01: The Catholic Radio Network is the most ambitious effort to create a national Catholic presence on the radio.
The network, the brainchild of radio executive John Lynch, will employ a 24-hour format with a basic “faith and values” approach. The network came on the national scene with a recent $57 million purchase of 10 AM radio stations in major markets across the country. Key figures in funding and running the network include such conservatives as Fr. Joseph Fessio of the Ignatius Press, William Clark, former national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan, and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver.
The San Diego-based network will feature strong Catholic commentary on current issues while steering clear of the divisive and polemical style of Catholic broadcaster Mother Angelica, who has criticized the bishops. The Hispanic market is a major concern of the new network.
(Source: National Catholic Reporter, June 5)
02: The Opus Angelorum movement has been attracting controversy in the Catholic Church for its esoteric teachings and alleged authoritarian practices.
Members of the secretive group, which is most active in Germany and Austria but has spread to 60 dioceses around the world, venerate guardian angels and battle with demons. Opus Angelorum teachings are based on the revelations of Gabriele Bitterlich, an Austrian housewife who wrote a massive book detailing the different angels and demons active in the world.
While no membership figures are given, officials have said there are approximately 10,000 regular members and a another million people sympathetic to the movement. The group has been accused of brainwashing and rigid control of members’ lives (mostly by parents of young members). Although the Vatican has asked members to renounce the esoteric beliefs associated with Bitterlich’s book (without banning the movement), critics claim that adherents still hold to the founder’s teachings and hope to infiltrate the church.
(Source: The Tablet, May 30)