWTN "fans," who are induced by what is good in the content to expose themselves to numerous elements that undermine the Faith.
I use to listen to Father Tom on the radio out of the Boston area.
I love Mother Angelica; she is one of the reasons that I converted to Catholicism. I also love watching Fultan Sheen videos. He spoke of all the stuff that is happening now.
One other thing, The Catholic church is being destroyed from within. They speak of social justice and greenism like they are valid points.
One last comment is that look what they did to the great Fr. Corapi. They got him off the air. My wife and I loved watching him.
Wow! I hope the Cardinal remembers what happened to Bishop Pierre Cauchon after he dissed Joan of Arc.
I’m not Roman Catholic but isn’t social justice a valid church teaching that’s been hijacked and abused by the left?
I don’t know what you mean by greenism... Our responsibilities as stewards of the earth?
How about Fr. Groeshal; (sp.?)he’s still on it, is he? I sure hope so!
Our responsibilities certainly do include taking care of the earth, but not at the expense of our devotion to God.
During this Lenten Season the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent out a letter encouraging the faithful to use plastic as a way of helping the earth, and enriching the Lenten sacrifice. Utter rubbish!
The Lenten sacrifice is to prepare your soul and further commit yourself to God not the earth.
Blessings to you.
How in the world do these bishops look themselves in the mirror? It's all about them, not God.
Of course it is and people with brains are able to differentiate between authentic church teaching and the pap that emanates from some bishops under the mantle of "social justice."
"Greenism" is when people harp on stewardship but justify abortion, forced sterilization, totalitarian government, and State control of religion, because those things are all "good for the planet". Stewardship does not put the planet or "green" causes above mankind nor does it worship the earth. I'm sure you can find what the Holy Father said on the subject with a little work. He spelled out the difference between stewardship and the green agenda pretty well not all that long ago.
I see. Thank you.
I’m off to church now and I’ll pray for your bishops along with ours.
The problem, as I think most of us know, is that the legitimate norms have been removed and replaced by a a Lefrward admixture of truth and error; but retaining the same "Social Justice" label.
As they say: "When the devil takes a fortress, he doesn't change the flag."
I was a Vietnam vet attending college on the GI Bill in 1970 when the first day was held. As I recall this first Earth Day, it was a bunch of hippies (creeps) hanging out on the Common, holding communist signs, smoking dope and tossing Frisbees. Now, over forty years later, these same people hold high positions in the Obama administration. And, now it's forty years later and I bet their Frisbee skills still suck...
There is something about this title that simply does not quite ring true. I’m betting that Mother Angelica would not approve of this book....
I see the Cardinal Prefect since 2008 is Benedict XVI's appointee Antonio Cañizares Llovera. I hope somebody can tell me he's made a change in course twards --- how shall I say this? --- Catholicism.
We shall see once his Bishop investigates his sex and drugs claims.
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