Why EWTN reminds me of PEPCO
Where I live, PEPCO is the power company. It is the only power company, and it is synonymous with poor and indifferent service. But there is no real choice. And so it was with my desire to watch the John Paul beatification this weekend – it was EWTN or nothing. And what an appalling experience it was. For a start, there was the “amateur hour” feel it to, with poor quality of broadcasts and annoying hosts that simply do not understand when they should simply shut up and let the liturgy flow.
Far worse were the jarring political tones of Raymond Arroyo, the man who always seems to front these things. He noted in passing the absence of American official representation beyond the ambassador, and wondered why Hillary Clinton was not there. With his famous sense of smugness, he made a passing comment about how this reflects the quality of relations between different American administrations and the Vatican. As we now know, the administration was focused on hunting down Osama Bin Laden at that time. Whether than explains Clinton’s absence or not, I don’t know and I don’t care. It’s ridiculous to even raise this issue. But it has an Arroyo connection. Arroyo, if you recall, is guilty of grave public scandal for defending torture (at least when done by Americans) on what purports to be a Catholic channel. If EWTN is bound to maintain its monopoly over these events, is it too much to ask for a host that doesn’t publicly defy core Catholic teaching on a crucial life issue, in a manner that might lead Cardinal Burke and people who think like Cardinal Burke to deny them communion?