Raymond Arroyo and Panel: Pope’s Comments on Marriage “Unacceptable”, “Reckless”

Raymond Arroyo and Panel: Pope’s Comments on Marriage “Unacceptable”, “Reckless”


On the June 23rd episode of The World Over With Raymond Arroyo, we witnessed one of the best (if not the best) discussions of papal impropriety in mainstream Catholic news. Again and again, Arroyo shows us that he gets it. And his guests (even with Robert Royal’s tendency to softpedal things) are right there with him.

Even if you’re not a regular viewer of the show (or not a fan) this is definitely worth your time:

The awakening continues. Please pray for these men, and for their continued courage and honesty.

Get AQ Email Updates

23 comments on “Raymond Arroyo and Panel: Pope’s Comments on Marriage “Unacceptable”, “Reckless”

  1. The Bergoglian heresies are starting to cause concern in Opus Dei circles. Interesting times.

    • HowlinglyAbsurd,

      Can you clarify for me how this program shows Opus Dei’s concern at what the Pope has said? Is one or both of these speakers a member of Opus Dei? I apologise for my ignorance here but I don’t live in America and I am not familiar with these men.
      I do know some people who are members of Opus Dei here in my country, and who, unfortunately, seem to think the Pope is great. I would be delighted if Opus Dei woke up to the Pope’s real nature and the dangerous things he is saying.

  2. EWTN is intimately connected with Opus Dei. Without naming names, if you have ever heard some of the spin coming out of this that would provide the explanation. Because of the way Opus Dei is structured some of its members are less familiar with trends going on in the non-Opus Dei parts of the Church, in some cases without being aware of this.

    That aside, it was a positive development that this EWTN program went public to air concerns about Pope Bergoglio and his progressive agenda to the extent that they did.

    • HowlinglyAbsurd says:

      [I]f you have ever heard some of the spin [and coverage] coming out of this that would provide the explanation.

      This is especially so with many items from EEEEWTN’s neo-Catholic News Agency and National neo-Catholic Register; for example their cooperation with the National un-Catholic Reporter in their joint editorial against the death penalty and – more recently – EEEEWTN new outlets “carrying water” for the Reporter with their announcement of the Obamanation (short for “Obama’s nomination”) of the Reporter’s Jesuit senior analyst, Fr. Tom Reese, to head the Obamission (short for “Obama’s commission”) on international religious freedom (which the Reporter has not yet announced!).

      • I am already receiving fatwas from the discontented. But the answer is yes. There is some connection between EWTN and Opus Dei (Catholics connected with that). That does not mean that everyone who appears on the network or who works there is an official member.

        The connection between Opus Dei, modernist charismatics, and Protestant converts to either charismatic modernism or Opus Dei, creates an atmosphere of confusion. This is just a fact. If you are from a Catholic background some of the stuff on EWTN seems a little strange.

        The discussion about Pope Francis and his statements on marriage which appeared on The World Over was quite good and I recommend watching this episode. But Bergoglio’s progressive modernism and Situation Ethics are part of a larger pattern and problem which no amount of shrill modernist heckling about being too rigid will dispel, however good and self-righteous this virtue signaling makes progressive modernists feel in their eagerness to overthrow Catholic doctrine.

        • Howlingly,

          Can you elaborate more on your view of Opus Dei? I thought they were a well respected conservative catholic group.
          But did read that Michael Voris was somehow financially connected with them but sure what THAT connection would imply.

          • The organization and the members espouse conservative views. Someone else would have to elaborate on the financial aspects and why some members seem unfamiliar with certain normal aspects of Catholic culture. If someone from a Protestant background converts and they go directly into the O.D. structure without much social contact with other Catholics in normal Catholic institutions or mainstream Catholic education, they can seem unfamiliar with a lot of Catholic stuff. Maybe that’s just an American phenomenon. Maybe that is only limited to certain American Protestant converts.

            The charismatic stuff connected with circles connected with EWTN does not come from Catholicism. That is a modern American Protestant movement that disoriented and confused Catholics picked up during the upheaval following Vatican II. They can argue about it, or even roll around on the floor if they want, but it is not Catholic. If you need a dose of enthusiasm and want to shout and yell, go to a football or baseball game.


          • OD is a mind-control operation that brings in big bucks for the Church. They are known for aggressive and deceitful recruiting tactics, even been called out for it by a bishop (probably a leftist). Find testimonies by ex-OD’ers like John Roche and more. They will “love bomb” you, but once you join, your “friends” move on, and you become a recruiting hound like them. Particular friendships aren’t allowed in OD.

            I got too close 23 years ago. They infiltrate pro-life and other Catholic action. They focus on the more zealous and try to put on the reins. They are 110% pro-local-bishop and pro-pope, and do not tolerate any negative discussion. When I started into fighting Cardinal Law’s classroom sex-ed, I got on the wrong side of an OD priest. Then I got in with trads, and started proselytizing a friend who was almost an OD cooperator. I got summoned by Fr. Sal Ferigle, the head cheese in Boston, He read me the riot act about traddies, all red in the face and shouting, and left me shaking in my boots. It was his last ditch mind-control tactic, as I’ve learned, a sort of do or die. If I caved, they’d be dining on my dime today.


        • Unlike Church Militant, I can find no high-level overt influence of Opus Dei in EWTN.

          EWTN is friendly to and uncritical of Opus Dei especially in publicizing its events and personalities (and vice-versa) as one neo-Catholic organization to another. The two EWTN bigshots, Board Chairman/CEO Michael Warsaw and President/COO Douglas Keck, have no connection with Opus Dei as members or cooperators.

          A June 2013 Washington Post article about the inauguration of EWTN News Nightly program mentions a middle-level overt Opus Dei influence in EWTN in the person of the program’s executive director David Kerr, who left at the end of 2013 and was replaced by a non-Opus Dei-ite. The article also mentions a possible covert Opus Dei influence in an anonymous “institutional donor” of the start-up funds for the program in the “low, low, low millions”:

          EWTN to launch daily news program with ‘Catholic perspective’ in D.C.

          David Kerr and Colleen Carroll Campbell.

          By Adam Bernstein June 2, 2013

          They’ve long delivered the Good News. And now, simply news.

          The Eternal Word Television Network, which, from an unlikely start in the garage of an Alabama monastery, has become one of the world’s biggest religious broadcasting operations, is bulking up its presence in Washington this summer by starting its first evening newscast.

          The live, half-hour show, scheduled to start next month, is a major step for the Catholic broadcast company, whose message is typically expressed through devotional talk shows, replays of Mass and religious education programming such as series on the Eucharist or the saints.

          By planting a stake in Washington — in an office space near Capitol Hill — EWTN hopes to raise its profile on issues where religion converges with public affairs: abortion, contraception, stem cell research, immigration, the death penalty, terrorism and repression of Christians abroad.

          “It’s a deliberate choice to be in the midst of everything,” said Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN’s president and chief executive. “We hope it has an impact on policymakers and the inside-the-Beltway crowd.”

          Experts on media and Catholic affairs said EWTN will fill a void, because there is no other daily news TV program that is pitched to the estimated 75 million Catholics in the United States. And while the network’s guests include a steady diet of those who represent the conservative wing of the church, EWTN does not stoke right-wing fury like a Fox commentator.

          “EWTN has a lot of people on its air, and they don’t all sing from the same songbook,” said John L. Allen Jr., a Vatican authority and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

          EWTN’s influence, and presumably that of its newscast, derives in large measure from its devoted audience and sheer reach — there’s hardly a place on Earth its signal does not go. Exact viewership numbers are impossible to know, especially because it’s available in more than 140 countries and territories. Nevertheless, said Allen, EWTN is “the biggest game in town in the Catholic-broadcast universe. The big prize is trying to get on their air or get them involved in what you are doing.”

          The network is almost entirely funded by donations from a committed audience — its pitch: “Keep us between your gas and electric bill” — and in recent years EWTN has bought a Catholic newspaper and expanded its radio holdings.

          The core audience for the news show, Warsaw said, will be Catholics who think the secular media fall dramatically short in representing the church’s views on politics, international affairs, social issues and conflicts within the church. But Warsaw said the aim of the program, which will feature interviews with political, ecclesiastical and cultural leaders, will also be to attract “anyone with a moral and ethical framework for how issues of the day play out.”

          The commercial-free newscast, which is scheduled to launch July 29, will be modeled on network-style news shows at CBS, NBC and ABC. Stories will be filtered through what Warsaw called a “Catholic lens,” rather than hewing to a particular political line.

          “The church prohibits assisted suicide, which aligns with a conservative political philosophy,” he said. “But the church also prohibits capital punishment, which aligns with a more liberal philosophy. We’re hoping for a show guided by a Catholic framework, so it’s not really a mini-Fox or a mini-MSNBC,” networks that openly convey ideological slants.

          ‘A big C and a small C’

          The host of “EWTN News Nightly With Colleen Carroll Campbell” is a 38-year-old journalist and author who has written speeches for President George W. Bush and earlier this year anchored EWTN’s live television coverage of the papal conclave from Rome.

          Campbell said she hopes to represent the perspective of women who often feel “committed to their faith and don’t see it as an impediment to being vocal in the public square.” She added, “too often there’s a caricature of Catholic women as a bunch of sheep.”

          To Campbell, the attraction of EWTN is its “broad catholic — with a big C and a small C — outlook on issues.” She said an attempt will be made to show viewers how their Catholic faith can connect them to issues such as conflicts abroad, poverty and cultural battles that were not on their radar.

          Stewart M. Hoover, director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Media, Religion and Culture, described EWTN as “a general-interest Catholic service, though with a clearly conservative-traditionalist bent” that would appeal to an older and conservative viewership.

          Hoover said he monitored EWTN’s coverage of the papal transition earlier this year. “They didn’t seem so much like a hard news service as a soft-feature framing of the events,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I’d expect their news service from Washington to be similar: Catholic, traditional, tending to soft-pedal controversies in place of serious advocacy on issues like opposition to abortion, et cetera. I’d expect the Bishops Conference to get a lot of attention, too.”

          “Will it be the Fox News of Catholicism or religion? I’d doubt they’d be that strong or strident,” he added. “More likely a gentle, dolorous, pious framing of events with strong coverage of Catholicism and its presence in U.S. public culture. Some of the impulse is to try to recreate the Fulton Sheen era,” referring to the bishop and Catholic media star of the 1950s and 1960s.

          Birth and rebirth

          The network’s founder is Mother Angelica, a native of Canton, Ohio, who was born Rita Rizzo and later became a Franciscan nun. She said a miraculous healing following an injury led her to promise God she would build a monastery in Irondale, Ala., a notch of the Bible Belt.

          She and a small group of other nuns sold what they called “St. Peter’s Fishing Lures” to help start the monastery in the early 1960s. EWTN went on the air in August 1981 — the same month as MTV, but with decidedly less flash and glitz.

          Now 90 and incapacitated by a stroke in 2001, Mother Angelica was for decades the charismatic draw for millions of viewers who admired her rambunctious, unpolished, orthodox style.

          Her influence reached to the highest echelons of the Vatican, and Pope John Paul II, a conservative on Catholic doctrine, became an admirer. Her show, “Mother Angelica Live,” remains an EWTN programming mainstay in repeats.

          Even with the network’s lodestar sidelined by ill health, EWTN continues to expand its holdings. Under Warsaw, 48, a former spokesman for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, EWTN bought the National Catholic Register newspaper and broadened its radio presence, which now includes a network of hundreds of AM and FM stations, a Sirius satellite radio channel and a global shortwave-radio service.

          Ninety-seven percent of EWTN’s annual support comes from gifts, grants and contributions provided by individual viewers and listeners, said spokeswoman Michelle Johnson. The balance comes from other sources, such as Catholic institutions.

          Seeking fairness

          It was one such institutional donor — Warsaw declined to say the donor’s name — that provided seed money last year in the “low, low, low millions” to launch “EWTN News Nightly.” He said the amount is not enough to endow the project in perpetuity, but he said he is “confident” of a funding stream to sustain the operation.

          Warsaw said the new Washington show will have about 30 editorial staff members, including on-air reporters, producers and researchers.

          The executive producer overseeing the show is David Kerr (pronounced “care”), a Scottish-born veteran of senior production and reporting jobs with the BBC. He also ran as a member of the Scottish National Party for a seat in the British Parliament. Several other senior editorial team members have worked at the BBC and ABC, noted Kerr, a 39-year-old Catholic and a past member of the conservative movement Opus Dei.

          He wrote in an e-mail that he found the BBC’s “intellectual center of gravity was both radically secular and socially liberal, meaning that its news coverage, often unwittingly, had an institutional bias on issues such as the dignity of human life, marriage and the family or even the worth of Christianity’s contribution to the common good. Coming from a Catholic perspective, ‘EWTN News Nightly’ would hope to inject a greater degree of fairness into the coverage of such key social and ethical issues.”

          Warsaw emphasized that EWTN hopes its newscast will try to balance the foundational audience’s expectations but also find way to intrigue non-Catholics.

          “Our mission as a network is to give people an understanding of what the church teaches across the board, and our news program has to fit within the larger mission of EWTN,” Warsaw said. “I think it can do that and be balanced, truthful and accurate without being a show simply shilling for a particular office within the bishops conference or some particular think tank or organization.”

          • Are you sure about Keck? I just found two of his programs on EWTN, one about the women of OD, and another with Russell Shaw (OD) discussing a book of his.

            The biggie OD’er on EWTN, of course, is Fr. Rutler. I saw a note about Fr. McCloskey, OD, doing a show once. (Fr. McC is the DC bigwig who ropes in highfalutin pols, judges, and money bags for OD.)

            • I stand by my conclusions: A mutual-admiration relation between the two organizations with no high-level overt influence of Opus Dei on EWTN but some middle-level influence (add Frs. Rutler and McCloskey) and a possible covert influence in the form of an anonymous “institutional donor” with millions to give.

              • I agree with Tom’s analysis. OD’s there but not in a necessarily controlling position.

                • Except possibly for that of the un-named multi-millionaire “institutional donor”; I do not contradict myself, because I mentioned such a possibility – comparable to the reality of the controlling position of the known Opus Dei apparatchik at ChurchMilitant.

            • If someone who is a priest appears on a national television news program and during the course of a debate on the clergy molestation crisis denies that there is a widespread homosexual problem in the modernist priesthood either he has his head in the sand or there is something about the way his life is structured organizationally that keeps him remote from Catholic culture which helps to keep those blinders on. If such a person has no idea what is going on in modernist Catholic seminaries or parishes, putting such a person forward as an authority on Catholic matters becomes problematic at key points. That is a problem. What may be going on that causes that problem should be the focus of some discussion and debate. Whether it be the organization, the formation, the education, or something else, it is a problem.

  3. Or, by analogy, Catholics living in Spain may not be completely aware of what goes on in progressive modernist circles among American Catholics in the U.S. The result is that there is a time delay in the transmission of information about this. If anyone is shocked by things Pope Francis has said we were hearing similar things in progressive modernist circles within the Society of Jesus thirty and forty years ago. Professor James Hitchcock’s book The Pope and the Jesuits documented many of the progressive modernist errors of the post-conciliar revolution. Anyone who had read that or who had lived through that would have been aware of the progressive modernist type that Bergoglio clearly is. Jorge Bergoglio is very much like Father Robert Drinan, S.J., the notorious progressive modernist liberal Jesuit dissenter from Massachusetts of the 1970s who also bought into Situation Ethics and pandered to liberal opinion shamelessly. So much so that even his fellow Jesuits at Georgetown thought he was a nutjob. Father Thomas King, S.J. used to talk about that.


    Father Robert Drinan, S.J., progressive modernist Jesuit

    Bergoglio also has some similarities with the modernist theologian Charles Curran (formerly of the Catholic University of America). The cases are so similar that future Catholic historians should study all three together in a chapter on progressive modernism, Situation Ethics, and the Spirit of Vatican II.

    There is nothing surprising about what Bergoglio says and does. It’s like a replay from the 1970s. Many of us have seen this same progressive act MANY times before. “The rules are too hard. Let’s bend them a little. You orthodox types are mean and rigid Pharisees. Let’s all hug and original sin will disappear.” He should be wearing velvet purple bell-bottoms and flashing a peace sign to complete the pantomime. This isn’t new at all. An old liberal modernist hippie priest and tree hugger from the 1970s Spirit of Vatican II fever swamps got elected pope. It’s like one of the pop psychology counselors from my Jesuit college from that era got elected as pope. “Father Bob got elected pope! Whoopee!” Well, Father Bob was a crazy liberal that you could order out of the Commonweal catalog. Weird and disturbing, but not “new” in any way.

    If a neo-Catholic television host plays stupid about this, unless he or she is too young to remember, that may just be an act.

  4. According to the Secretary to Cd. Stickler, the late Canon Gregory Hesse, STD, STL, the Opie Dopies were the “power behind the throne” at Vatican II.

    It is an extravagantly wealthy cult that can and does pull many strings.

  5. Oh, and It was infiltrated by communists, with the blessing of Escriva, back in the 1930s.

    This isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is bragged about in Opie Dopie publications.

  6. There is more than one Opus….

    Opus the existentialist Penguin in Bloom County denies all involvement.

  7. Opus the existentialist Penguin in Bloom Country denies involvement….

  8. One aspect that Fr. Hesse deals with is the problematic figure of its founder, now a canonized saint; Josemaria de Escriva Balaguer.
    But the foundational philosophy of the group is also problematic. The philosophy of Opus Dei is focused on the laity: that the world will be sanctified by the laity excelling in their work according to the their state in life. This is a major theme in Vatican II and also a major problem! On the contrary, the Church is actually hierarchical (the word means “governance by the priest”). Although it is indeed good for the laity to excel in their work (the name Opus Dei means Work of God), holiness in the Church does not come from the laity; rather it comes from Christ through the bishops & priests. Despite its apparent respect for priests, the Opus Dei is actually a form of anti-clericalism. It diminishes the importance of the ministerial priesthood and also of the religious life (monks, nuns, sisters, brothers, etc.) by focusing on the work of the laity. In other words, the Opus Dei would see the shift away from priests and religious sisters to the emphasis on the laity since Vatican II as a good thing. I have heard a rumor that within the Opus Dei, it is the laity (specifically women) who are to select those men who may be put forth for studies for the priesthood. If this is true, it is totally bizarre.
    So, on the positive side, the independence of the Opus Dei allows them to run schools that are not subject to the sometimes unreasonable and hazardous edicts of diocesan authorities (the bishops and priests are not entirely at fault for this… but they are ultimately responsible). Yet the very independence of the Opus Dei schools is rooted in a revolutionary mentality that is simply not Catholic.

Leave a Reply