Best words of advice anyone can give us when dealing with the bishops. Those words didn’t come from some reactionary, either. They came from Mother Angelica, the foundress of EWTN. A couple of days ago, she was awarded the Cross of Honour by the Pope too. Reflecting on Mother’s work, Bill Donahue added an interesting account…
As Catholic League President Bill Donohue wrote in a 2005 review of Raymond Arroyo’s nationally best-selling book on Mother Angelica, some bishops actively fought EWTN at its inception. “Indeed, the bishops tried to outdo her by launching their own effort, the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America (CTNA). It was clear from the beginning that Mother Angelica was seen as a threat: EWTN had a traditional orientation and CTNA took a modernist stance. EWTN won. CTNA collapsed.”
Donohue added: “Mother Angelica did not take kindly to those clerics who questioned her authority to showcase some bishops, but not others. ‘I happen to own the network,’ she instructed. When told that this would not be forever, she let loose: ‘I’ll blow the damn thing up before you get your hands on it.’”
You can read the whole story about the award here.
She was referring to bishops and Cardinals like Cardinal Mahony who tried to shut her down because she wouldn’t water down Catholic teaching.
When we look back on this age of massive episcopal delinquency, we will see people who had little formal authority yet they brought a real renewal in the Church. Not one bishop in North America has really stood out to challenge the episcopacy itself and to lead it towards fidelity. But one faithful nun – a woman – did. In the great irony of our age, for all of the clamouring for women priests and “authority” in the church today, it was indeed a woman who held fast and put the boots to the white liberal men in the episcopacy. She held the Faith together and now EWTN’s reach is worldwide with an audience of over 100 million viewers. I think God has a sense of humour. “You want more feminine authority? I’ll give it you in away you’ll not soon forget!”
The Pope is on our side as far as dealing with episcopal delinquency and obfuscation. Summon Pontificum and all.