Volume > Issue > Note List > EWTN: What Happened to Mother Angelica's Catholic Militancy

EWTN: What Happened to Mother Angelica’s Catholic Militancy

Mother Angelica founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) some 25 years ago. But at the end of 2001, she suffered two strokes and she was no longer able to appear on EWTN. Since then we’ve heard complaints that something has gone wrong with EWTN.

Mother Angelica was a strong woman, and we’ve heard that she liked to surround herself with weak men (but we can’t confirm that). We seldom watch TV, but we do like to view EWTN, and we’ve noticed that something has been amiss of late.

Mother tangled with Roger Cardinal Mahony and Bishop David Foley of the Diocese of Birmingham (by the way, Mother was right). Without her, EWTN no longer challenges cardinals or bishops. Has Mother’s Catholic militancy vanished? In Christopher Ferrara’s book, EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong (Good Counsel Publications, 2006; 800-954-8737; www.networkgone­wrong.com), he tackled this problem. Ferrara is a Catholic attorney, and he says that EWTN was once a “sign of hope for Catholic restoration.” He acknowledges that there are “good elements in its programming,” but he says EWTN is falling more and more into neo-Modernism.

Ferrara relies on William J. Peterson, a retired medical doctor who was employed at EWTN’s Viewer Services Department from October 2001 until February 2004. Two months after Peterson was employed, Mother Angelica left the airwaves for good. According to Ferrara, Peterson noticed that “the management of the network fell completely into the hands of its more liberal and ‘ecumenically’-minded lay directors…” (of course, “more liberal” can be a relative term). Peterson says: “I had seen the watering down of the Faith….” Peterson noted that certain of Mother’s old encore broadcasts were censored — too militant, apparently. This is certainly shocking.

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