Letters show lack of balance on EWTN


To the Editor:

The avalanche of letters about the Eternal Word Television Network in the Messenger on Feb. 5 and Feb. 12 seems to indicate some lack of balance. All 14 of the published letters defended ETWN from the criticism that it represents mainly traditional ways of being a Catholic. This seems strange even if no letters were received supporting the original criticism, as a total of almost two-thirds of a page was devoted to letters repeating essentially the same argument.

Several weeks ago, in our bishop’s appeal for voluntary support of the Messenger, he said that people across he country subscribe to the Messenger partly because of its “well-balanced mix of news about the Catholic Church.” Surely, a well-balanced mix of views is partner to that. From its classic days more than 50 years ago, the Messenger has had regular columns about different aspects of Catholic life: prayer life by Father Ron Rolheiser, the historical and religious context of decisions by our church leaders as reported by Father Richard McBrien, and the continuation of Msgr. Conway’s old “Question Box” by Father John Dietzen. 

The center of gravity of that classic Messenger seemed to be the balance that there is more than one acceptable way of being a Catholic — today as in the past. Perhaps this is most clearly shown by the many religious orders whose members lead very different kinds of Catholic lives — ranging from almost full immersion in the world to full separation from it. Same doctrine, different ways of living it.


Jim Cahill

West Branch


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