Sunday, November 15, 2009

Telecare will cover the national bishops' meeting

"Uniondale — For the first time ever, Telecare will provide live television coverage of the U.S. bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore next month to Catholics across the country.

“We will be carrying the meeting for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and providing live, gavel-to-gavel coverage,” said Telecare head Msgr. James Vlaun. Through satellite, Telecare will send live transmissions to members of the Catholic Television Network (CTN) and other Catholic and non-Catholic television systems.

Msgr. Robert Brennan, diocesan vicar general, and Sister of St. Joseph Mary Alice Piil, director of the diocesan Office of Faith Formation, will serve as commentators along with Msgr. Vlaun. Telecare will also take a dozen staff members for the meeting, scheduled for Nov. 16 to 19.

“This is a great honor for Telecare that the USCCB chose us,” Msgr. Vlaun said. In previous years, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has transmitted its coverage of the bishops’ meeting to other Catholic television systems that wished to carry the coverage."

This is very interesting for several reasons and I hope Telecare does a good job covering the meetings. Folks at Fr. Z's WDTPRS are already wondering about this development with some already seeing a conspiracy by the bishops against EWTN. There is some precedent to that - in Raymond Arroyo's excellent book, Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles, he traces the history of EWTN and its relation to the bishops which was downright hostile at times. Also, Arroyo has recently asked some questions that perhaps some bishops did not like. For example, questions regarding the bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development which funds groups that are in conflict with Catholic teaching. In my opinion EWTN has always strived to maintain fidelity to orthodox Catholic teachings, rather than fidelity to the bishops. This is important - the two do not always go together. The coverage will probably be simply 'just the facts' reporting with some background, which could be a good thing. But the honest questioning of things such as the CCHD and the faithful translations of the latin in the Mass are important and hopefully that will not get lost in the broadcast. Telecare might tend to be the Church equal of the NY Mets network (SNY) or the NY Yankees network (YES) - an in house network meant to function as part of the PR or communications department. This is fine, but more is needed in the Church. After all, the bishops have not always been honest, had the Church teachings in mind, or even been good Christians, so they need to be kept honest. The bishops can make the coverage of their meetings more to their liking, but they will not stop the honest questioning of their business activities in this day and age. And that is good. On the other hand the 'orthodox police' sometimes tend to go overboard, or to resemble the Republican Party at prayer to paraphrase a famous saying. Overall, I wish Telecare the best in covering the meetings, many more people will be watching the network so please make Long Island proud.

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