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Cardinal of San Diego Attacks EWTN: “Neither Would I Have EWTN in the Diocesan Media”

Covadonga Asturias

In an interview published in the Spanish periodical “Vida Nueva” [New Life], the Bishop of the American diocese of San Diego, California, Cardinal Robert McElroy, attacked the world’s most important Catholic media network: Eternal World Television Network (EWTN). 

The periodical’s journalist questioned the Cardinal: “The Bishop of San Sebastian, Fernando Prado, has prohibited the broadcast of EWTN contents on the diocesan television. He was defending his decision out of adherence to the Pope. Must there be limits to the criticisms of ‘Catholic” media to the Successor of Peter?’”

Evidently, without mentioning what the criticisms are (in this case by EWTN), the journalist implies that there are. And to this the Bishop of San Diego responded:

“I’m worried about EWTN because it represents a gigantic economic and cultural power linked to a religious point of view that is fundamentally critical of the Pope. The network’s main presenters constantly minimize Francis’ capacities and theological knowledge. They quote the calumnies of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano against the Pope and try to steer the world away from the reforms the Pope is indicating. Neither would I have EWTN in the diocesan media.”

In the same interview the Bishop is questioned because some — it does not say who — call him a heretic. To this the Bishop of San Diego answered that “the temptation must be resisted of using negative labels to [describe] those that adopt positions opposed to ours.” There are those who evidence that it is precisely what he has not done with EWTN, media that does not question the Pope but him and the management of his diocese. 

In fact, in the interview the Bishop appeals for the Ordination of women as Deacons, but he also said this: “I fear that the Ordination of women to the priesthood in this moment would divide the Church profoundly and for this reason it should not be an objective of the synodal process.” This has made one wonder then if John Paul II’s definitive decision of a “no” to the Ordination of women as priests is not definitive also for him as Bishop and it’s only something of prudential opportunity, according to his answer.

Bishop Robert McElroy has been involved in a recent controversy, which has nothing to do with his ideological positions (as a change of line about gender ideology through two articles in America Magazine, a Jesuit magazine of a progressive hue): in February of this year the Magazine anticipated the diocese’s possible bankruptcy due to sexual abuse cases.