“In founding and growing EWTN into a major media resource for the global Church, she achieved things almost everyone thought impossible,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a past EWTN board member, said March 27. “She will be sorely missed, but she has left us an on-going gift in the men and women who continue the great service of the EWTN apostolate.”
Bishop Robert Barron, an auxiliary of Los Angeles, remembered Mother Angelica as “one of the most significant figures in the post-conciliar Catholic Church in America.” She was “the most watched and most effective Catholic evangelizer of the last fifty years.”
He said that during the 1980s and 90s, some of her critics mocked her as a “crude popularizer,” an “arch-conservative,” and a “culture warrior.”
“And yet while her critics have largely faded away, her impact and influence are uncontestable. Against all odds and expectations, she created an evangelical vehicle without equal in the history of the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Barron praised Mother Angelica for “her trust in God’s providence, her keen sense of the supernatural quality of religion, and her conviction that suffering is of salvific value.” He lauded her emphasis on prayer, liturgy, the sacraments, the saints, Eucharistic Adoration, and spiritual warfare.
“Mother endured tremendous suffering, both physical and psychological, most of her life, and she appreciated these trials as opportunities for spiritual growth,” he said.
The bishop granted that Mother Angelica would have recognized she was not perfect. Sometimes her comments were “insufficiently nuanced and balanced,” while her “hot temper” could lead her to characterize her opponents unfairly.
However, the bishop said Mother Angelica will have “a very honored place” in Catholic history.
Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, the diocese where EWTN is headquartered, said Mother Angelica was a pioneer in using the media as a force for good.
“Her greatest gift was her strong reverence for the Lord of the Holy Eucharist and devotion to the Blessed Mother,” he said March 28.
“Mother Angelica has left the Church and world a great legacy through her Eternal Word Television Network and family, which have brought a multitude of people closer to the Lord and his Church,” he continued.
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“How providential that her death occurred on Easter Sunday, our celebration of Our Lord’s victory over sin, suffering and death!”