EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network) broadcasts from the Birmingham Alabama area. Who has jurisdiction and responsibility for the content of the faith presented by this media? What are persons to think and believe, when there is a discrepancy between what is heard on EWTN, and what is not heard locally in a parish elsewhere?

Can you please site an example?

I think the folks who own and operate EWTN are a religious order and answer to their head.

EWTN, by and large, is more orthodox than many parishes/dioceses in the U.S. I would probably give them the edge in any discrepancies.

Last year, Pope Benedict gave EWTN the Cross of Honor “Cross Pro-Ecclesia Et Pontifice” award. It was awarded by Bishop Robert Baker to Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier.


"Homily of the Most Reverend
Robert J. Baker, S.T.D.
Bishop of Birmingham

Feast of St. Francis Benediction – Our Lady of the Angels Monastery – October 4, 2009

Today, we celebrate St. Francis’ tremendous impact on the Church and on people who do not claim the name Catholic or even Christian. We celebrate His humility, simplicity, fidelity, wisdom, and his promotion of human life and life in all its forms.

Also, we have the privilege of acknowledging the contributions to our church of another person in the great Franciscan tradition, whose link to St. Francis is through St. Clare. To be specific, a daughter of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration spirituality and life, Mother Angelica.

The Holy See has seen fit to present to her the pontifical medal “Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice,” in recognition of her founding what is now the largest Catholic television network in the world, The Eternal Word Television Network.

EWTN is located in Irondale, Alabama, and was founded 28 years ago by this Poor Clare nun. Mother Angelica traveled from Canton, Ohio to Irondale, Alabama in 1961 at the invitation of Archbishop Toolen, whose Diocese covered the State of Alabama, to build a monastery in the south. "

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I believe EWTN is privately owned and Mother Angelica went to great lengths to keep it this way. If it was run by a diocese it would probably be the usual gray mish mosh.

things in different parishes

EWTN has my complete trust. I have heard things in different parishes that are contrary to what is true. That doesn’t happen on EWTN.

The silence of local parish, allowing many like me to drift away rather than fall away from the faith. To be fallen away implies something to fall off. The local parish not only did not catechize, but did not evangelize. I went through ten years of darkness and confusion before EWTN slowly entered my consciousness. The local parish did not say who is Jesus, nor Jesus is in the Eucharist, or the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. Evangelicals would ask if there was a personal relationship with Christ. There was not anything of that kind in the local Catholic parish. EWTN comes along to say what went wrong in Catholic America during the late 1970s, early 1980s after Vatican II. I never knew there was a Vatican II until EWTN. EWTN bemoans and laments catechism, especially in Catholic universities. I have to question whether if anything was taught or preached worthy of lasting impression during that period. I feel like an outsider looking inside at something hardly a part. Baptism and Confirmation were factual incidents to me. Confirmation was a customary practice inherited through grandmother’s side of family. I participated to please and obey my family, conforming to peers, while wondering what was the point of that exercise, which seemed like a graduation ceremony without having to take and pass a test. At the time, no further thought was made with any sort of supportive guidance within the parish. There was not a losing a faith going into college, because there was not any basis in faith other than in hindsight something about Confirmation. Recently, I posted a question about whether Mass can be canceled for holidays like Veterans Day, as though Mass was like banker hours. This puzzled me from a distance when looking at the parish website and schedule. This just reinforced my suspicion that the parish is Catholic in name only. A few years ago, a priest from another parish within the city was killed flying his private plane to vacation in Florida for the winter. I could not fanthom a priest flying to pick up his buddies to go vacationing in Florida. How many people can fly privately like that? Anyway, such instances plus the silence and aloofness of the local parish and diocese is like a tiny dot in comparison to the rich deposit of EWTN greeting me everyday on cable and internet.

I agree with much of what was posted, but this part I did not understand. :confused:

why not go directly to the source for answers to your questions about EWTN
if you have an issue with what is being broadcast on the television or content on the website you can contact them directly, the links are on this page, or if you have a real complaint or issue contact the bishop with authority over that area they are located.

have you an issue? care to share it?

if you have an issue with what is taught (or not) at your own parish, first discuss it with your pastor, and if he can’t give you a proper answer, contact your bishop, usually through the vicar general of your diocese.

I think if someone is explaining how they were not properly catichised it is easy to misunderstand.

A Catholic priest in another parish in a smaller city was flying from a local airport when the plane crashed due to inclimate weather. The priest was first flying to another city to pick up friends, and then they were on their way for a Florida vacation. At that time, I thought it was odd for a priest to flying a private plane from a northern location in winter to Florida. There are not too many people in this world who can afford to own, maintain and fly privately south from here. That was puzzling to me, and I cant think of too many people who questioned why. The media reported accolades after his death was understandable. This, however, did not square with my own experience with an aloof and absent parish life. The incident just reinforced my confusion and doubt.

My point was to reconcile the consistency of EWTN teaching with the total absence of anything at the local parish level in my youth. When listening to EWTN, especially about the problems in the American church of the aforementioned period, I become irritated, confused and depressed. I do not know what to think and believe, because I feel so abandoned and neglected locally. I am beginning to think this irritation should not be, and displacing this annoyance onto EWTN because of feeling helpless with distrust locally. There is no place to go, and afraid of walking into that parish with what is known from EWTN, and cant deal with it.

Are their any sources with credible scrutiny of EWTN to determine their consistency and efficacy in transmitting the faith? Are there any sources measuring dioceses conformity to the faith?

puzzleannie gave you the best advice. You need to talk to a priest, if not the priest at this parish that is troubling you, than a priest from a surrounding parish. There is just too much going on in your situation I think to give just one paragraph of advice or to provide a link concerning EWTN. You have many concerns from your youth, from what you may assume is taking place now, to perhaps drawing some either really accurate conclusions about this current parish or really off the mark conclusions. The only people that can give you what you’re looking for IMO, is the priest at your current parish, or at another parish, or your bishop. It might help to consider finding an ongoing spiritual director if that’s possible.

Our priest says that the Catholic Church has catechism for young people and socials for adults - and that what it needs is Catechism for adults and social activities for children.

I’m a revert, who grew up in the '60s-'80s. At, 50 I crave adult faith formation.

From my perspective, when the Church lost the nuns, they lost the ability to properly teach catechism.

It was a perfectly designed storm in the '60s - '80s. No proper childhood catechesis, no continuing catechesis for adults and then the sexual revolution struck.

Sex, drugs, rock-in-roll, the Vietnam War, peace protests, people tuning out, birth control, abortion, breakdown of marriage, and then the morals of society did a 180.

Perhaps some budding young Catholic social scientist should consider creating an “orthodoxy-index” and institute a study to measure how well dioceses do on certain salient measures (e.g., survey parishoners to guage the level of catechesis, adherence to correct liturgical practices, etc.).

One could market the results to the bishops, who would no doubt be interested in the findings, and perhaps issue a “good-housekeeping” seal of approval via CAF or some other similar organization so that the public could know which dioceses received high marks.

On a scale from 1 to 1, where 1 is ‘unacceptable’ and 10 is 'outstanding" please rate the quality of catechesis you feel you receive through Saint (INSERT PARISH NAME HERE) parish?

If someone does decide to do this, please don’t say you heard it from me, by the way. :blush:


No idea what this has to do with anything. Flying your own plane is no different than driving a car.

Diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty. A good used general aviation aircraft costs about the same as a decent new mid-sized car. I in fact own and fly my own plane, a 4-seat Beechcraft. While it is not a “cheap” hobby, it certainly is in line with other hobbies such as motorbikes, golf club membership, etc.

Roy, inform yourself. Things that are wrong will jump out at you after a while. It’s a self education process. Focus on the principal, not the rule. If in doubt, first check the catechism, then the forums here.

Fr Corapi has a 50 part series on the catechism, it shows every Sunday evening and has been for 15 years…it’s an awesome start. EWTN isn’t perfect, they are not infallible…but in general EWTN is a better than many local ‘experts’.

In the years I have watched, I can only think of one egregious error. It was a guest on a show, and I’m told it was removed before it showed on the west coast…CBS news should be so good :slight_smile:

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