What Went Wrong at EWTN?

Hoping to avoid a takeover by the American bishops, Mother Angelica resigned from the board of directors of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in March of 2000. She relinquished all control over the network she had founded in 1981. With the departure of that feisty and combative nun, EWTN underwent a change for the worse.

This sure-to-be-controversial book contends that since the departure of its foundress, EWTN has been purveying to millions of Catholics a strange brew of the orthodox and the heterodox, the sacred and the profane. The anti-liberal Popes before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) would have viewed much of EWTN’s content as Modernist corruptions of the Faith.

Pope Saint Pius X condemned Modernism as a deadly system of errors. The Modernist views every aspect of the Faith—from liturgy, to doctrine and dogma, to Catholic practices and devotions—as subject to change and “updating” in keeping with “modern times.” St. Pius declared: “[T]here is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.”

Basing itself on extensive evidence taken from EWTN’s own content, and comparing that content to the perennial belief and practice of the Church, the book shows that EWTN’s “moderately Modernist” version of the Faith is precisely what St. Pius X had in view when he condemned Modernism in all its forms, including what His Holiness called “the Modernist as reformer.”

The book places the problem with EWTN in the larger context of the post-Vatican II crisis in the Church, which resulted from a Modernist insurrection during and after the Council.

The author notes that this breakthrough, with all its disastrous consequences, was foreseen by the future Pope Pius XII when he was still Vatican Secretary of State. Referring to “the Blessed Virgin’s messages to little Lucy of Fatima,” the future Pope spoke of “this persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church.” He warned of the Modernist “innovators” all around him in the Church, who were poised to attempt “the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul.” He predicted that “a day will come… when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted.”

Four years after the death of Pius XII in 1958, that day came with the commencement of the Second Vatican Council. Forty years after the Council’s conclusion, any reasonable observer of the postconciliar crisis in the Church would agree that Pius XII’s dire warnings, uttered in light of the prophecy of the Mother of God at Fatima, have come to pass. The Modernist “innovators” have triumphed, and the Church has been afflicted by a collapse of faith and discipline on a scale not seen since the Arian heresy spread throughout nearly the entire Church in the fourth century.

The author shows that the “moderately Modernist” version of Roman Catholicism EWTN purveys on television and over the Internet to millions of Catholics embodies much of what the “innovators” feared by Pius XII had in mind. The result is far more insidious than any open heresy, for EWTN’s “fans” are induced to imbibe spiritual poison along with seeming spiritual goods. The unwary thus accept under the guise of orthodoxy many of the errors and abuses the Church condemned before the Council.

At the same time, EWTN uses its power and influence to marginalize as “extreme traditionalists” faithful Catholics who try to defend their Church against “the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology, and her soul,” which EWTN is helping to advance.

The author demonstrates that while EWTN holds itself out as the gold standard of Catholic orthodoxy today, it is actually a major promoter of Modernist innovation in the Church. EWTN is therefore a major obstacle to the widespread return to traditional Catholic belief and practice in all its integrity—the only way to end the crisis in the Church. Catholics thus have a duty to oppose what EWTN is doing and to call for its correction.

This book will shock and outrage many, but the overwhelming evidence it presents will convince the open-minded that EWTN is indeed “a network gone wrong.”