can someone explain why people are talking about EWTN being a “network gone wrong”? what’s that all about? anyone know?


I think (just my view of what many seem to imply) is that EWTN has gone wrong by putting forth shows that are poorly produced and consequently of overall poor quality, leaving the network with shows that may have content, but which very few people actually enjoy or are drawn to. The EWTN network could be a great tool to evangelize to slipping Catholics and to non-Catholics. It really is not. It could be a great family station that provides great programs that wholesome and enjoyable for the family to watch together. Again, it seems to be seriously lacking there. Sure, we can watch mass at Holy Angles about a half dozen times a day. Most people won’t but it is good for some folks. We can enjoy reruns of Sister Angelica, but despite her great shows, most people won’t what to watch them over and over and over and over again. It is “Prime Time” right now and they are broadcasting RELIGIOUS CATALOGUE, seems to me that is a waste of some of the most valuable airtime a TV station has.

Basically I think (again my opinion only) that people believe EWTN could be SO MUCH BETTER but really is pretty bad from an objective view of quality programming.

My personal view, after being stuck home for 2 months recovering from surgery earlier this year is that EWTN needs to start over. I found it very difficult to watch many of the shows. Some of the childrens shows are particularly aweful.


i was told that it was liberalizing the Catholic faith.


I didn’t see that in the shows that I have watched. Then again, I have not seen them all, and honestly I have no desire to see them all. Certainly the daily mass and any of the Mother Angelica shows would not be to blame for that.


just telling you what i was told. i even hear there is a book on it but not sure of the name.


I would strongly disagree with you here. I think there are many fine and worthy shows on EWTN. Examples include: The Journey Home, Life on the Rock, The World Over, Sunday Night Live with Fr. Groeschel, The Abundant Life, Faith and Culture, EWTN Live, Franciscan University Presents, Catholicism on Campus…need I go on. Pray for this essential ministry!


I would strongly disagree with you here. I think there are many fine and worthy shows on EWTN. Examples include: The Journey Home, Life on the Rock, The World Over, Sunday Night Live with Fr. Groeschel, The Abundant Life, Faith and Culture, EWTN Live, Franciscan University Presents, Catholicism on Campus…need I go on. Pray for this essential ministry!

Yes, I think most people agree that most of the shows have great CONTENT, however most of the shows could use a overhaul in the PRODUCTION QUALITY and GRAPHICS department. Most the people that know about EWTN are those who watch it regularly. However, most the shows would not catch someones eye and make them stop if they were flipping through the channels. I think EWTN is great and love it, I just don’t think it is realizing it’s full potential that it could have.


I really don’t think EWTN is trying to liberalize catholicism. If anything, they have a pretty strong conservative catholic standing.

I think if anything, the network is a bit dry. I agree that they need some different programming with better production. They have a great opportunity to offer family friendly original programming, a real alternative to secular programming, but they don’t. IMO, there’s a bit too much influence by the clergy and religious, and it is a bit too rigid and not diverse enough in programming.

That being said, I find that a lot of the shows that they run on radio as well as tv are a lot better on radio. I love The Voyage Home with Marcus Grodi, as a radio program. As a tv program, it’s a bit dull. A lot of Father Mitch’s stuff isn’t as good on tv as it is on the radio as well.

But I am greatful for what we do have in both the radio and tv networks. Catholic media is growing greatly and perhaps we will see it continue to grow and get better. Either way we are blessed to have such resources today.



EWTN is Great. There isn’t a better station on TV anywhere. So many truely great Christian heros on all the time, as mentioned above. I often go to the web site and listen to the broadcasts a second and third time. Production values??? I could not care less about improving them, really. Listen to discourse. Use your brain.


The idea of EWTN being a “Network Gone Wrong” is that some of the most hardline right types in the Church at one time saw it as something of a beacon of their sort of traditionalism. Then things started to turn in a bit of a different direction due to a number of quick occurrances in the late 90’s/early 00’s. So, from their standpoint, it has become more of a liberalized network which no longer stands for promoting everything they believe in.

Now, I would argue that it never was all that they claim and has consistently had some sort of more temperate element. Certainly, it’s not EXACTLY the same since Mother Angelica had health problems and gave over control. The bishops may have more of a say nowadays than they used to, also. Obviously, they don’t televise the Mass being celebrated Ad Orientum.

But, in a nutshell, the argument (and book) advocated with the former idea is what has received some play.


and then

EXACTLY what I was trying to say. You folks said it better, thank you :thumbsup:

The problem with this train of thought is that it limits EWTN to only a small core of people. The station can/should be able to capture an audience that is larger than the hard core Catholic but the poor production of some of the shows makes it difficult to watch and makes it non-competitive with mainstream media. The potential of what it could do to evangelize our religion to others is simply lost because it is of such poor quality.


we just had a long, acrimonious thread on this topic, full of a lot of misinformation, if you want to rehash the twaddle, do a search


I have been a ewtn watcher and listener (on shortwave) for quite a while now, and I will admit some shows leave a little bit to be disired. Catholic answers is my favorite, followed by Father Groeshel on sunday nite. Overall, I think the network is great. There is really nothing else on the air that can compare to it, either on radio or tv. If anything, I’ve heard the network criticised for being too conservative, especially by our former parish priest.


The only people who claim it’s “gone wrong” are the extreme traditionalist, SSPX types (like Christopher Ferrara).


Before I came back to the church, whenever I came across EWTN on cable, I would stop and almost laugh at my perceived ‘dullness’ or ‘dryness’ or just plain goofiness of the programming. An old nun, an old monk, and a polish priest sitting in front of the camera talking about catholics. The problem with that is that while it’s informative, it’s certainly not entertaining and it’s not drawing viewers to the network, and in turn the ability to evangelize falls short.

Now, the programming has improved a bit, it’s still not stellar. And while I love the radio shows, and while I will watch the shows because I want to know more about my faith, they still aren’t realizing 100% of their evangelization possibility. More entertaining shows, better production, family programming, children’s programming, etc, would increase the entertainment value and ability to reach more people through evangelization. Which is he point of the network, after all.


One area they could definitley improve on is their children’s programming. I have only seen one thing geared towards kids(a cartoon on Saint Patrick) that kids would find enjoyable(I myself enjoyed the cartoon on St. Patrick). Most of the animation on their cartoons is so poor or the show is not exciting enough to hold kids attention. There has to be some talented Catholic animators out there that could help them out.


Most of the children’s programming that I have seen is not original to EWTN. At least 2 of the shows are produced independently (Adventures in Odessey and the Donut Man), are actually produced by Protestant groups, and are now videos as well. The Saint series that are cartoons were also orginially produced as videos.

I do agree with others though that the other (for grown-ups) shows, while very interesting to hear, are often difficult to watch because they are dry and badly taped.


I agree. It’s mainstays are the daily Mass, the Journey Home, etc. But, especially for children’s programming, there is a clear and crying need for better production and fresh ideas that would be “a real alternative to secular programming.”

Christian programing, music, writing, art, etc., does not always have to be about preaching, teaching or praise. It can be normal entertainment that reflects Christian faith and Christian morals, preferably without being too “preachy.”

Remember the sitcoms and cartoons from the 1950s and early-mid 1960s? (Or, does that just date me … :cool: ) They taught a lot about faith and morals without being preachy and while being quite entertaining.

Catholic TV doesn’t have to exclude preaching shows, but it could do better by broadening the content to include other kinds of programming.

Just my 2 cents’ worth.


Occasionally EWTN has done shows (sometimes in conjunction with other apostolates) which have a little more in the way of production value and entertainment quality. But, by and large, it’s always been some priest sitting by a table or standing at a lectern and teaching and talking. The entire reason why it took off originally was because Mother Angelica was a character who was entertaining to watch. “What’s she going to say NEXT???” This has it’s place, but yes there is so much more that could be done. Unfortunately, it seems that often Catholics think that this is all which is appropriate or necessary. You do see a little bit better production with Life on the Rock. They apparently knew that they needed something more to make that work from the start.

Of course, another part of the problem is that to do more takes more. So it becomes an issue of money (or lack thereof).

Concerning kids shows, I still remember this hilarious image of Fr. Joseph Mary sitting next to a teddy bear on a bench being interviewed for one of the shows they self produced. That was classic!

I kind of liked the “Hey Brother Leo” segments, too.


I like EWTN, but I would like to offer some constructive criticism.

I would tune in a lot more often if a national news and review hour (or two) such as the World Over Live, occurred daily at say the 6 o’clock hour.

If they could get together a good News crew using the first 10 to 15 minutes for current daily events – straight no commentary. The second 15 minutes with opinionated commentary, such as Bill Donohue (from the Catholic League) and maybe the last half exploring “Catholic” issues that you never see covered in mainstream media.

Covering the Catholic issues would go beyond just Vatican news. I think they should cover contraversial as well as non-contraversial issues, and not be afraid to jump into the fray.

They could have a Bishop’s Hour, featuring various bishops and clergy throughout the world, particularly those who notoriously live their faith heroically. For example, Father Pavone and many others.

There could be a Laity News Update exploring lay ministeries, their successes and failures, allowing other Catholics to learn and follow.

I agree with the other posters, there is just so much more that could happen to make this network truly outstanding. Let’s keep Mother Angelica and her nuns in our prayers, too.

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