I don’t mean to beat the Urrutigioty/Groeschel dead horse, but I thought commenter Brian Gallagher had a useful observation:
EWTN has a phenomenal batting average for finding these guys. I’m especially impressed by the damnatio memoriae efforts they take to scrub these men from their history after a scandal. You might think it’d dawn on them that something is awry but no doubt they’re chalking it up to Satan.
I don’t know about EWTN’s record with “awry” guys. I don’t watch. I don’t count. I’m sure they rely more on the orthodoxy of their celebrities than morality. Myself, I’d rather go with the son who said he wouldn’t work in the field, then changed his mind and did.
I also don’t know who their remaining radio and tv personalities blame or don’t blame. But I have heard and read many people blame a certain supernatural imp for any number of bad things. Count me a skeptic on the blame game.
One significant point I’d like to address is this. I have no problem with a mature figure like Pope Francis talking about hell, the devil, and such. That has a context within the Spiritual Exercises and Jesuit training that I find is sound.
One of my early spiritual directors, when I pressed him on the matter almost thirty years ago, told me–urged me, really–not to focus on the dark side. Don’t name you-know-who, don’t emphasize it, don’t explore it, don’t talk about it. In my and his context, I think I understood where he was coming from.
It is important for people, especially Christian believers to own up to their personal faults and responsibilities. “The devil made me do it!” just doesn’t cut it. As Liam pointed out recently, the half-@$%ed apologies don’t impress or convince. (My term, not his.)
Good things go bad, and the first place I look is my own tendency to screw things up. Or I might lament the tendency in another. When bad things happen to good people (like EWTN–who I believe are basically good) it’s just human sin. Not perfect GLB’s and GLG’s getting tripped up by some supernatural despot.
And if we are observers, I think we feel badly for the failings of people who have messed up. We don’t give them a pass and blame someone else.
Side point: the scrubbing of tv line-ups and web sites of embarrassing stuff. Check the Psalmist’s view:
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
God does the cleansing and washing. I don’t think we human beings have bleach quite strong enough.