Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mother Where Art Thou?

You gotta hand it to the gal.

Twenty-five years ago, a Franciscan nun armed only with a video camera, a converted garage, and her wits, started what has become the largest Catholic network on the planet. EWTN is a really big deal. Before becoming incapacitated by a stroke which has limited her public access, Mother was smart enough to ensure that her enterprise would never fall into the hands of the Catholic intelligensia, through the appointment of an independent board, albeit under proper jurisdiction of the local bishop.

Now there are reports that the network kept a known pederast on staff: "The Birmingham-based Eternal Word Television Network said the Rev Real Bourque conducted Mass, held weekly Bible study for workers and visitors and gave talks at retreats, but he wasn't allowed on the air or to be around young people after 1995, when executives say they learned of his past."

Sounds like it could have been worse. And for a long time, the conventional wisdom was that this was an effective form of "damage control" which best utilized the faculties of a troubled (or "troubling," as the case may be") priest. Nevertheless, Ann Doyle of BishopAccountability.org says that this has "damaged the credibility and conservative credentials of EWTN."

Oh, did it now? Sorry, Ann, they started edging down that wrong road years before, when they jumped on the Medjugorje bandwagon, among others. Even so, this writer still thinks it's got a good thing going, if you know what few programs aren't worth watching. And that's a real short list. My fave is still "Sunday Night Live" with Father Benedict Groeschel. I try to see him in person whenever I can. Very enlightening, not to mention entertaining.

I still pull out my favorite "Mother Angelica Live" videos from the vault, for old time's sake. (sigh!)

2 Comments:

At 4/29/2006 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Jack said...

I had no idea EWTN was started by Mother Angelica.

As usual, DLA expands my intellectual parameters.

 
At 5/05/2006 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rev. Real Bourque conducted Mass, held weekly Bible study for workers and visitors and gave talks at retreats, but he wasn't allowed on the air or to be around young people after 1995, when executives say they learned of his past."

I have no problem with this at all (something about forgiveness). You cannot deny a person a living now matter what they've done. You just don't allow them to do things which will cause them to repeat. Keep him away from the kids. That's all. EWTN did the Christian thing.

John J. Simmins

 

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