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EWTN becomes an arm of the Republican Party as yet another real scandal brews at the heart of the institutional Church

Posted by Charles II on June 9, 2012

Sorry, this is one of the posts you have to read to get the real impact. But here is the executive summary.
* The National Catholic Register is a subsidiary of Catholic station EWTN
* EWTN is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization
* EWTN does not, as far as I can discover, disclose the names of its board members
* EWTN sued the Administration to block what they called “the contraceptive mandate,” claiming it would force them to allow their employees to use insurance of which they disapprove.
* The Vatican is engulfed in a financial scandal that is getting way too little attention, since it looks to be fueled by warfare between those who hope to control the successor to Pope Benedict

The National Catholic Register has a special message from EWTN (of which it is a subsidiary):

The election that could change everything is only five months away. Are you ready?

Will you speak out and defend your faith? And, will you help the National Catholic Register inform Catholics about the implications of this election on the Church and the world?

Faithful Catholics cannot remain silent. Our religious liberty is at stake, and our identity as Catholics is under siege. Yet, in 2008, the party that pushed for abortion and gay marriage received 52% of the “Catholic” vote.

This administration has demonstrated an escalating disregard for the Catholic Church — and have brashly proclaimed that they understand our faith better than we do!

Click for more

Can the government tell the leaders of our Church and the lay faithful what we should believe? Can the government decide which religious beliefs are acceptable?

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against the Church

In a letter to his fellow bishops, USCCB President Cardinal Timothy Dolan explained how the White House staff counseled the bishops about how to interpret Church teaching: “They advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the ‘enlightened’ voices of accommodation … The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.”

Instead of relying on the teaching authority of the Church, the White House selects the “Catholic” group that best fits their agenda. When dissident “Catholic” publications criticize the bishops and take a stand that is against the teachings of the Catholic Church, it causes division. The “Catholic” political leaders that have abandoned their beliefs, but claim to know what the Catholic Church holds as truth, will have much to answer for. Prominent “Catholic” medical professionals who speak about faith and morals, but are not in obedience to the Magisterium, cause great confusion among the flock.

So, what is the National Catholic Register? This is what they say:

The National Catholic Register grew out of the Archdiocese of Denver’s Register, which began in 1924 and whose first national edition appeared on Nov. 8, 1927. Under the leadership of Msgr. Matthew Smith, the Register System of Newspapers was developed, eventually producing 35 diocesan editions, reaching its highpoint in the 1950s with a combined national and diocesan circulation of over 700,000.

In 1970, California businessman Patrick Frawley purchased the declining newspaper and later moved it to Los Angeles.

In 1995, a group of investors, along with the Legionaries of Christ, saved the newspaper from closing and moved it to New England.

On February 1, 2011, the National Catholic Register was purchased by EWTN.

And what is EWTN? Its own statement is less frank about what kind of enterprise it is. This is what Wikipedia says:

In 2000, the Holy See ordered an apostolic visitation to investigate the network. Believing that it could possibly endanger the network’s independence and rather than risk it being placed under ecclesiastical control, Mother Angelica turned EWTN over to a board of governors composed exclusively of lay people, which assured its independence from the Holy See. The current president is Michael P. Warsaw. While the network has trustees, it does not have shareholders or owners.

In other words, they are in open rebellion against papal oversight and are involved in breaking certainly the spirit of the tax laws, if not the letter.

Meanwhile, among the supposed adults, not all is peace and tranquility:

Pope Benedict XVI may have been hoping for some respite from the scandal which has engulfed his papacy…

For the 85-year-old pontiff, the three-day trip outside the Vatican walls was a break from the Vatileaks scandal, which has seen his butler, Paolo Gabriele, arrested on suspicion of disclosing dozens of embarrassing letters alleging corruption and nepotism at the Holy See.

“The Vatican is a hive of interests, different groups like Opus Dei and little transparency which heightens tension,” said Gianluigi Nuzzi, the journalist…

The stakes are high and time is short, since the winning side could have a huge say over who replaces the pontiff.

Letters published so far accuse [Cardinal Tarcisio ] Bertone of exiling a priest to a US post after he exposed graft at the Vatican and insinuate the cardinal was behind a gay whispering campaign against a newspaper editor.

But they also claim Bertone’s biggest battles took place in Milan, involving high finance, a suicide, the Vatican’s millions and the 77-year-old cardinal’s alleged thirst for empire building outside the Holy See.

What this means is unclear. But probably the major issue has to do with money laundering. AFP

The report said investigators were focussing on accounts at the Vatican bank held by “politicians, shady intermediaries, contractors and senior (Italian) officials” as well as “people believed to be fronts for mafia bosses.”

Investigators have reportedly found “property investments and Church property sales that could disguise money transfers to fronts and the need to ‘launder’ through firms and banks not subject to direct controls like the IOR.”

The Vatican on Friday defended itself against the growing scandal around the IOR, saying Gotti Tedeschi’s departure was due to “objective reasons” and stating its commitment to “transparency” at the bank.

In its statement, the Vatican also emphasised that Italian prosecutors should respect the Holy See’s “sovereign prerogatives” under international law.

Gotti Tedeschi and his former deputy, Paolo Cipriani, are already under investigation in Italy for allegedly laundering 23 million euros ($29 million).

Vatican watchers say Gotti Tedeschi was ousted due to a long-running dispute with Secretary of State Bertone and a reaction against his efforts to bring the Vatican bank in line with international regulations against money-laundering.

Now, this is all very lurid, and its unclear what the exact story is. But what seems inescapable is that there is a power struggle over who is to be Pope Benedict’s successor. Glancing at the Catholic newspapers, they all seem to be whistling, hands in pockets, looking in the other direction. You can see CNS on Tedeschi here and CNA here. And EWTN here

Now, my reading of the tone of what is going on leads me to guess that (a) there is a serious problem of corruption at the heart of the church, probably based around buying political influence, (b) either the ultraultra-conservatives or those who oppose them see this as a chance to seize power and are willing to sacrifice Benedict to achieve that, (c) none of the principals appear to have James 1:27, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

But I would bet Brother John has.

(See also, via Wikipedia, this criticism of EWTN by author Christopher Ferrara (apparently believing EWTN is too liberal has made

2 Responses to “EWTN becomes an arm of the Republican Party as yet another real scandal brews at the heart of the institutional Church”

  1. EWTN has been notoriously critical even of the Catholic Church as too liberal. It is not surprising that they (especially Mother Angelica) have taken partisan positions in the current situation, as it has taken “conservative” stands in the past – both in terms of the church and politics.

    Interestingly the bishop who was “exiled” from the Vatican because he exposed some shady activities is, I believe, the Apostolic Nuncio to the US. When protestors in favor of the LCWR sisters came to the nunciature he went out and talked with them! He also mentioned that he had been at the beginning of the LCWR’s sisters meeting.

    The real sisters go to the Vatican this week. May they bring some light to the darkness.

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