Eternal World Television Network



I have heard some disparaging things said about EWTN and Mother Angelica by usually ultra-traditionalists, SSPX members, etc. So, what is wrong with EWTN?


Christopher Ferrara wrote a book highly critical of EWTN. Ferrara had a long running public battle with Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Adamec, a liberal.

I don’t think anybody can be Catholic enough for Ferrara.


To be fair, EWTN could broadcast an occasional TLM or Byzantine Mass or two. But I understand it took them all kinds of concessions to the bishop just to allow genuflections/kneeling at communion time.

Watch it live here:



I am pretty sure that I have seen a Byzantine Liturgy on EWTN. And I know I saw one from the Syro-Malakara rite. Father Mitch Pacwa even con-celebrated with the Syro-Malankara Bishop. And speaking of Father Pacwa, I wouldn’t be surprised if they televised him celebrating a Maronite Liturgy.


And i’m pretty sure that i saw the consecration of the ICRSS oratory (St. Mary’s) in Wausau, Wisconsin. It was at like four in the morning though.


My own opinion is that, as a body, the USCCB fears a Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama that would grant permission for the TLM in that diocese.

The chapel in Hanceville would be perfect for the TLM. Televise **that, **and there would be such demand for the TLM that the bishops hostile to the TLM would be overwhelmed.

EWTN would probably regularly televise a Divine Liturgy - there is a Byzantine Catholic Church in the Birmingham area - if funds allow for it and there is sufficient demand for it.

There was one Mass of the Syro-Malabar Church (Indian) concelebrated by Father Pacwa, who has an indult to celebrate the Holy Quorbono in the Maronite Catholic Church.


Anyone remember the spat Mother Angelica had with Cardinal Mahoney? I tried finding it in the EWTN library but couldn’t.


It is well documented in Raymond Arroyo’s book, but probably completely absent from EWTN’s website.

I think EWTN goes out of its way not to say anything against any bishop. Only Fr. Neihaus will make the occasional wry remark when he is a guest.


Has anyone read the book mentioned here. Is Christopher Ferrara critical of Mother Angelica or of what he thinks has happened to EWTN after Mother Angelica retired.


Since Mother Angelica was basically kicked out at EWTN, the network has gone way downhill. Some of the stuff on their turns my stomach. I’m not even sure I want to discuss it, but suffice it to say that I can’t just leave that channel on with my children in the room.


Very much the latter. Mother was FORCED out. Ferrara has only good things to say about her. He documents how the network went downhill after she was forced out. Most people don’t know about that and because they roll her out in occasional reruns or to lead the Rosary, people falsely believe that she endorses all that goes on today.

Ferrara’s book is excellent, and I highly recommend it.



That is what I am asking. How has EWTN gone downhill? What is presented on there that is so thoroughly against the faith, morals, and decent human sensibilities?


Many Traditionalists “declared” EWTN going downhill solely for the reason of the way they were FORCED to celebrate the mass. For a very long time EWTN celebrated the Mass Ad Orientum. Then one day the priest was facing the people. I am sure that some people assumed that EWTN had gone liberal but in reality Bishop Foley I believe told them it was not an option to offer the sacrifice of the Mass ad orientum. IT was forbidden by him to do it so on the air.

I beleive based solely on that alone is why people say EWTN has gone downhill. The programming now is not very different than it was 10-15 years ago.

If I am correct I would like some of the EWTN nay sayers give specific examples of programming that is “bad”.


I don’t believe it has gone downhill, Coder, for the network is totally devoted to truth, and as you stated, I have never seen anything presented that is in opposition to truth or morals.

The only dissatisfaction might relate to one’s personal preference for certain types of programs according to their spiritual hunger/need.

Personally, I am not inclined to view several hours of devotions which occupy a good part of program air time. It might be more suitable to give solid instructional programs that teach the faith in depth. So often I look at the line-up in the evening, and turn away disappointed, for it is basically just another “talk” program, good in itself, but not my personal need.

And Sunday is a real downer, since the entire afternoon (when employed persons have the luxury to seek religious truth) is filled with Diane Bish or some classical concert, that is, when they are not endlessly repeating a recent papal mass.

It seems to me that the donations are less abundant, and maybe that is the cause, since good speakers are costly. Nowadays, the old scripture “freely ye have received, freely give” is seldom practiced without a stipend.


I listen to EWTN radio and don’t really hear anything that strikes me as problematic (except, now that I think of it, one particular host who seems incredibly fideistic), and what I remember of the segments of television I have seen always struck me as conciliatory but honest NO Catholicism. When people ask questions critical of some of the more baseless changes or activities in modern Catholicism, the hosts tend to explain the reasons typically given to justify a certain practice and then agree that, despite this, they would not personally choose such a course because of x, y, or z. They recognize that no matter how silly a licit practice is they can’t call it outright wrong, so they don’t want to be so critical as to give that scandalous impression, but it has always been clear to me that they tend to share the same traditionalist suspicion of modern practices that express rupture instead of continuity.


They recognize that no matter how silly a licit practice is they can’t call it outright wrong …


Andreas, I cannot think of a single saint who did not espouse obedience and taught it by example. And Jesus Himself, though God, obeyed St. Joseph (finite man) and His mother Mary.
Even in the case of something being clearly in opposition to a divine command, there are writings where the Lord told the saint that they did right to obey.

Unless and until a “silly practice” is changed by the Church, we would not please God with our grumbling. Too many times in the O.T. we have seen how this offends Him.


So, what is wrong with EWTN?

Not enough bitter rants, salacious gossip, or conspiracy theory programs :rolleyes:


Works both ways, you know. :wink:


Whatever EWTN is it is the ONLY world wide, successful exposure of the Catholic visual presence.

Until something or someone can do better, they are essential. For many, it is their catechism on air. They otherwise would get NOTHING from their parish or from the Vatican on a TV basis. And that IS a scandal.


Personally I really like EWTN. Its almost all I watch when I get home at night and I listen to EWTN radio on the way home from work and to work. They are honestly part of the reason I became Catholic. Many of their shows helped me see the beauty of the Catholic Church and I am very thankful for that. As far as what they used to be, I wouldn’t know because I’ve only watched it for about two years, but I don’t think that they (as far as I can see) show anything against Church teachings or anything bad at all, for that matter. I think they are a wonderful ministry.

And whether or not you want to think that they forced Mother Angelica out, I personally don’t think they did. She still takes a part if she can. She’s just not healthy enought to. She was at the ETWN Family Celebration last year I believe and I don’t know if she is going to be this year or not but I really don’t think they forced her out, I think her health declined to where she couldn’t take as big of a part as she had been.

Just my thoughts on it.

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