Recalling Mother Angelica, prelate says Catholic journalists are to spread the gospel

EWTN Founder Mother Angelica Courtesy of EWTN CNA 12 16 15 Mother Angelica. | EWTN

The crisis facing the Church today calls Catholic journalists not only to "relentless and fair reporting" but also to spreading the gospel, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said in a Mass said in memory of Mother Angelica.

The March 27 Mass at Santa Maria della Pieta in Camposanto dei Teutonici in Vatican City marked the third anniversary of the death of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of EWTN Global Catholic Network. EWTN is the publisher of Catholic News Agency.

In attendance at the Mass celebrated by the prefect of the papal household were employees of the EWTN Vatican bureau, various embassies to the Holy See, the Holy See press office, and a variety of ecclesial organizations.

Archbishop Gänswein reflected in his homily on Divine Providence, noting that Mother Angelica founded EWTN on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

He said the faith is brought to us through witnesses, and reflected that Mother Angelica "with visionary genius understood the role you have to play in the new Information Age even the Catholic Church has now entered, whether she wants it or not. And that's why you are now all called to be witnesses in a completely new and very special way."

"This role is not necessarily undramatic," he said, adding that "you as Catholic media professionals are challenged to be better and more professional than your colleagues from non-Catholic media."

"God, for every need of the Church, calls men and women who will give us special assistance in all sorts of danger," the archbishop said.

"Thus, in the great confusion caused by presbyter Arius in the early Church, he called Athanasius the Great; in the chaos of the migrations of peoples, St. Columban; after the French Revolution, the holy parish priest of Ars – and so on. Only in this way can we understand what Mother Angelica from the 'Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration' really set in motion, when she began to build the spiritual channel EWTN in a garage of her monastery in Alabama, without any means and against all odds."

Archbishop Gänswein said that "by doing so, she implanted in the Catholic Church of America at that time a media power that did not depend on the bishops: a 'fourth power' so to say, in which faithful journalists disclose any sort of abuse just as intrepidly as they indicate dangerous wrong ways, on which some shepherds today seem to get lost just as they did in all times of history."

In light of the clerical and, indeed, episcopal abuse scandals, the archbishop exhorted, "as Catholic journalists you are not only responsible for the 'hard news' and a relentless and fair reporting, but more than ever for the core of all good news: the Gospel."

"That means that today you are called to follow Mother Angelica and spread the most important news of all time in a completely new way, and with the most modern means, in freedom and together with the Magisterium of the Church: the news of the Incarnation of God as the greatest news that the world has ever heard and seen."

"In Saint Francis de Sales, we already have a long-established patron of journalists. In Mother Angelica, however, the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has received the gift of a prophetess and apostle for the digital future, from whom we can learn anew that we can always trust in a miracle, especially in the darkest hours of history," Archbishop Gänswein concluded.

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