Loading
PBS national board bans new religious programming, including Mass for Shut-ins
Cardinal Sean O'Malley celebrates Mass on camera
Cardinal Sean O'Malley celebrates Mass on camera

.- The members of PBS’ national board have voted to ban any new religious programming from their affiliate stations, citing both concerns about “public trust” and a 25-year-old rule that has never been rigorously enforced. Anticipation of the vote already resulted in one station cancelling its Mass for Shut-Ins.

The 1985 rule in question requires PBS affiliates to air only non-commercial, non-partisan and non-sectarian content.

Reportedly six affiliates broadcast “sectarian” programs produced by local religious groups, such as the Mass for Shut-Ins. These affiliates may retain their current shows and air programs and documentaries that cover sacred or newsworthy topics, Fox News says.

However, no new religious shows can be offered, and the 350 other stations may not air any purely spiritual content.

PBS affiliate WHUT in Washington, D.C. had already decided to end its 13 year tradition of broadcasting a weekly Mass to avoid violating membership rules.

“This is community-based, locally produced programming that fills a community need,” Susan Gibbs, director of Communications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, told Fox News.

The Archdiocese of Washington has agreed to pay $60,000 to air its Mass for Shut-Ins on another network.

"PBS is respecting that there is a history of programming," Gibbs added. "It's unfortunate it's not going to continue for us."

Ron Yager, general manager of New Orleans affiliate WLAE, said the station was “very satisfied” that the shut-ins and the home-bound among its viewers can continue to view the daily Mass, which he said was “vital” to them.

KBDI president and CEO Wick Rowland described his station as “very eclectic” with a “huge diversity” of programming, which for a decade has included a weekly Mass.

“No one would mistake us for Catholic television station,” he told Fox News.

PBS affiliate KBYU in Utah is run by Brigham Young University and airs Mormon devotionals. Its managing director Derek Marquis said he was “pleased” by the decision, which he said would allow the station to provide both national PBS content and locally produced content “reflective of the values and mission” of the university.

Federal law does not bar showing religious services on public television. However, the PBS Station Services Committee voiced concerns the broadcast would create the appearance of an official endorsement and “would cause the public's trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand.”

The PBS committee, composed of representatives of local networks, reviewed the network’s bylaws and authored the compromise.

CNA contacted the U.S. Conference for Catholic Bishops’ Communications Office for a reaction to the decision but did not receive a response by press time.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: