Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Any Changes in The Vortex After Church Militant TV's Break?

Michael Voris is back after the Church Militant TV spiritual and professional retreat. The Bear was curious if they would decide to talk about Pope Francis.

So far, no. They are hitting the bishops hard, as we have seen before, and promise to take on EWTN. The tease seems to indicate Mother Angelica's network has been co-opted by the "Church of Nice," as Voris likes to call the Catholic establishment.

So, in case you don't watch The Vortex regularly, the Bear will continue to highlight interesting episodes. He will also be watching for signs of any change in approach by Mister Vee and company.


  1. I share the concern about EWTN, which has become depressingly bourgeois.

  2. Well, at some point during the retreat, my retro-Vortices began automatically going to full screen, which I thought was cool (and seemed to confirm my suspicion that a few wonks remained in place to continue refitting the ship and will have gone, or be going, on their retreat at another time :-).

    As for a focus on EWTN, I have mixed feelings….this opening video is wonderful – what a bracing morale-boost to revisit Mother Angelica’s stirring, stinging indictment of those who were, and are, leading the Church down a dark path! However, I still wonder whether targeting EWTN is the best use to which Voris could be putting his time and talents. Criticizing it might easily come across as containing an element of jealousy, or as just plain misdirected, like attacking one’s neighbor for damage that everyone knows is overwhelmingly being done by somebody else.

    Voris is undoubtedly ticked off by EWTN’s embrace of Fr. Robert Barron, which may be a large factor in this. As for other factors, I can’t offer a guess because, while I will always be grateful for the impact EWTN had on me in the early and mid-‘90s, the internet largely replaced it in my life after that, and I’ve only been a very intermittent viewer in recent years. The EWTN website imo continues to be a valuable resource.

    We’ll see how this plays out. I am impressed by "Moving the Needle" and so am receptive to what may come next. At this point, I hope to continue to see ChurchMilitant .tv go from strength to strength. It needs our prayers.

  3. I'm sort of like you, Jane. I haven't watched EWTN in years. I remember being turned off by programs like "Crossing the Goal Line" and other programs I found to be lame, and vaguely Protestant in production although not in content. The website has tons of good Catholic stuff and is very well laid out. That's where I get the intentions for the month, for example. I wish CMTV well, but EWTN is a tricky target, isn't it? Its still a "good brand" with a lot of good will, not to mention Mother Angelica! (Although she hasn't been in management for a long time.)

    EWTN is wildly ultramontanist, but I don't expect that to be highlighted. They were the first I remember with "John Paul the Great." That was just unseemly, I thought.

    Maybe they should introduce people in their large audience to overlooked blogs of quality. Blogs written by Bears, for example!

  4. Michael Voris seemed really intense -- I mean more so than usual -- on the second EWTN episode. Query: does EWTN deserve to be blasted because it does not have the same mission statement as The Vortex? I hope they get down to specific examples of things EWTN has done wrong. All things being equal, does EWTN serve the average Catholic better by presenting a positive view of the Church and taking an educational role, or by attacking bishops and abuses? I'm not sure I know the answer to that, but it is not self-evident. I would like to see The Vortex make the argument rather than state conclusions.

    I have noticed that traditionalist tend to take a dim view of "neocatholics" for not presenting Catholicism In Crisis. I'm not convinced everybody needs to play the same role. The last I watched any EWTN programming was four or five years ago, and I just thought it was bad television. Except for the rosary with the sisters, which I enjoyed.

    1. I tend to agree with you on this, Bear. Not at all sure that EWTN is an appropriate target. That said, I think it is a very smart move to feature Mother Angelica in battle mode on each of these episodes. That is powerful stuff, and perhaps makes Voris's point more effectively than anything Voris himself can contribute on the subject.

    2. I was alerted to this criticism of EWTN yesterday. Thus, my discovery of St. Corbinian's Bear and some other websites that were totally off my radar. I was stunned to view and read about EWTN as "whitewashed," "sanitized," "Modernist (or maybe more accurately 'post-Modernist')," etc.

      I'm not a holy roller. I'm a casual student of the Church, more for my own spiritual growth, that of my children and my family. But I think I have at least a rudimentary handle on what God wants us to do.

      I think I remember an epistle verse something along the lines of "if they're with Christ, they're with us." That's an absolutely horrible paraphrase, but like I said, I'm not a Church scholar!

      I've watched and listened to Crossing The Goal, just to pick an example. Not a great show, but if it brings one man closer to Christ, isn't it worthwhile? The Journey Home is a magnificent show! I watch and listen to EWTN every single day. I awake to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and try to watch or listen to at least a portion of the Mass daily if I cannot make it (which is most days because of my schedule). But what a wonderful resource for the average Catholic who isn't going to spend more than an hour or two in prayer or even simply contemplating their faith. And how many of us, really, are doing that on anything close to a daily basis?

      Not once have I thought of EWTN as "bad television." I have never caught them in a "liberal" moment. I have specifically heard them cover, discuss, and yes, even criticize some of the liberal movements within the Church. The National Catholic Register seems to take on liberal issues without much problem. Aren't they wholly owned by EWTN?

      The average Catholic, who is already (and still) struggling with the language of the new Missal, is looking for faith answers, for meaning in their own pathetic existence. I agree with Jane's assessment. Is targeting EWTN the best use of time and resources?

    3. Your post makes sense, Dave. Whether I think it is bad television or you think it is great comes down to individual taste. There are always going to be different tastes, and that's fine. You can't really argue that.

      I'm totally not into sports, so a sports-themed show just shouted: "Here's a man show for you," but I didn't like it. That doesn't mean it's bad. Perhaps saying it was "bad television" was a mistake, when I could have more accurately said, "I just didn't care for it." That goes for the rest of the programming, like I said. Maybe I'm a snob.

      We'll see how this series plays out. If the goal is to generate attention, they picked a good subject! I certainly hope they've got more than, "EWTN doesn't name homosexual bishops!" Not everybody needs to be Michael Voris (although I'm glad we have one).

      I remember there was a book that came out called "EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong" or something. It made a lot of the same allegations against EWTN, as I understand, although I didn't read it.
      Anyway, I hope you stick around and continue to contribute to discussions. I'm happy you have a resource in EWTN that works for you.

  5. Whoops! It isn't an epistle. It's a Gospel. Jesus told John "whoever is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:40).


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