On the Betrayal and Persecution of Gloria Purvis

You may recall Gloria Purvis from last week. She was the one who posted this perfectly orthodox expression of Catholic piety and was instantly whitesplained to that Jesus was Jewish:

Gloria is a faithful daughter of Holy Church who loves Jesus and believes the teachings of the Church. One would think that was sufficient. She is a smart, good woman and cares about the things of God. She has a show called “Morning Glory” over at EWTN where she has been challenging Catholics to take a hard look at America’s legacy of racism and to confront it where we see it–even in the Church.

Over at OSV, Brian Fraga did a nice profile of her recently. Here’s a taste, but do read the whole thing:

Gloria Purvis’ radio show and Twitter feed have become go-to destinations for Catholics interested in learning about the history and nature of racism in the United States and how the call to racial justice comports with the Gospel.

However, Purvis’ more active stance on race relations — sparked in large part by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among several recent examples — also has provoked vitriol and racist insults from often anonymous individuals who accuse her of race-baiting and sacrilege when she tweets about racism and shares images of Black Catholic iconography.

“We have people who are very forcefully trying to deflect and derail the conversation, and it’s most disappointing when you see that kind of vitriol coming from your fellow Catholics,” said Purvis, the host of the EWTN radio show “Morning Glory.”

Purvis, a member of the National Black Catholic Congress’ Leadership Commission on Social Justice, has long been involved in the pro-life movement. She is a board member for the Northwest Pregnancy Center and chairperson of Black Catholics United for Life. In a recent interview with Our Sunday Visitor, Purvis described how she sees the movement for Black equality as synonymous with her pro-life activism.

Our Sunday Visitor: How is racism a life issue?

Gloria Purvis: First, it doesn’t mean that we don’t seek the legal protection of the child in the womb. I think that’s what everybody is so worried about. What it means is that because we believe in the dignity of the person from the womb to the tomb, we have a Gospel imperative to protect and defend the oppressed and vulnerable. We then have, by our Gospel call, a responsibility to defend the lives of people who are the subject of being treated unjustly because of their race.

So we need to look at not only personally racist behavior but what some people call structures of sin, which is perhaps an easier way to consider systemic racism — cultural practices, attitudes and traditions that are racist and which lead to a diminishment of Black people as human persons. We should be examining all that, because those are the many things that lead to police brutality, that lead to the devaluing of Black lives across the board, whether it’s substandard medical care, negative outcomes in education and housing. All these things come into play. At some point, someone made a deliberate decision to enact policies that on their face may not have explicitly said, “We’re going to harm this community,” but their intention was to do so, and the way these laws and practices are followed has most definitely led to that.

Our Sunday Visitor: What kind of reactions have you received to your radio segments and social media posts on racism?

Purvis: You have people who are openly hostile and angry, and don’t want me to talk about it anymore, so they’d like to eliminate any access I have to a platform to be able to speak. They outright deny that racism exists. They call me a race-baiter. They resort to name-calling, because they don’t want to confront the reality of this situation and have a conversation that is really difficult.

I’ve also had some positive experiences with people writing to me saying, “Thank you. I’ve never heard these things before, and it’s led to some self-reflection.” I will say, though, that the overwhelming hatred is palpable. So it is a light in the darkness to have people who say, “We understand this. We support you. We want to change things because we want to serve the Lord.”

Our Sunday Visitor: Where do you think the anger and hostility come from?

Purvis: The Devil. I honestly think racism is demonic. I think it’s something we’ve never bothered to contend with seriously in this country. We haven’t done it on a spiritual level. We haven’t done it in terms of our policies to really try to effect change. We’ve done things like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, which are good, but I think we still have far to go.

There is this attitude of, “Why aren’t you satisfied, Black people? It’s better than what it was.” That is an unfair question. Why should we be satisfied with anything less than being considered sons and daughters of the King and treated with that same dignity and respect that we deserve? To be satisfied with anything less than that is to be satisfied with anything less than the Gospel, and that’s not what we want.

Well, that’s not the sort of thing we hear from EWTN too often now, is it?

No. It certainly is not. And so very shortly after this interview, Guadalupe Radio Network, which is (if memory serves) the biggest EWTN affiliate, announced that Gloria was being punished:

Recently, the Guadalupe Radio Network (GRN) has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend airing the EWTN radio show “Morning Glory” (7 AM ET & 6 AM CT) across the English stations of our network. The “Morning Glory” program has been one of our favorite Monday to Friday programs, as we have enjoyed the camaraderie, energy, and scope covered by the Hosts, and all from a Catholic perspective. This EWTN show originally started broadcasting from our own GRN studio in Washington DC during its early years of being on the air. As you also know, the current Hosts are Monsignor Charles Pope (who is a longtime GRN supporter in DC), Fr Vincent DeRosa, Deacon Harold Burke Sivers (who has spoken at several of our Fishers of Men Dinners), and Gloria Purvis (also a speaker at past GRN events). So why would we stop airing this program if we loved it so much?

Some of the accusations cast against us, in light of our decision, have assumed that we “canceled” their show because Gloria Purvis was discussing the evil of racism. Is this the case? Emphatically, NO!

Let us be clear. First, the Guadalupe Radio Network has not “canceled” the EWTN program, rather we have temporarily suspended airing the show on the GRN for reasons we will make clear in a moment. As an EWTN radio affiliate, we are in no way obligated to air any specific program provided to us from EWTN. Secondly, we are not bothered in the least that “Morning Glory” took on the difficult, but needed, topic of the evil of racism. In fact, we feel our audience is looking for a clear Catholic response to all they are seeing in our society right now. It is our hope and prayer that the issues we have raised with EWTN, in regards to “Morning Glory” will be addressed properly so that we can once again proudly air this program across the GRN. Why then did we do it if we agree that racism is evil and needs to be discussed?

During these last couple of weeks we have heard a “spirit of contention” growing among the Hosts live on-air. Yes, it is a difficult subject and can become a spirited one for sure. However, it has become more and more awkward and uncomfortable to listen to. Attached are 2 “sound bites” from shows that aired on June 17th, and June 25th. We feel it is clear that there is a real disconnect among the team, becoming more and more obvious, and we feel that should be addressed. We do not feel that this type of exchange is edifying, nor is it clarifying for anyone, especially a Catholic radio listener who wants clarity. You can hear the full shows for both June 17th and 25th at the following links https://www.ewtn.com/radio/podcasts/morning-glory-~HD.

Never before have we received as many complaints about any EWTN show as we have about Morning Glory as of late. Our efforts to try and correct the situation before were not successful. So, we felt we had no other option other than to temporarily suspend airing this program.

The unfounded and uncharitable accusations hurled at GRN, without the facts, have been terrible. As you well know, Satan is the father of lies. Unfortunately, that is what is happening here in this situation – lies are being told, and spread around, on the internet about us. We hope you will help in sharing the true story!

Our decision to temporarily stop carrying the program was not made lightly but was made after a LOT of prayer. Again, it is our hope that the “Morning Glory” team will be able to come together to correct the contention of the show to be the program that we have always loved to air across the GRN.

Gloria graciously took it in stride:

Image

But I’m not going to. Let take a look at this bigoted, ass-covering bushwah from GRN, shall we?

The stress on this being temporary means “We know that trying to silence Gloria Purvis at the height of awareness of systemic racism in the US and the biggest unrest over civil rights in 50 years is an incredibly bad look. So what we hope to do is just put the fear of God into Gloria to shut her pie hole about racism without actually coming out and saying that. Then we will have her back on while sending the message that she learned her lesson and won’t be any trouble any more. That’s what we are hoping to achieve here.”

Then they get down to business. The real issue is their donor base of comfy white Trump supporters. “Never before have we received as many complaints about any EWTN show as we have about Morning Glory as of late.” You know, the exact same people who think that Raymond Arroyo’s sycophantic, groveling, fawning, lickspittle, butt-kissing informercials for Trump are “Catholic journalism”. If you have the stomach for it, you can see for yourself what I mean:

That is the mental world in which the angry donors to GRN (and EWTN) live and move and have their being. Is it any wonder then that, with their jitters on full alert over black people wishing not to suffocate like George Floyd, be murdered for dancing like Elijah McClain, and shot while sleeping like Breonna Taylor, these people with the worst prudence and judgment on planet Earth would suddenly have their spidey-sense detect a “spirit of contention” from the black woman saying that racism is demonic?

All you have to do is listen to the sound bites they post to hear that the problem is not a “spirit of contention” from Gloria Purvis. Rather, this is the actual dynamic:

Let me interrupt your expertise with my confidence by Jason Adam ...

The most incredible (and yet utterly unsurprising) part of the whole statement is the outburst of self-pity from GRN in which they have the chutzpah to complain about being victims of the lies of Satan for their gutless cowardice in stabbing a faithful daughter of Holy Church in the back and holding her up to public opprobrium for saying nothing false or uncharitable.

EWTN has, to their credit, stood by Gloria Purvis and continued to air her show. But this incident only underscores the fact that conservative Catholic media has morphed from platforming a fight against 80s theologically liberal Catholicism (the sort that offered insufferably tepid music and groovy priests with groanworthy homilies based on sports heroes and dated pop culture refs) to becoming a devoted part of the MAGA feeder belt for votes for Trump and the GOP. It responds to FOXian culture war fears, slogans, myths, and rhetoric. It sees the Holy Father as a threat. It privileges right wing junk over “liberal” facts–and it therefore inevitably sees Gloria Purvis as a threat not because she opposes the Church’s teaching, but because she upholds it.

Gloria Purvis actually believes the whole teaching of the Church, not just the bits that accessorize a right wing political agenda. She is perfectly pious and devout (which is why they gave her a show). But because she has experienced the Church and America as a black woman, she can see what the whites who run the Guadalupe Radio Network and who watch and listen to EWTN shows are blind to. And when she says what she sees, she is perceived as “contentious” (the word used to be “uppity”) because she is not harmonizing with the Republic Rite narrative that the network has blinded itself into thinking is “Catholic orthodoxy”. In short, she is a threat for the same reason the Holy Father is a threat. Because the masters of right wing Catholic media in the US are slaves to the GOP and don’t even realize it any more while she, believing the gospel of Jesus Christ, knows the truth. And the truth shall make you free.

We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: “He who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8).

No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned.

The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to “maintain good fellowship among the nations” (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men, so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven. – Nostra Aetate

34 Responses

  1. “Attached are 2 “sound bites” from shows that aired on June 17th, and June 25th. We feel it is clear that there is a real disconnect among the team, becoming more and more obvious, and we feel that should be addressed. We do not feel that this type of exchange is edifying, nor is it clarifying for anyone, especially a Catholic radio listener who wants clarity. You can hear the full shows for both June 17th and 25th at the following links https://www.ewtn.com/radio/podcasts/morning-glory-~HD.”

    I would suggest listening to the full shows, not just the soundbites. Why GRN would suggest just listening to the soundbites is pretty obvious.

    1. “During these last couple of weeks we have heard a “spirit of contention” growing among the Hosts live on-air.”

      It seems that the “spirit of contention” is code for “Purvis is disagreeing with conservative political perspectives”. On the 17th June show, Purvis disagreed with the other two hosts on the issue of police reform. The other two hosts were ridiculing the idea of dissolving-then-rebuilding the police (as the Minneapolis city council had just chosen to do). Purvis suggested that perhaps it’s good to have mental health professionals and others take on the jobs that police are often called to do. The other two hosts were having none of it. So, there was definitely “contention”, but it felt like–at least in that conversation–to come from the other two hosts.

  2. Well, Mark, as I was reading your article– excellent, BTW– I was thinking, “The missing word here is UPPITY.” And then there it was, a sentence or two later.

    No one likes uppity Negroes any more than they like uppity fags. We are supposed to know our place, we are not supposed to make white people or presumed heterosexual moralizers uncomfortable, and it is not looked kindly upon when we don’t fulfill the expected attitude of submission to the always present, always assumed, and wholly unwarranted faith in a completely imaginary superiority.

    “All lives matter” is a way of NOT SAYING that Black Lives Matter, but we just don’t want to say so. No one likes uppity, even if uppity is dead.

    1. So we have one random skinny white guy shooting at a vehicle that tried to run down protestors. The police are looking for him. You don’t know who he is or what he believes. He could be a white supremacist trying to start a race war.

      Your support of racism and police brutality is noted.

    2. A fair number of BLM protesters have been shot *at* during protests, and there have been a number of cases of white supremacist organisations, and in at least one case an off duty cop infiltrating protests to try and provoke violence, or just do it themselves. The protest you reference was peaceful until counter-protesters turned up to confront them. It is thus far not even clear whether the gunman was joining the BLM protest or an agitator from the other one.
      https://kjzz.com/news/local/police-shots-fired-in-provo-possibly-connected-to-protests
      https://apnews.com/6223153093f08fa910c4ab445771b773
      I am sure there are some people engaging in violence who see themselves as supporting Black Lives Matter; the bulk of protests are however perfectly peaceful and most of the violence has come from the police and opponents of the movement.

    3. One of the fun things during the marriage wars was that at every trial, the religious right lawyers would pull out this “list” of “offenses” that the “violent gay community” had committed against the peaceful, lovely Christians who call us threats to western civilization, marriage, family, faith, and freedom. It was a really, really long list of mostly extremely minor things, and a few that were not so minor, but not murder, assault, or anything like it.

      The list was mostly laughed out of court. Why? Because it was obvious that the it WAS BEING ASSUMED THE INCIDENTS WERE “OBVIOUSLY” COMMITTED BY VIOLENT HOMOSEXUALS. What 99% of the incidents had in common was that no names were named. no one had been arrested, no one had “taken responsibility”, no statements had been issued, no groups identified, no one convicted of offenses, no nothing. For a number of them, it wasn’t even clear that something had occurred.

      Compare and contrast that to the white militants that invaded the Michigan statehouse. They are all of them on video. Who and what they were was clear.

      In your video, who was clear, but “what” was not in the slightest bit clear.

    4. Notice how you deflect from the subject. That’s because you are a racist and an enemy of s sister in Christ for who you hate for being black and telling you the gospel.

  3. Back in the day, when I used to be in awe of EWTN, (and regarded all priests as above the rest of humanity), I used to have this problem. My gut reaction to certain individuals in the conservative movement would send me into a scrupulous, soul searching prayer of self reproach for forgiveness. What a ninny. My gut was telling me the truth, and I was thinking my thoughts were sinful.

    What a travesty to let religious affiliation cover for j*e*r*k*s. They are jerks. Pavone? Arroyo? Vigano? Fr. Mitch? Screaming lady in front of PP, crazy-eyed death penalty defender? Your narcissism is astounding. (Takes a narcissist to love a narcissist–no wonder you love Trump.) Mama’s boy (jealous!) priests who wanted to sprinkle as many ashes on sex in confession? What. jerks. Ex-bartender who became a conservative priest late in life because he needed to bully people? Jerk! Angry ex-nun, who was physically violent and loved hell? Jerk. (–your students aren’t Catholic anymore.) Life Site news that earns their bread and butter on abortion, lies regularly and hates the pope? Such, such jerks. MAGA Catholics that look down on Mexicans and African Americans?Culture-less Karens, –all of them. Black people are SO much more interesting. They love to sing and dance. YOU love to suck lemons. You love money more than people. That Divine Mercy picture pinned to the front door doesn’t work that way.

    Guadalupe radio–change your name, you don’t deserve it. Msgr. Charles Pope–thanks for being the first Catholic priest to ever lie blatantly by changing my words to make fun of me in your com-box. I really am grateful. Your love of hell, and enthusiasm for all of the people you think are going there knocked a considerable amount of the scales from my eyes. Your tone about the African Americans in your parish didn’t fool me, nor did your disgust for the bodies of women when you went on that vacation to the coast.

    Last but not least, dead guy, who was a pillar of the community,and builder of Churches and schools? Your wife is a lovely lady, but you sir, are a jerk. I can’t believe I didn’t tell you off when you approached me outside of Mt. Carmel Church, holding my fifth kid–and told me I shouldn’t have “married outside of my race”. You were the biggest Karen of them all. I wonder how that racism is working for you on the other side. All that money made you awful.

    1. I’ve read Monsignor Pope’s blog and commented a few times in the past. He strikes me as a very disturbed individual. I’d hoped that Archbishop Gregory might redirect (i.e., end) the Monsignor’s online presence, for his own sake as much as for the church.

      1. I took a quick look at his blog. Weakness. Decline of the West. Confusion. All too familar buzz.

    2. I would suggest Stockhom Radio. It’s reasonably white and blond, but perhaps too leftist. On the other hand, people held captive by Trumpism may develop the syndrome.

  4. Nothing new here in my opinion. EWTN has always been a one trick pony, offering an incomplete cookie cutter type faith laced with politics to an audience of pious bobble heads. To them, Gloria Purvis was an attractive token until she spoke an inconvenient truth.

    1. EWTN supports Purvis. It’s Guadalupe Radio Network that has “temporarily” ceased broadcasting “Morning Glory”. I have to give EWTN props for this, at least.

      1. Yes in this instance. But EWTN in large measure birthed and perpetuates the American libertarian pseudo Catholicism in which racism thrives. So, no I don’t give them credit.

  5. I live in a town near the border with Mexico. We’ve had a long, long history of racism, including state-sanctioned lynchings of ethnic Mexicans, deed restrictions that forced minorities to settle in colonias, a local KKK chapter composed of upstanding Baptists and Methodists, and three-way school segregation (white, black, Mexican). The population is overwhelmingly Hispanic but white males hold the most important offices.

    I attended a BLM rally on the town square. It was peaceful. Mostly a bunch of young people holding signs, with a few older activists and a handful of college professors (like myself). Throughout the rally, police cruisers circled the square, a Border Patrol helicopter hovered overhead (for hours, at what public cost I don’t know), and a vigilante armed with an assault rifle and ammo belt stood guard nearby. Now “friends” are telling me that, by allowing my picture to be taken at the rally and thus showing myself to be an ally of the enemies of law and order, I’ve exposed my family to danger in the coming purge. It’s damned creepy.

    So, there’s a Jeff Davis monument on the town square. Someone recently started a petition to remove it. That prompted the (white) deacon of my Catholic parish, who I would describe as an EWTN / Catholic Answers Catholic, who is the one responsible for writing our parish’s monthly pastor’s column for the town newspaper, to submit a letter to the editor warning everyone not to be too hasty to remove Jeff, because BLM is not about racism at all. It’s a cover for a Marxist revolution. Their first step will be the dismantling of the nuclear family, followed by the smashing of white Jesus statues and, eventually, mass murder on the scale of the USSR.

    I’m also a columnist for the paper. I sent my own letter to the editor this week, saying that people (e.g., the John Birch Society) accused the Civil Rights Movement of being a communist plot, too, that King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was prompted by rebukes from white church leaders, and that it’s kind of disturbing to see a deacon acting as though American values, public order, Christianity, and racist statuary form a seamless cloth. It has yet to appear.

    It seems like the world is going mad. I used to regard the Church as the bastion against all of that, but it’s not, at least not right now. Now I’m contemplating having possibly permanently tarnished my rep among the local elite (a major issue in a small town like this) and made life in my parish, where the deacon and his wife are big wheels, irremediably difficult for my family. (I’m a lector, even!) But, as a POC who has himself had all kinds of issues with law enforcement officers, I’ve felt that I couldn’t be silent.

    I mean, I’m not crazy, am I?

    1. “I used to regard the Church as the bastion against all of that, but it’s not, at least not right now.”

      No, you’re not crazy, and this certainly seems to be the truth – or at least it’s the truth if you listen to the Catholic media figures with the biggest megaphones.

    2. You’re not crazy but try to hold onto the fact that it’s primarily the *American* Church that is crazy. I know that doesn’t help much in your local community and parish though. Solidarity

    3. There’s a lot of purging to come, apparently. From what I hear, many in academia, writer etc. fear a leftist PC purge, and now this.

    4. No, you’re not crazy.

      As a gay man, I have had the Good and True Christians (TM) declare without a hint of self reflection that my desire to have a right to privacy is a direct attack on the integrity of the nuclear family, Which totally depends on my not having a sex life That is not criminalized. They have declared that if I have same civil rights protection everyone else enjoys, That This will destroy western civilization just as surely as if I nuked it with a million megaton Bomb. I have also been informed that my desire to marry the man I love And have spent nearly two decades with was really A nefarious plot to destroy heterosexual marriage. And let us not forget that there is definitive proof that the shadowy Gay Central has ordered its robot minions to invade the Catholic Church to destroy it from within by joining seminaries, Having sex with Father Ted, Becoming A priest, having sex with father Ted, And advancing to the position of Pope.

      In short, welcome to my world.

      1. @ rakowskidp.

        Absolutely. But it’s all my fault. Long before there was gay marriage, there were gay cooties that caused other people to exercise their free will and sin without even knowing my name.

    5. “a local KKK chapter composed of upstanding Baptists and Methodists”

      Yes, the KKK didn’t like Catholics very much. Only white Protestants allowed.

    6. The John Birch Society published a pamphlet entitled What’s Wrong with Civil Rights. Versions of it appeared as paid newspaper ads in cities across the country. It’s amazing how, if you substitute one or two words, it could have come from a right-wing pundit writing today.

      The founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch, said: “The trouble in our southern states has been fomented almost entirely by the Communists for this purpose. It has been their plan, gradually carried out over a long period with meticulous cunning, to stir up such bitterness between whites and blacks in the South that small flames of civil disorder would inevitably result. They could then fan and coalesce these little flames into one great conflagration of civil war, in time, if the need arose. The whole slogan of ‘civil rights,’ as used to make trouble in the South today, is an exact parallel to the slogan of ‘agrarian reform’ which they used in China.”

      One early member of the JBS was Fred Koch, father of the famous Koch brothers, who wrote that “the colored man looms large in the communist plan to take over America.”

      Recommended listening: “John Birch Society,” Chad Mitchell Trio. Fighting for the right to fight the right fight for the right!

      1. I loved the Chad Mitchell Trio back when I was a boy, which was unfortunately, back when they were news. Oh well.

        I still remember the song “ Barry’s boys”. “Let’s go back to the days when men were men and fight the first world war all over again. We’re Barry’s, Barry’s boys!”

      2. “the colored man looms large in the communist plan to take over America”
        — But it’s true! I mean, if Communists were to succeed in taking over America, they would find every disenfranchised group and blacks were likely one of the largest one out there, if not the largest one.
        (Which is ironic considering how black people were treated in the USSR and how enshrined “scientific” racism of ridicule towards blacks is in former communist countries.)

        That quote by Welch you put in there could very well end with this proposal and it would have worked:
        “Therefore, we should welcome, introduce and enforce civil rights as vigorously as possible, thus completely disarming the Communist plot to incite a revolution by using blacks as their pawns.”

      3. @toughluck

        You know, you really can’t ask either the far left or the far right to actually think things through, at least not using facts logic and experience. What’s the point have living ideologically if you actually have to think, let alone care?

      4. My first experience of the John Birch Society was at age 13 when its members protested outside a Pete Seeger concert at our local middle school. I knew even then that if they were protesting Pete, they were on the wrong side of history.

  6. And now this: Catholic priest suspended for comparing BLM to ‘maggots’ Carmen, Indiana – from Associated Press. Seems to go hand-in-hand with what happened to Ms. Purvis.

  7. @ Guajillo – I loved the John Birch Society by the CMT, and enjoyed greatly their redo to “The George Bush Society –

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