Now that EWTN has utterly disgraced itself by firing Gloria Purvis in the most cowardly way possible

Several things are in order:

First, a quick update: Gloria Purvis, a faithful sister and Catholic who has done and said nothing wrong as the host of Morning Glory was first selected for persecution and punishment in June by the Guadalupe Radio Network for speaking out as a Black Catholic against the sin of racism. Their phony charge? She had a “spirit of contention”.

Remember. These are the same sort of people who say, “We don’t care how many liberals we offend speaking Catholic TRVTH about abortion! We must obey God rather than men!” But when the offense is to white racists, all of a sudden the prattle is about how God is a God of peace and Black Catholics speaking about our 400 year old legacy of racism need to take a seat. So GRN silenced her with this “spirit of contention” baloney because they couldn’t point to a word she said that was actually contrary to the gospel. “Spirits” of this and that are wonderfully ghostly code words for “She was uppity” and “She made us uncomfortable”.

Meawhile, EWTN kept her on through the Summer of Protest because, while their MAGA donor base loathes all discussion of racism, it appears they did not want to draw too much attention to that. But now that Christmas break is here, protests are quelled by winter, everybody is distracted by the holidays, pandemic, and Trump’s assault on democracy, they can finally do what their MAGA donors demand and shut her up. So out she goes to be replaced by nice safe white ladies. What message does that send to every black Catholic in America? EWTN does not seem to care. It is really a Catholic network first anymore. It is a Trump network with smells and bells who purpose is to help its base of MAGA Catholics accessorize their politics with bits and pieces of Catholic aesthetics and those bits of Catholic teaching convenient to that ideology. This is why Raymond Arroyo can spend years on EWTN telling viewers that the grave intrinsic evil of torture is something they can support, whatever Evangelium Vitae says. The Bush torture regime demanded it and he delivered, Magisterium be damned. It’s why he can spend the pontificate of Francis cattily attacking him as a crypto-heretic, giving aid and comfort to those who assaulted Amazonian Catholics as pagan idolators, and giving copious space to Vigano’s false claims about Francis and his screams for his resignation–all while facing no challenge from EWTN and continuing to be held out as their Golden Boy. But let Gloria Purvis speak the truth about the sin of racism and this was highly inconvenient to that project, faithful, orthodox, and pious though she be.

Which brings me to my second point. Dawn Eden Goldstein did something yesterday that made me proud:


And I am happy to see that it is catching on:

I hope others involved with the EWTN Empire will do the same and the donors of conscience will stop supporting this network. Michael Warsaw, if you are listening, I demand you take down every one of my appearances in the archives on Mother Angelica Live, the Journey Home, The Apostle of Common Sense, Jeff Cavins’ show, Bookmarks, Johnette Benkovic’s show, “The Surprise”, and Franciscan University Presents. Same with your radio franchise. Take them all off the air. I object strongly to having my name associated with a network that now promotes persecution of a sister in Christ for no cause other than speaking the truth of the gospel about race in America.

Finally, I urge every Catholic to read Dawn Eden Goldstein’s work on how Mammon has corrupted the work of EWTN. Here’s an excerpt, but read the whole thing:

EWTN’s firing of radio host Gloria Purvis this week further exposed what many observers have already known about the international Catholic media network: partisan politics plays an outsize role in determining which voices are heard there and which ones are silenced. In the words of Christopher Lamb, “it is Fox News under a Catholic cover.”

To better understand what has happened to EWTN and, by extension, to the mainstream of the pro-life Catholic nonprofit world—a world I was part of for many years as an employee of the Cardinal Newman Society and Americans United for Life, and as a frequent EWTN guest—I did a deep-dive into the finances of one of its major donors, Frank J. Hanna III. What I discovered should concern every Catholic and particularly those who, like myself, are appalled by how the Catholic pro-life movement—whose goal of ending abortion I fully support—has been hijacked by people who elevate Trump while deriding the Holy Father

A Fortune Made Through Subprime Credit Cards

Frank J. Hanna, a close associate of Napa Institute founder Tim Busch (with whom he serves on several boards, including Napa’s) and a longtime friend and donor to Newt Gingrich, is one of the richest men in Atlanta. His fortune in 2005 was worth more than $500 million; today it is worth perhaps twice as much. 
One can gain an idea of Hanna’s philanthropic interests by looking at the boards on which he has served. In addition to EWTN and the Napa Institute, Hanna’s current or recent board memberships include the Acton Institute, Catholic University of America, EWTN, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Federalist Society, the Papal Foundation, the Pontifical North American College, and Sophia Institute Press (publisher of Taylor Marshall’s anti-Francis conspiracy screed Infiltration). 

Hanna is not known for simply signing checks and letting his recipients call the shots. According to a 2007 profile in Philanthropy magazine, he has a strong reputation for hands-on involvement: 

Among the organizations he supports, Hanna has made it his constant practice to search for opportunities to leverage the group’s influence. “Frank is one of those board members who continually asks hard questions of us,” [Acton Institute President Father Robert] Sirico explains. “He looks beyond the enthusiasm for a project and wants to know hard facts about how influential an idea or program will be—not how many books we will publish, but how many people will read the information. He wants bang for the buck, and is highly strategic in his thinking.”

Hanna began his career as a corporate attorney before entering the financial world in the late 1980s as an executive at Nationwide Credit, which was founded by his father. He and his brother David in 1996 founded CompuCredit, a financial company that offered subprime credit cards to consumers who had poor credit ratings. 

In 2008, the U.S. government charged CompuCredit with deceptive marketing. The company agreed to provide $114 million in restitution to consumers, without admitting wrongdoing. It changed its name in 2012 to Atlanticus. Today Hanna is no longer part of its leadership, though he remains a major shareholder in the company. 

The Solidarity Association: Donating to the Legion of Christ and Beyond

Hanna began to exert his monetary influence in the Catholic world in the early 1990s through his involvement with the Legion of Christ and its lay movement Regnum Christi, which he continues to support through donations to such Legion-associated organizations as Divine Mercy University, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, and the Lumen Institute. (He made the news in 1999 when he was a key figure in the Legion’s hostile takeover of the Donnellan School, a private, independent Catholic school in Atlanta.)

The main philanthropic organ that Hanna uses to make his donations is the Solidarity Association. He founded it as an Association of the Christian Faithful by decree of Archbishop John Francis Donoghue in the early 2000s to fund the now-defunct Solidarity School. At its peak in the late 2000s, the Solidarity School gave an English-language immersion education to about ninety children from Spanish-speaking households  whose parents “mostly [worked] in construction or fast food, as maids, or [as] day laborers.” 

Today, the Solidarity Association’s website states that the nonprofit gives ongoing support to more than two dozen Catholic nonprofits, including not only EWTN and FOCUS but also the Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business (to which Hanna gave $250,000 in 2015).

The Solidarity Association is highly unusual among U.S. Catholic foundations that give to multiple recipients (as opposed to supporting a single hospital or school), in that it does not make its financial information public. Apart from the list of donation recipients that it provides on its website, its activities are completely opaque.

How can a Catholic nonprofit operate so darkly? Isn’t it required by law to report its donations as well as other details such as its board members and assets? To understand how the Solidarity Association evades scrutiny of its finances, it is necessary to take a brief excursion into the peculiarities of U.S. tax law for religious nonprofits.

Much, much more. Follow the money. EWTN is doing the Church far more harm than good. Don’t give it another nickel.


36 Responses

  1. One thing I’ve never heard in any Catholic church I’ve ever been in is a single word preached on the dangers of money. When a challenging passage has to be read, the only thing said about it, if anything is said, is some reassuring pablum to the effect that it doesn’t really mean what it says. If anyone’s experience is different. I’d love to hear about it.

    1. Yah, I noticed years ago that it would be totally straightforward to construct a biblical argument that wealth is incompatible with discipleship. So why don’t any pastors ever do it? I’m not just talking about Catholics here – all of western Christendom seems to have an enormous blind spot on this issue.

  2. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don’t know anyone under the age of 70 who actually watches EWTN.

  3. Strange how the quacks talk about “infiltration” when they are the ones who infiltrated. What a rip-off.

    There were so many clues along the road. It’s not that we didn’t see them. One of the problems with being Catholic –I think–is we train ourselves to have a high tolerance for things that make us uncomfortable. (Offer it up!)

    We accepted creeps that creeped us out, but made a bunch of excuses for them because they *seemed* to have the right credentials.

    The Church ladies, the activists and the apologetics/tradition bullies continue their reign of terror.

    I just wish I’d had the sass to slap a couple of them in the face, when they were at their unholiest. What was I thinking? A slap would have been an act of charity.

    It would have gone something like this when a creeper was creeping:

    “You shouldn’t have married outside of your race!”


    “I don’t care how much money you have, or how many catholic schools you’ve founded, you’re a racist and a creep. Don’t you ever address me or my family members again until you get some therapy for you religious megalomania and repent.”

    How I wish I’d had the courage–but then again–nice Catholic girls were supposed to–what did you call it? *Accessorize* the catholic, male point of view.

    1. Re your first sentence: Mark often writes that for such people, accusation is a form of confession…
      Happy New Year anyway. You might be surprised to learn that the past year has been very good for me. There is this couple from my church who have been treating with almost as much consideration as if I was the mother of one of them, and they have been extremely helpful and supportive. I hope your year was OK and that the coming months will be much better.

      1. Oh my Gosh Marthe
        I was thinking of you today very much and before I saw this!

        Happy New year and a (((hug)))

  4. UPPITY!!!!!!!!!

    The greatest possible sin of those who have been sinned against by those who decry the use of “identity politics”, which they use to identify those they have deemed worthy of sinning against.

    Bonus points if you can claim it is god’s will. But is is simply godswill and nothing else.

    A happy new year to all of those good people here.

    1. Can you be a little less confusing? Unless you are limiting the number of people you’d like to reach with your opinion. I’m not saying you need to redact anything. Just interpret a bit. Thanks.

      1. It sounds convoluted because it is a bit convoluted. There are people who use the term identity politics. They use that as a way of being “right” and of stopping any meaningful dialogue between those in power and people who have a legitimate grievance about how they are treated in society. Anyone they have identified as engaging in “identity politics” is therefore delegitimized as having a legitimate complaint.

        What they are really saying is “you’re being uppity” by demanding fair treatment, or at least equal treatment before the law. As always, it is projection, because they have already “identified” those they have deemed worthy of discrimination or unfair treatment.

        they are not discussing the legitimacy of the complaint, but have changed the subject to the legitimacy of complaining.

        Does this help?

  5. Shame on EWTN. It is a shame how many Christian/Catholic media people have become shills for Republicanism, and now, Trumpism.

    I am grateful for you and for Pope Benedict XVI who have opened my eyes via your writings to see a more balanced and gospel-centered view.

    Catholicism and race… It is really the Christianity/Catholicism of the slaveholder vs. the Christianity/Catholicism of the slave. I get this from a good article I read back at the beginning of Advent.

      1. Thanks Ben,
        It’s much, much better now. My husband has almost finished a magnificent remodel of our kitchen and bathroom here in our little casita. We’ve been all holed up like hermits. Meanwhile, the loudest troublemakers from last March flouted Fauci’s recommendations. They didn’t endanger their *own* grandmother, but a bunch of them got together elsewhere and they all have Covid now. Some of them realized they were sick while flying home on a plane. So ironic. My husband’s comment was “Republicans think they’re immune.”

        We will be back to NorCal soon because the kids are going back to school in hybrid form. I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, but my teens are turning into sloths. The fourteen y.o.has Dad bod and shoulder length hair.

        In other news, I saw a great bumpersticker today: “Don’t act like your racism is patriotism.” Haha maybe I’ll get one.

      2. @taco

        I’m not even sure how to respond to what you wrote. Not you— them! What immediately came to mind was that my sister died about a year ago, and the popular vote here was that I should inform my brother, whom I haven’t talked to in 18 years. He and she hated each other, so it’s not like they would miss each other. They both denied it of course, but… So I decided to do it, but frankly, I was relieved that he made no attempt at a response to the news. I had a bunch of his childhood pictures that she sent me, and I decided to send them to him. Again no response. I had no issue with that.

        I am still amazed at the denial of such a significant minority of our country regarding this plague. You read my essay, so you know what I think about it. 😬😬😬 apropos pf that, We had a Covid scare the week before Christmas. I won’t go into the long story, but basically, one of my husbands coworkers was positive. Fortunately, she didn’t infect anyone as far as we know. She insisted that her positive test was a false positive, and got on a plane a day later to attend her grandmother’s funeral. (The potential irony of the situation was way too funny, and in a tragic sort of way).

        So we went through a week of hell and worry because this sweet wonderful young woman, as he described her, was a selfish sociopath. Our tests and the other possible exposures all came back negative. She never bothered to get a Second test to confirm her self serving self diagnosis. So she might have been busy infecting her relatives.

        You didn’t ask me, and I hope you don’t mind my presumption, but if you’re going to have to homeschool your kids, then make physical education a part of it. Part of the day every day is getting out and taking a long walk.

        I hope you and your family had a good holiday, and may 2021 not be a case of 2020 won.

  6. The ” spirit of contention” must be crushed. We should all follow the inspiring example of Raymond Arroyo, and make sure sure no words of contention ever flow from our lips. To prevent this, we must keep them at all times close to the nether regions of both our worldly and otherworldly dark masters.

  7. Well Ben, I’m glad it was just a scare and I hope you have already been immunized. I know some nutty people that clearly aren’t stupid but believe in all of the crazy theories One of them just told me with 100% certainty that the great die off will happen when many of the immunized people encounter the actual virus. This is someone with advanced degrees. She swears to me that the world is run by elite pedophiles etc. etc.

    I just found out that the nephew who was one of the biggest bullies against me last Spring was partying in Miami a couple of weeks ago and posting pictures from nightclubs on Instagram. He actually confessed to my son, “I should probably apologize to your mother”. His mother who is battling Covid right now tried to apologize in her own way. She texted me a few weeks ago apologizing for something terrible that she did to me when I was 15. I accepted her apology and thanked her. It wasn’t meaningless that she did it. Strange but a good thing. I think she regrets how she treated me in general.

    Here is what scares me the most about her right now. She is totally and completely sucked into all things Trump and Maga. Like a zombie. Her husband just came down with the fever and has the worst case. They are only on day *three* or four. It could really ramp up but instead of biding her time she just sent a group text to say “Covid really isn’t that big of a deal” (Our King was right!”). I think that’s how she deals with her fears. Magical thinking. I’m really worried about her husband. He’s in his 60s, has AB blood and isn’t slim.

  8. I’m glad it was just a scare too. It was still just enough hell that I wouldn’t care to go through it again. Paul has gotten one of his shots, and he gets the other one next week. Unfortunately, his hospital has decided not to vaccinate all of the spouses next. But I have decided I will get the vaccine as soon as I can get it.

    I’m sorry that you have a friend who has bought into all of the Q anonsense. And your sister?!?!?!? What the…?” That was the whole point of my essay. I don’t know how to talk to people who are so divorced from reality. And not merely divorced from reality, but completely invested in being divorced from reality. It’s not sufficient to call it mental illness, or magical thinking. In my previous lines I worked with crazy people.

    Please keep you, your husband, and your kids as safe as they will allow you to.

  9. More intriguing is that EWTN found an African-American pro-lifer to purge since I am constantly assured that such people cannot exist, ie that anti-abortion beliefs are so deeply rooted in white supremacism – not merely a historically-contingent association, not simply an alliance of electoral convenience; not just an achilles heel within US liberalism that the defeated racists could seize upon to use against their smug opponents by highlighting the internal contradictions in the latter’s own supposed moral code (“Of Course You Can Abort Them! You Just Can’t Spank Them!” or “You think you need to apologise for having a gender reveal party for your trans teenager 17 years ago? We aborted ours because she wasn’t a boy. – Oops…”) – that No True Black Person would ever say “I don’t know or care whether that fetal corpse in the clinic’s garbage bag was killed with or without her mother’s consent. That’s not morally relevant to me.”
    The stupid thing is that fifty years ago, Catholicsm – even the right wing of Catholicism – had the high moral ground on this. How much could they have made out of “WE never bought into that ‘sons of Ham’ bulldust because we don’t think Ham ever existed; he’s not in the Tradition” and “You know who the Klan used to target as well as Blacks and Jews? Catholics, that’s who.” But no, they threw that away to whore after the Boss Hoggs in the Republican Party.

  10. Good news: “EWTN had pulled down all material pertaining to “Morning Glory” from its website, but restored it after other contributors — including comedy writer Jeannie Gaffigan — told EWTN to pull their own content as well unless “Morning Glory” content was restored.”

  11. David French:
    “… Then, where I sit changed, dramatically. I just didn’t know it at the time. I went from being the father of two white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids to the father of three kids – one of them a beautiful little girl from Ethiopia. When Naomi arrived, our experiences changed. Strange incidents started to happen. There was the white woman who demanded that Naomi – the only black girl in our neighborhood pool – point out her parents, in spite of the fact that she was clearly wearing the colored bracelet showing she was permitted to swim. There was the time a police officer approached her at a department store and questioned her about who she was with and what she was shopping for. That never happened to my oldest daughter. There was the classmate who told Naomi that she couldn’t come to our house for a play date because, “My dad says it’s dangerous to go black people’s neighborhoods.” I could go on, and – sure – some of the incidents could have a benign explanation, but as they multiplied, and it was clear that Naomi’s experience was clearly different from her siblings, it became increasingly implausible that all the explanations were benign….”

    1. @tom

      Back in the days when I was going to our local Walmart, I noted that as an older, white male, my purchases were never checked against the receipt. I always noticed that black and brown people in front of me had their purchases checked against the receipt. Our local walmart happens to be across the street from our local Costco, where I noticed the same thing. Nothing I can prove; just an observation.

      1. One or another libertarian writer, a decade ago – I think Megan McArdle, but google won’t find it – shared how she had long disbelieved Black people’s accounts of being followed around shops, etc, thinking “that can’t happen very often, if at all”, but then when her boyfriend refused to believe her as to how many times she got cat-called or wolf-whistled by men, saying “Oh no, surely that’s virtually non-existent – after all I never see it happening when I’m with you!”, she began to reconsider her epistemological method.

      2. I don’t think this is the main piece I recall but McArdle also mentions it here:
        “I recently surprised the hell out of a male friend who considers himself fairly feminist by mentioning that I got catcalled an average of at least once a day. […] he’d basically never seen it happen, and had assumed it wasn’t really much of a problem.[…] it’s weird that this fairly common feature of my life is invisible to the men I know. And for the record–thank you gents, but I do not actually enjoy having random strangers remarking on the length of my legs, or what they would like to do with them. And there is a special place in hell reserved for men who grope women in crowded bars. In a similar vein, I had no idea that black people get followed around retail establishments–even though I worked retail on the (then) very racially integrated Upper West Side. Then a friend mentioned, offhand, that it happened to her at least once on most shopping trips. I was shocked. She’s the most uptight, upright person I know, and a skilled professional. I never thought of following anyone around, but if I had, I would never have imagined following someone like her around a store. But once she said it, I saw clerks do it to other minority women….”

      3. I worked at Walmart so saw and handled those situations first hand. It is all about how you carry yourself. You can see them coming from across the store. Black people can tell them. Mexican-americans can tell them. Some of the Mexicans I worked with could tell better than me I think because they live/d in closer proximity to gang or drugged family/friends. They’d spot out the white meth heads just as well.

  12. I loved Mother Angelica and watched numerous programs and shopped the religious catalogue but now I can say that I no longer support ewtn after this firing. I am white but I see the racism that has crept into ewtn. and the constant jabs against our Pope Francis. But Trump is glorified. What has happened to the church that I love.

  13. I’ve been watching EWTN for years and listening on the radio – it is such a blessing in my life. I loved listening to Gloria at first but then she started saying a lot of things that did not leave me at peace. My stomach was getting in knots, and I just finally stopped listening to her show even though I loved Monsignor Pope and the other gentleman from the West Coast Thank you to EWTN for firing her she just did not fit into the beauty of our Catholic faith

  14. Shame on you EWTN….. You would rather be friends with the Greed, and Big Bunesses??? What happed to the seporation of Church and State… And the same goes to the K of C ???????

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