Mother Angelica, who died on Easter Sunday 2016, started a television network from scratch in 1981. To keep her Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) faithful to Christ, she had to battle for 20 years with what she called the "liberal church in America," what Church Militant calls the "Church of Nice." Mother kept up this fight until she relinquished control of EWTN to a lay board following her stroke in 2001.
It was this "liberal Church in America," this unfaithful power structure that sought to control all Catholic events and Catholic media in the United States, that she railed against in her famous rant of 1993. The portrayal of Christ by a female mime at World Youth Day in Denver caused the dam to break and a torrent of rebuke to flood forth from this feisty nun.
After the incident in Denver, Mother Angelica went on air that August to admonish the faithless laity and clerics behind the overall demise of the Catholic Church in the wake of Vatican II. She remarked that this incident of using a woman to portray Christ was no accident:
I am so tired of you, liberal Church in America, and everything you've ever done is born in silence. Nothing, nothing you've done — from your witchcraft to your enneagrams to your centering prayer to all this earth spirituality to replacing Holy Water with sand to destroying our churches and closing our churches that are viable and ready to go — no, this is not an accident. We've swallowed this now for 30 years. I'm tired of it.
On August 15, 1993, following the airing of her righteous tirade, Abp. William Keeler of Baltimore, then president of the U.S. bishops' conference, rebuked Mother Angelica and forbade her from playing reruns of her rant. The now-disgraced archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, also scolded Mother Angelica for her "tone." In response, the nun told him to stick his head in the toilet.
Her television network was so successful that U.S. bishops regularly sent her shows to air. Tellingly, she wound up rejecting one third of their programming because it was contrary to the Faith.
Without Mother Angelica at the helm, the network, which she founded and which she had fought so hard to keep pure, has had a hard time resisting the agenda of that same power structure she labeled "the liberal church in America."
Watch the panel discuss the need for media independent of this liberal power structure in The Download — Surrender of Catholic Media.