What’s better than one post on Mother Angelica? TWO posts on Mother Angelica–and she does earn them.
Consider this post an extension of and, in some ways, a response to Tim Lacy’s questions and observations about the creator of EWTN, arguably the most powerful and lucrative religious media empire in the United States. I agree that Mother Angelica is part of the Culture Wars within the American Catholic Church. I write about her in that context in a recently completed (I think) book on Franciscan media.
But there is another angle on Mother Angelica that I find equally fascinating, under-studied, and also connected to her profile as a culture warrior. She had serious issues with money–in terms of debt, revenue, and investment. And at least early in the EWTN’s history, Mother Angelica received help from a relatively small group of benefactors and donors about whom I know little and who Raymond Arroyo (Mother Angelica’s most capable biographer to date) does not dig into too deeply. Mother Angelica operated within what she called a “theology of risk.” That idea is what I want to explore briefly below. Continue reading