"The Catholic Guy" radio show... is it orthodox?

Not trying to be mean to you, garn, but I just thought of that poor dead person and was glad that, being Catholic, the priest will always be there as your father, even if he doesn’t know you. I didn’t want to disparage the priest, but yes he joked a bit too. I also have a name that could be male or female (Im female), and I guess I just didn’t like Lino poking fun about that. If you enjoy the show that’s fine. I just think he’s not very respectful and I think that’s unbecoming. I also think he is politically liberal light, and these days that doesn’t fit in very well with the Faith. There may have been a time when political views were not so diametrically opposed to the Faith, but that time is gone, and anyone speaking for the Church in any capacity should parse their words carefully to at least avoid scandal.

Dude, that guy is awesome.

Dude, that guy is awesome.

Well, apparently I’m in the minority here. :o

I’m a regular listener of the Catholic Guy show. I came to this forum by way of a link on Lino’s Facebook page, and I thought I’d chime in here.

I recall the episode you’re talking about, and honestly, I don’t recall anyone poking fun at the deceased person with the unclear name. However, I do recall that the whole point of the thing (and yes, there almost always is a point) was that Fr. Rob was being called upon to be pastoral and celebrate a Mass in a moment when he literally knew nothing about the person, not even the person’s sex - and the Mass required that the priest use gender-specific words. And though he was doing so with humor, Lino was pointing out a serious situation - how CAN a priest be pastoral with the grieving family when the priest literally knows nothing about the deceased?

Does Lino push boundaries of “good taste”? Yeah, sometimes, but life is like that, and Lino refuses to be false in his approach. That’s why he looks up to Howard Stern; not because of the material that he presents, but because he refuses to be fake in how he approaches the material. You may not like Howard Stern (heaven knows I don’t), but you can’t accuse him of being fake.

Lino’s show is meant to reach out to a broad audience of people who are put off by the ultra-pious offerings of the EWTN bunch (not trying to stereotype everyone at EWTN, but I think you know what I mean). Much of his audience is on the fringes of the Church - regular people who maybe watch reality TV who are Catholic at heart, but maybe just haven’t been to Mass in a while for a variety of reasons; or maybe folks who don’t go to Confession as often as they ought; or maybe they do, but they find themselves struggling with the same old stupid sins week after week. Folks like us who fit into one or more of those categories look at the super-holy super-serious folks and say, “Gosh, those people are nothing like me. They’ve got this religion thing down pat. And as grim as they seem to be, I’m not sure I want to be like them.”

Lino has what I consider a six-part over-arching message - 1) I’m a sinner, a poor schlub that manages to screw life up on a regular basis, and these are the ways I do that; 2) going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be HARD and AWKWARD, primarily because of the ways I’ve screwed up; 3) the Church, for her part, is made up of people who are sometimes equally awkward at being welcoming and inviting to those who need what the Church has to offer; 4) the first three points are often hilarious, and it’s okay to laugh about it; 5) nevertheless, in the end, I find comfort and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and thank God for that; 6) so if a total screw-up like me can find God’s grace, despite my own awkwardness and the Church’s sometimes grim and imposing facade, YOU CAN TOO.

So does Lino’s approach work? Yes. I hear callers all the time say things like, “I haven’t been to confession in years and my embarrassment and fear of it has kept me away from the Church. But you’ve convinced me to just bite the bullet and go this Saturday.”

Lino tries to make the message of his show come through first, through an entertaining way, without being preachy and/or political. Lino RARELY brings up politics because it’s just so polarizing and alienating to the people he’s trying to reach. On those rare occasions when he does, you can sense his discomfort, and he usually only addresses the least political part of the topic. If preachy or political is what you find inspiring or entertaining, then Lino’s show is not for you, and that’s okay. When you have a SiriusXM subscription, you already have a wide-ranging choice of political and religious talk channels to choose from.

(PS - As an aside, I’m not sure I know what you mean by “politically liberal light”, but the Church really is neither completely conservative or completely liberal, but some of both. For instance, her stance regarding abortion, contraception, and gay marriage may be considered quite conservative; but her stance regarding capital punishment is quite liberal, as are her positions on human rights, workers’ rights, and treatment of the poor and disadvantaged. I once heard someone say that Catholics in modern-day America are politically homeless when you consider where our political parties currently stand, and I completely agree with that statement. No particular party or standardized political viewpoint has a lock on all of Catholic teaching by any stretch of the imagination. I live in hope for a political party that will one day cover all of Catholic teaching, both the “liberal” and the “conservative” aspects.)

(PPS - You know, as I previewed this post, I realized that I come off as quite the fan-boy. Eh, I guess I can live with that. :p)

Maybe I haven’t given him a fair chance, but I was really turned off by the points I mentioned.

As for the EWTN folks, none of them seem “grim” to me. Father Pacwa has one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard, and Mother Angelica was quite a feisty old woman in her day. Patrick Coffin and Jimmy Akin are pretty lighthearted, good humored guys. What makes them stand apart for me is that they are never disrespectful to anyone on their shows.

In all fairness, what I’ve heard of Lino has been selected clips from his show, and most of them were rather mean spirited, plus I don’t think a Catholic radio host making jokes about underage drinking is very wise. But, that aside, I can see your point about how he might reach out to those who are either turned off or intimidated by the more “pious” approach of EWTN, and heck, if I listened enough, I might enjoy alot of it. I just can’t get past some of the things he’s said about people on his show.

Deep, I appreciate your points. I said liberal light because I don’t really know a word for it. I sense his discomfort with political issues, too, and maybe I’m reading him wrong. Maybe he just has all the right attitudes and I just haven’t heard them. I know the Church isn’t republican or democrat-again, that’s why I chose the word liberal. But I also had to use the word light to indicate that I do not at all think he is the stereotypical liberal, beliving in abortion and euthanasia and all that. As far as capital punishment is concerned, I don’t think the Church has rendered an absolute verdict on that, as it always has with abortion. I am unsure on that issue myself. When the Church says no way, no how, I will accept that. But that hasn’t happened.

I think what Prodigal was saying is that Lino rubs him the wrong way. Well, he does me too. Neither of us are saying we are better than Lino-I certainly am not better than him. I just don’t care to listen to him because I get the feeling that he is 1) disrespectful; 2) what I call “liberal light”; 3) a bit proud. I could be way off base, but we are not skewering the man, we are just having a conversation about something we just can’t talk about anywhere else. In fact, until Prodigal posted, no one I have ever met even knew who Rulli was. I have no one to tell, “Hey, isn’t that Lino a bit irritating?”

Last, I have always disliked those ultra goody shows, as well. I don’t like to hear shows where the host is a stay at home mom of twelve who homeschools and has written three books and has a radio show where she knows every answer to everything. It makes me feel like I am a poor excuse for a woman because that sure isn’t my story. I am only saying this to let you understand that I am not one of those extremely good folks who can’t tolerate a bit of off humor. I am a poor miserable sinner who likes to find something uplifting, like Mother Angelica, something that tells me that I can be forgiven, that my life is valuable even though I’m not that stay at home mom, and that I can strive to be holy from this point on.

If I have done nothing but convince you that I am just an irritable person all round, and that no show can please me, well that’s OK. I’m not a wordsmith. My Sirius presets are EWTN, Siriously Sinatra, Symphony Hall, Met Opera, Fox News and NPR. I guess I just prefer a bit of serenity and depth that Rulli doesn’t deliver.

I haven’t been a regular listener for a while, but what was described here was not uncommon on Lino’s show.

Pride is not an unfair comment. If I remember right, Lino would make fun of himself for sometimes being too proud (I think there was a few "proud of being humble"s thrown in for good measure too). That’s probably the reason he had so many self-deprecating jokes (like that giant nose of his).

Speaking of his big nose, I do think he’s cute. I really tried to like him!

Hello all,
I am new to this website. I am writing because quite frankly I am disappointed to see the harsh criticism of Lino Rulli and his show. I am writing as a mother of 3 teenage daughters who had almost no interest in the Catholic faith. Several years ago I found Lino’s show and would have the girls listen on our way home from school, in between practices, and so on.

The girls absolutely fell in love with him and his take on faith. They would say, almost on a daily basis, how “real” Lino was. One day, after he was talking about his own experiences in confession, my oldest said she wanted to return to the Sacrament because “I want to be like Lino.” For a 17 year old girl to want to return to the confessional because of Lino? There is NO show on ewtn my girls are willing to listen to, let alone would have an impact on them. And to top it off, my other daughters have taken their older sisters lead and are now involved with their youth group and are proud Catholics. They credit Lino.

So I am personally offended by your judgmental attitude about Lino. You don’t find him funny? Ok. You have a right to your opinion. I am not looking for an argument. But my family is forever indebted to him, my daughters love him, and he has helped them love the Church.

Thanks for listening :slight_smile:

MrsE that’s a great thing about your daughters. Im glad they find joy in the Faith now. Some people find it differently. I see that I must be as irritating to you as Lino is to me. That’s fine. I can be pretty irritating im sure. I don’t think that anyone here said that Lino or EWTN or any other thing was bad, evil, or shouldn’t be done. Obviously he’s got quite a following, too. All well and good. These are just opinions. No one is condemning Lino. He’s just not my type, as I am sure I would not be his. And just as I can cite his flippant attitude and pride as possible reasons we wouldn’t get along, Im sure he could cite my boorishness and irritability. No big deal.

@littlenothing - I don’t know about Mrs. E, but I don’t find you irritating. People have different tastes, and that’s part of what makes the world interesting. I have no personal problem with the EWTN folks, either. They are decent, pious people, with only the best intentions for their programs. But their programs don’t do for me what the Catholic Guy show does - namely, speaks directly to me in my spiritual path. That’s how life works, I guess.

I only stopped by in the first place to defend a show I happen to care about, which does a lot of good for the Catholic faith. I wanted to make sure we all understood that, just because one person doesn’t find something inspiring, doesn’t mean it isn’t inspiring to a whole lot of other people (and it doesn’t make those people wrong for finding it inspiring).

One last thing to remember about the Catholic Guy show - it is on the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM. The top boss of the channel is the newly-minted Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York, who himself has had a weekly program on the channel since the retirement of Cardinal Egan, which means he is already active in paying attention to what happens there. If he found any program on the channel objectionable, he could, and most certainly would, yank it off the air with prejudice. The fact that he hasn’t should speak volumes. I know that won’t satisfy everyone, but there’s just no pleasing some folks.

(PS - I still don’t understand what “liberal light” is, nor do I understand what’s wrong with it. And I’m still not convinced that “liberal” or “conservative” have any meaning in the context of Catholic teaching, but are merely labels which only serve to separate groups of Catholics who could be a powerhouse together, if only … if only … well, I’d just as soon not get into THAT topic now. I tend to think differently, and I just don’t have the time to get involved in too large a discussion online these days.)

You know what, Deep? I didn’t know Dolan was involved. I’ll just shut up and trust him, as he knows a lot more than I ever will.

I have never been into politics until the last election. I suspect many could say that. Differences seem to be more stark than ever and I see no hope of things healing between any of the parties. I will say again that I chose those words because I didn’t know what other words to choose. Maybe its that I felt he was equivocating, and I don’t like that. I like things to be pretty clear. Im a science girl, and I like proofs. When I don’t see things that are ultra clear to me I tend to be very skeptical.

You don’t have to jump right in to that. I know you’re busy. Im about to get pretty busy too. But I will check back if you ever have something to add.

I think he’s pretty hilarious. I used to watch Generation Cross on Catholic TV and he was really funny on that as well.

Certainly more entertaining than “Life on the Rock”.

I have never witnessed this behavior you are attributing to Rulli.

I did too! :thumbsup:

Hi Mrs. Johnson,

I would like to say to you and everyone else who has participated in this discussion: it was not my intention to offend anyone. I did not start this thread because I don’t think Mr. Rulli is funny. I started it because I heard some comments made on his show that I found offensive and in poor taste.

I’m not a regular listener and these comments were selectively culled by a third party, so they may not be representative of his show as a whole. My other concern was what I perceived to be his advocacy of Howard Stern, though it seems my source on that may have blown it a little out of proportion.

In summary, I may have rushed to judgment and I apologize. Thank you all for your time and input.

Well, I didn’t realize that my thread had actually been joined to another one, so I guess I didn’t necessarily start all of this. I was wondering how the conversation had veered so far from my original post. :o

This thread is a few months old but I wanted to add my 2 cents here. I have listened to the Catholic Guy off and on for almost as long as he has been in the air. It started while driving on long trips for work. It was a major contributor to making me more Catholic after a period of not being very religious. After awhile I ‘outgrew’ the show and was looking for more meatier substance so I started listening to EWTN and shows like Catholic Answers and Open Line and The Journey Home. However, more recently I have been listening to the Catholic Guy again. I think because my life has gotten too serious and I need some laughs.

I have listened to enough Open Line and Catholic Answers that I have heard most of the questions people ask. So again I look for meatier stuff in books and other media. The Catholic Guy’s joy and zeast for life is contageous. It adds something beyond mere spouting catholic facts and dogmas. It meets people on a very human level and it does something very important to the human soul, it makes them laugh. Sure, Lino can get carried away sometimes with insults and act immature but so cant we all.

I have to say when compared with some of the secular shows we have today Lino is a saint. So it is all relative. No, he is not perfect but then who is? The bottom line is that it is a show that can take you closer to God and to the Catholic Church. So from that perspective it is good. Just dont expect anything too profound. If you want profound listen to Catholic Answers. Im also a big fan of Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Open Line.

Akin and Coffin can be downright hilarious (even though that is not what the show is about)…very very fast wits.

The Catholic Guy is fine…perhaps you should give it another chance. I listen to a bit every day, but prefer the weightier stuff Coffin tackles on his show.

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