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EWTN jumps on Orange Diocese Crystal Cathedral bandwagon? July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, secularism, silliness, the return.

The lede’s a slight exaggeration – maybe.  I don’t know that they’ll be broadcasting Mass from the outrageous former protestant Crystal Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, CA, but they will make their left coast offices on the campus, which seems a bit of an endorsement to me:

Christ Cathedral will be the site of the first West Coast broadcast studio for the largest religious media network in the world, with construction underway in the iconic Tower of Hope for the Eternal World Television Network.

EWTN, which transmits Catholic programming 24 hours a day available to 230 million-plus homes in 140 countries, has long sought a West Coast presence, and after about a year of discussions, has formed a partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

The initial lease will last 10 years, said Michael P. Warsaw, the chairman of the board and CEO for the television network. The parties, though, have not yet settled on a price, though it should be “nominal,” said diocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.

“This is a great opportunity for us to have access to people and organizations on the West Coast,” Warsaw said. “As we learned about the diocese’s vision, it became evident that (Christ Cathedral) would be a great location.”

Do you think Mother Angelica signed off on this?  I doubt it.

Such an interesting choice – an increasingly neo-Catholic network chooses to “Catholicize” the former grounds of a protestant TV ministry.  By so doing they seem to give at least tacit support to the use of the wholly inappropriate glass menagerie as a Catholic Cathedral.

I am certain in their minds this made just absolutely perfect sense.  Somehow, this really evokes the whole turn the network has made in the past 8 or 10 years to me.

Am I the only one that finds this a very strange, if not a very poor, choice?


1. Dismas - July 29, 2014

I would find it strange if a Catholic media group was doing this, but the fact that it is EWTN fails to surprise…

Tantumblogo - July 29, 2014

So droll!

But I can say I used to find EWTN very edifying but a lot less so anymore.

2. Fenton Goldblat - July 29, 2014

EWTN is sliding down the slope to modernism quickly.

Raymond Arroyo’s joke of a “Catholic” news show confirms this.

From his slathering softball questions to American bishops to his constant sucking up to “Catholic” celebrities is nauseating at best.

Michael Voris nails it when he describes these media types as never reporting on the “hard” topics or challenging neo-clerics on why the Church is disintegrating on their watch…it’s all “happy-clappy” garbage–and if I have to watch the “interloper” sing secular Christmas songs with near-dead or washed-up performers, it’ll be too soon!

EWTN belongs in California…Mother Angelica must be proud!

3. Fr Anselm Marie - July 29, 2014

At times certain actions may seem odd to observers who are not aware of a larger scheme, the “bigger picture”. Perhaps this move fits into the long range plans of His Excellency, Bishop Kevin Vann, for his diocese. (Or for his career.)

Tantumblogo - July 29, 2014

It’s a fair point. I’m sure there were good reasons in the minds of those who made this decision for doing so. But they may have overlooked the potential for scandal by being associated with this most controversial choice for the cathedral of the Diocese of Orange.

But who am I to judge?

Fr Anselm Marie - July 29, 2014

To be fair to Bishop Vann, His Excellency inherited the building in question, which was acquired by his predecessor, Bishop Tod Brown.

Tantumblogo - July 29, 2014

I’m aware of that. I also am aware it is highly unusual for a retiring bishop to make such a long term decision so shortly before his replacement.

But Bishop Brown…….there were a lot of problems. I pray Bishop Vann brings many blessings to the Diocese of Orange. But this deal with EWTN makes me think he won’t be backing out of the Crystal Catholic Cathedral deal.

MFG - July 29, 2014

A few months ago Arroyo interviewed Bishop Vann and the viewer could tell they had a long standing friendship of some kind and both were excited about this new appointment for Vann. So it’s not a surprise to me.

I would agree with Fr’s point there might be more going on. The excessive space/campus might have been an opportunity to bring a more faithful presence (EWTN) to his diocese.

4. Dismas - July 29, 2014

In my own estimation Christopher Ferrara explained all of this well a number of years ago in EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong.

5. Kim - July 29, 2014

I became pro-life and later a Catholic because of the ministry of EWTN. In April 2004 I appeared on an episode of Life on the Rock where I told my abortion story and sang a pro-life song that I wrote.

I just don’t know what to think about this move.

Tantumblogo - July 29, 2014

Wow, that’s awesome. God bless you for your work.

I think, back in ’04, EWTN was a different network. It was certainly of great benefit to me getting into the Faith. Maybe I’ve just grown beyond their offerings, which are, admittedly, sort of basic. But I have gotten the sense, and I think many share it, that the network has gone definitively downhill since Mother Angelica became incapacitated.

My favorite all time EWTN show was Web of Faith, but it’s hardly on anymore. Fulton Sheen is always good.

David - July 29, 2014


I sometimes hear Web of Faith on the radio. Fr. Trigilio does the show with Fr. Ken Brighenti. I think the title is now Web of Faith 2.0.

I like the show, but I do sometimes miss Fr. Levis, who retired due to health reasons. Fr. Levis was also known for standing his ground during the watering down at Gannon University during the 70’s and 80’s. That’s part of how he and Fr. Trigilio became acquainted. The story is part of Goodbye Good Men.

Augustine Thomas - July 30, 2014

God bless you and your child in heaven! Christ can make good of any wrong!

6. David - July 29, 2014

One thing that is not mentioned here: will just the studio and offices be based here? I could see the grounds being used as a studio along with some offices, and having Mass elsewhere.

I don’t know if the Crystal Cathedral began renovations under Brown’s tenure. If renovations have not started, maybe Vann has plans to take an older style church and make that the cathedral in the Diocese of Orange.

Tantumblogo - July 29, 2014

The article talked about how they are spending $50 million to renovate the cathedral or sacramental use. They’re moving in, for sure.

7. Dr. Gregory Hamilton - July 29, 2014

I have enjoyed your blog for a long time, but I have to be honest, I sometimes get tired of separating your opinions as a blogger from official Catholic teaching and practice. I think sometimes your would rather have your audience accept your opinions, rather that the teaching of the Vatican. That is a rather protestant stance. Acquiring the Former Crystal Cathedral for the Diocesan Cathedral for Orange co., was a brilliant move and one that has interested many people in Catholicism. The Cathedral will be renovated for the Sacred Liturgy, and it’s clear that is will not be a protestant church. On the other hand, I have respect for what Dr. Schuller built up over a lifetime. All that is good in that tradition (as the propers for Holy Thursday teach) can be accepted, in so far as it agrees with our Catholic faith. Those of us with an interest in Sacred Music are rejoicing in the fact that the largest and one of the most significant pipe organs in the world is now in a Catholic church. With charity, I would suggest that you please try to make clear what your opinions are, and what official Catholic praxis is…it is not always the same thing.

Augustine Thomas - July 30, 2014

You’re completely clueless if you don’t understand why Catholics should preserve sacred architecture. Southern California already has enough ugly, modernist “Catholic” churches!

8. Kurt - July 29, 2014

I’ve never trusted Raymond Arroyo. He is so obviously limp-wristed and fey that it distracts from whatever he is saying.

9. Bill Russell - July 30, 2014

Be fair to EWTN. They have some excellent catechetical programs, and lives of saints – and also series by Bishop Fulton Sheen and Father George Rutler.

Augustine Thomas - July 30, 2014

That doesn’t make it ok for them to indulge in heresy. In fact that makes it all the more grievous.

Stoney - July 30, 2014

Bill, I don’t think they carry Fr. Rutler’s excellent Christ in the City anymore.

10. Judy - July 30, 2014

I think that EWTN may be good for children or someone just beginning to learn about the Catholic faith, but then it doesn’t hold much of interest after that point. The same goes for their radio programming, only add in truly dreadful music choices that will make you change the channel quickly.

11. Dwight - July 30, 2014

To denigrate EWTN is just absurd. That network is one of the many reasons that so many, such as myself, have found themselves called to the Catholic Church from protestantism. After watching EWTN for some 15 years I fail to see where they are faltering the Church.

Augustine Thomas - July 30, 2014

You were called because, up until very recently, it was an extremely Catholic channel, run by an extremely Catholic nun. Now, like almost all of the rest of the Church, it’s run by heretics in sheep’s clothing (who would probably rather attend your old Protestant church).

12. Augustine Thomas - July 30, 2014

I stopped watching EWTN when it became heresy-friendly.

13. Stoney - July 30, 2014

Their newspaper the NC Register has also been infected by the neoCatholic mindset, from the likes of M. Shea and the Patheos crowd. For instance, he is now seriously trying to revive the hugely destructive Bernardin seamless garment argument. And I see they recently acquired that liberal mouthpiece for amnesty, Catholic News Service. It’s going downhill fast.

14. phlogiston1667 - July 30, 2014

As for the appropriateness of the use of the Crystal Cathedral for sacramental use – I find it far more appropriate than the Taj Mahoney in LA. $50 million to renovate it? In my book, that’s fine. At least it can be renovated, in contrast to the Taj.

15. Tony de New York - July 30, 2014

“indulge in heresy’

What a NON – SENSE!!

What heresy r u talking about?

16. Dismas - July 30, 2014

One good way to start a fight is to speak objective truth about EWTN. It is certainly a “sacred cow.” Personally, I don’t like to get drawn into these discussions anymore. Never have I found one to be fruitful. I guess it is one of those things where if a person cannot see the rampant heresy spewed from EWTN, there is something preventing them from doing that which I am certainly not capable of resolving. There is plenty of information out there for those who want to suspend judgment and consider the matter critically.

17. Michael Poulin - July 31, 2014

I recently left a post at National Catholic Register in response to a story where the Pope was visiting some Evangelicals wherein I passed on two quotes from two recent Popes:

Quote #1 By God’s grace, neither what belongs to the structure of the Church of Christ nor that communion which still exists with the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities has been destroyed. Pope John Paul II Ut Unum Sint-11

Quote #2 The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede by her authoritative Magisterium
Pope Leo XIII Satis Cognitum

Clearly two different statements regarding the “communion” of non-Catholics.

NCR moderators naturally blocked my post. Clearly EWTN wants to suppress any criticism of the current Modernist heretic in the Chair of St Peter. I wrote them I won’t be sending in any more donations as long as they continue to support Modernism.

I get the same treatment from the entire Evangelical convert professional Catholic writer crowd, allah Shea, Ray, CA etc… They simply refuse to even attempt to learn what the Church taught before 1965, and when faced with clear evidence of mis-alignments, as in the quotes above, they respond by name-calling and switching off the microphone – standard liberal tactics.

Dismas - July 31, 2014

Sure. And none of this is being radical or uncharitable. It is simply expressing the truth. (Personally I will, however, leave it to the competent authorities – an oxymoron – to declare the heresy of the Pope 🙂 )

Roughly 15 years ago, when I ventured back into the Church, having been absent since before Vatican II, I became aware of the “Coming Home Network.” That sounded like a good idea, so I sent them some FRNs. They sent me this little book that was the stories of some of their “converts.” As I read the book, a pattern began to emerge. Over and over, always expressed a bit differently, these people would say, “Well, conversion to Catholicism was tough, but then I discovered, Catholics are charismatic too!”

The point being, you could become a “Catholic” without leaving your prior ecclesiology, and all that implies, behind.

What were these people converting TO?

The point is not that elements of orthodoxy can be found on the waves of EWTN. The point is that EWTN, in its entirety, portrays a religion that is foreign to Catholicism. Heck, the Seventh Day Adventists espouse elements of Catholicism. We don’t go around suggesting that they are a window on Catholicism.

Tantumblogo - July 31, 2014

I too recoil a bit from making that judgment of a pope. I see many problems, but as for the a formal assessment, that’s beyond me.

However, I think you evidence how much concern people have at present.

As for EWTN, I really can’t speak to their present product. I haven’t had cable in years. I almost never listen to any radio at all. In fact, for the first time in a very long time I listened to Guadalupe Radio because our parish pastor was interviewed on a segment of the morning show. The host was asking some pretty pointed questions, which was a bit interesting.

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