If you want to know what Catholics think about something, listening to what they have to say might be a good place to start.
With two Roman Catholics currently in the race for the GOP presidential nod – former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – and the ongoing conflict between the Obama administration and the Roman Catholic Church in America over the HHS mandate requiring religiously-affiliated institutions to provide medications and services that violate religious teachings and are felt to infringe on the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty, the 2,000-year-old faith has seldom been more in the news.
While many mainstream news organizations are playing catch-up in terms of understanding the finer points of Catholic dogma and social-teaching doctrines, and trying to figure out how they relate to the headlines – and more often than not, falling short on both – it’s business as usual for EWTN’s Thursday-night news hour “The World Over.”
EWTN is short for Eternal Word Television Network, an Alabama-based Catholic TV and radio network established 25 years ago by nun Sister Angelica, providing religious services, talk shows, documentaries, dramatic programs and children’s shows.There’s also ETWN News, which covers papal events and foreign visits, events in the American Catholic Church, and, on a weekly basis, “The World Over.”
In the anchor chair is Raymond Arroyo, who has worked at the Associated Press, the New York Observer, and for the political columnist team of Evans and Novak.Arroyo has landed some top-shelf sit-down interviews, including the only English-language conversation ever recorded with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and President George W. Bush (in April 2008, during a papal visit to America).
Since the beginning of the presidential campaign, he’s had several political leaders and candidates on the show for interviews of greater length and depth than can usually be seen on cable and network news.For example, the March 29 episode of “The World Over” featured Santorum discussing his campaign, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R-Wisc.) talking about his latest budget plan and how it fits into Catholic social teaching, and Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli discussing the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of aspects of President Obama’s health-care overhaul.
Arroyo is a thorough interviewer and brings both knowledge of what’s going on in the news and a deep familiarity with Catholic teaching, which is a combination not often seen in coverage of issues involving the Church or in coverage of issues related to faith in general.