Relevant Radio Purging Orthodox Catholics

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 5, 2018   

"Terry and Jesse Show" latest to get axed

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A spate of orthodox Catholic programming is being ditched by Relevant Radio. After Mother Miriam was let go in November and Catholic Answers Live was dropped on New Year's Day, an internal email sent Friday announced the station was also ditching "The Terry and Jesse Show," known for its blunt, no-holds-barred approach to the Faith.

Hosted by Terry Barber and Jesse Romero, the show aired from 8–9 p.m. ET each weekday, running for 11 years on Immaculate Heart Radio before the station was bought out by Relevant Radio last year.

"This summer, Immaculate Heart Radio and Relevant Radio merged to form one organization — Immaculate Heart Media, branded as Relevant Radio," the announcement declared at the time. "We are now working together as one organization to reach 133 Million people in 39 states across 127 radio stations."

During the merger, Immaculate Heart Radio had been assured programming would not change. Within less than three months, however, three of its most popular shows have been dropped, suddenly and without warning. Inside sources also tell Church Militant that staff were angered that the name Immaculate Heart Radio, with its deeply Catholic overtones, was being replaced by the more secular title Relevant Radio.

Barber and Romero were nicknamed the "Catholic Cowboys" for their unpredictable and frank discussion of the Faith. With a reputation for orthodoxy, the duo at times called out wayward clergy and prelates for causing scandal to the flock. It was this, inside sources say, that spurred Fr. Francis "Rocky" Hoffman, executive director of Relevant Radio, to drop the show.

Hoffman has headed Relevant Radio since 2010, and hosts the radio show "Go Ask Your Father." A member of Opus Dei for more than 30 years, he was ordained a priest in 1992. 

The radio network's board of directors include Los Angeles Abp. Jose Gomez and Abp. Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, among others. Gomez is best known for pushing a leftist position on immigration reform, and oversees the annual L.A. Religious Education Congress, which routinely hosts dissident speakers who push homosexuality and transgenderism.

The news of "The Terry and Jesse Show" comes only two months after the network announced it was dropping Mother Miriam's "Heart to Heart" from its programming.

"Relevant Radio informed me a week ago Thursday that they do not think 'Heart to Heart' fits their philosophy for programming and cancelled the program as of that day," Mother Miriam wrote to a follower. "We are saddened by their decision but believe our dear Lord is in charge of what He allows. Blessed be His Name."

Mother Miriam, foundress of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope, is a convert from Judaism, and is known for her directness and orthodoxy in matters pertaining to the Faith. 

Shortly after the announcement that Mother Miriam was being let go from Relevant Radio, her show was picked up by The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network. As of January 3, "Heart to Heart" airs each weekday from 10–11 a.m. EST.

On New Year's Day, Relevant Radio also announced it was dropping Catholic Answers Live — a show also known for its orthodox leanings.

"Catholic Answers, which for 20 years has produced 'Catholic Answers Live,' could not come to an agreement with Relevant Radio, which sought exclusive broadcast and branding rights for the popular franchise," the press release said. "As a result, the show will no longer be available over the airwaves in the U.S. West, the home turf of the San Diego-based show."

 

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