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Friday, 29 July 2011
Time to say farewell to Channel 589?
Just in case you live outside of England and Wales, Channel 589 is the EWTN Channel - the Eternal Word Television Network founded by Mother Angelica with a large nudge from the Holy Spirit to get it going.
It started well with Mother A's fairly traditional homespun type of Catholicism; the good common sense type that one's Granny might have counselled you with but, in recent years the Channel's integrity levels seem to have dipped.
EWTN screens a weird mix of what one might call 'folk Catholicism' - a bit of Dana here and some University Graduates sounding off about sexual abstinence there. I do not mock the subject matter, just the saccharine way in which the Faith is presented.
And for some reason, all male presenters (other than Raymond Arroyo) seem to sport beards or moustaches. Now an occasional beard is acceptable but wall to wall carpeting is a bit of an overkill. As for moustaches......the very height of male vanity!
Now I'm really getting into curmudgeon mode, the set backgrounds look as if they are rejects from the Addams Family series, sort of 1950s style meets with Austrian kitsch. Ugh!
Could someone please also tell them that they could achieve better effects with a little subtle lighting and a plain background?
If you have children then they will be put off the Catholic Faith for life if they watch the Bible according to Mickey Mouse, the noxious and vomit inducing cartoon version of the Life of Christ.
As for the Daily Mass, I have never heard such monotonous wailing. No one looks very pleased to be there and there is a cantor with a most odd tone. Just what is going on?
Of course I am being judgemental and critical but then all too often the Catholic laity have been served up with luke warm offerings from their Bishops and the lay organisations that exist to promote the Faith and it really is time that what is offered to us is improved in its content and presentation and we should not be afraid to complain, loudly.
Now, we have lost Fr Corapi, and that leaves a very big hole for EWTN to fill. We do have the Papal Audience which is worth watching (every couple of months or so) and we do have Fr Groeschel, also very interesting and informative. We also have dear Auntie J doing her cookery thing - very nice.
What are the reasons for this dive into pop Catholic culture? Is it a battle for ratings? Or, is it that most if not all of the EWTN production and presentation team seem to be refugees from the Lutheran Church and have, maybe, brought this strange mix of lib Protestant/Catholic values with them?
We should be dancing on the tables at the thought of a Television Channel dedicated to Catholic news and views; instead, I find it all rather embarrassing and would rather my non Catholic friends did not see it.