Given its huge and growing part in spreading and often defending the faith, I’m beginning to wonder if EWTN is too fundamentalist and often reductionist for the good of the Catholic faith? Don’t get me wrong I really like most of EWTN, it certainly has brought me closer to the faith and it’s a great means of international apologetics, but there are certain things what are beginning to concern me – and there are now times I immediately switch the channel these days.
EWTN often reduces the idea of legitimate positions to one (when there is more than one) and often with their own strange theories. I would have less problems with them if they were humbler, gave a variety of possible positions, and let people see and realize it is not so simplistic and hence fundamentalist as they make it out to be. EWTN rarely seems to take a wrong position, but it OFTEN excludes/denigrates other legitimate positions and I find that to be VERY fundamentalist.
There is also the matter of hubris and downright meanness. Take the misrepresentation of Cardinal Mahony’s infamous letter from years ago. Whatever one thinks of the Cardinal, you don’t misrepresent him, claim he is a heretic, and tell people to give him zero obedience, etc. Exceedingly bad form. Then Raymond Arroyo spends how many pages in his book seemingly celebrating this most lamentable behavior? What was the purpose of all hubris? To educate? To warn? I don’t think so.
Speaking of Cardinal Mahony, there is also the matter of pettiness. No matter what your feeling about the structure, the building of LA’s Cathedral was a monumental process, yet EWTN didn’t even bother to cover its opening. When I asked why they didn’t on one of their Q&A forums, I was met with a very petulant “because we were not invited.” Oh, is that so? C’mon…
EWTN seems to be VERY appealing to Catholics who want everything rigidly cut-n-dried and simplistic – much like some of our Fundamentalist Protestant Brethren. It certainly appealed greatly to me when I knew even less about the faith then I do today. I worry however that many are receiving an intolerant formation from EWTN – particularly in the area of apologetics and that ultimately it’s going to harm the Church.