IRONDALE, AL, April 3, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two days ago, LifeSiteNews was forwarded a firestorm of emails from faithful Catholics in Canada regarding the world’s largest Catholic media network – Eternal Word Television Network – not airing programs on homosexuality in Canada and Europe. The emails referred to an exchange between a Canadian viewer of the network and a producer at the network.
In response to questioning about a show on homosexuality not being aired in Canada, as was scheduled and aired in the United States, Amalia C. Zea, the producer of the popular program Life on the Rock responded, "I apologize that you didn’t get the show that you were expecting. Due to the new hate crimes regulations in Europe and Canada, it is against the law for us to air shows whose main topic deal with same sex attraction."
The missing show in question was the March 2nd airing of Life on the Rock which featured Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual who is now happily married with children. The theme of the program was "Homosexuality to Heterosexuality Happens."
The program was not the first EWTN program dealing with homosexuality pulled from Canadian and European audiences. Another Life on the Rock episode, which aired December 15, 2005 was also yanked from EWTN’s Canadian and European feeds.
LifeSiteNews.com contacted EWTN for more information. Scott Hults, Vice President, Communications at EWTN first told LifeSiteNews.com that Zea is a "junior producer" and as such she was mistaken. The network, he said, was just being "cautious".
He said, "We were sensitive to the issues in Canada . . . the market is very important to us." He added, "We worked very hard to be part of the cable television and satellite community in Canada . . . The decision was we’d produce a Canadian feed, and because of that we also have to be sensitive to what you guys want, what you expect, what you are looking for. We do different programming for you, we’re sensitive to your needs and we respond when appropriate to what you want us to do. Everybody seems to be very happy with us."
He assured LifeSiteNews.com that the programs in question will air in Canada, and the reason it did not was that the network was concerned that the program was aired live, without the opportunity to bleep out any material that may have been sensitive. The airing of the programs, he said was "delayed" in case participants said something live that "would blow your minds there."
It is really hard to believe that anybody representing EWTN would ever say that a show on homosexuality "would blow your minds there." I can’t even remember last time hearing that turn of phrase since the seventies. Now I realize that for many years EWTN was not allowed to broadcast in Canada and that it is only recently that they got permission, but what is the point if you are going to bleep out discussions on homosexuality. All of society is already trying to do the same to the Catholic Church without us lending a hand. EWTN does great good and their shows now being available in Canada will continue the same spread of the Gospel, but how can they expect Canadians to be faithful to the Church when they start being "cautious" about Church teaching? If Canada want so ban this as hate speech than let them also ban the Bible and the Catechism and other Church documents. These hate laws need to be challenged for their hatred against the natural law and Church teaching.
When asked if Canadian government officials had warned EWTN not to broadcast such material in Canada due to our hate crime laws, Hults, after consulting with executives replied in the negative. Asked whether other programming dealing with controversial subjects such as abortion or euthanasia would also be subject to "cautious" delay or censorship, Hults again said no.
Hults explained that the reason for the "cautious" approach was a complaint against an episode of EWTN’s Life on the Rock Program dealing with homosexuality filed in the UK in September 2005. EWTN successfully defended the case but that experience has made them "cautious" on such episodes dealing with homosexuality, he said.
I anybody is unsure of what Mother Angelica would do in this situation then they simply don’t know Mother Angelica since the word cautious was not in her lexicon.