As many people know, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) late last year rejected an application from Mother Angelica to bring her Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) to Canada through the sponsorship of cable companies.
What particularly disturbed many was the fact that while EWTN was rejected, the CRTC at the same time gave its approval to Playboy TV as one of the specialty channels that would be available to Canadians on cable.
When I apologized to Mother Angelica personally on behalf of Canada for these curious decisions on the part of the CRTC, I found her to be gentle and philosophical.
“It just wasn’t the right time,” she said, without any trace of bitterness, and proceeded to express the hope that one day, the time would be right.
Nonetheless, she is puzzled by the fact that the CRTC does accept channels that “insult people’s intelligence.”
I discussed the matter with EWTN president Bill Steltemeier, who told me that the CRTC may very well have licensed EWTN except for previous opposition from some Catholic bishops. “We’re working on it,” he said.
While EWTN is not thinking of renewing its application in the near future, it is working to convince certain influential powers that the network is indeed a highly professional and worthwhile television operator that would be of great value to many Canadian viewers.
Marynell Ford, director of marketing, explained that while EWTN supporters hope for the CRTC’s ultimate approval of a possible re-application in the future, they may avail themselves of many other sources of information and inspiration that are available on computer, such as EWTN’s website, which enlists the efforts of two full-time workers plus art designers, and various other online services.
(Donald DeMarco is a professor of philosophy at St. Jerome’s College in Waterloo, Ont. He recently appeared on EWTN in Alabama to discuss his new book, Character in a Time of Crisis.)