FOR OUR DEAR Catholic brethren around the world, today is St. John Marie Vianney Sunday. His feast day is tomorrow, August 4, and he is the patron saint of priests, the Holy Mother Church’s precious products of continuing the mission of Christ across the ends of the earth for almost two millennia.
Coinciding today’s commemoration and salutation to the Mother Church’s ministers, two television networks made a surprise move.
Evangelical-owned GMA 7 aired the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI) “The Family TV Mass” early this morning at 6:00 a.m. directly competing ABS-CBN’s The Healing Eucharist and TV5’s Misa Nazareno. The Mass, according to the communications website, is also broadcasted on GMA Pinoy TV International but this is the second Catholic religious programming aired on the main domestic channel in four years since Ecclesia in Asia: Ang Misa by Msgr. Sabino Vengco.
Comparing head-to-head, first, “Family TV Mass” and “The Healing Eucharist” were (sometimes) presided and operated by the same religious order, the Society of Divine Word (Societas Verbi Divini). Second, “Family TV Mass” and “Misa Nazareno” do not broadcast their liturgy live unlike ABS-CBN’s edition.
This move is in response of criticism of GMA 7’s implied religious bias (except for the news department), vacant programming hours after shelving unsuccessful or ignominious programs and losing their two precious Superbook series (classic and 3D) to ABS-CBN three weeks ago.
With FTVM moved to Channel 7, what program did IBC 13 replaced after 11 years on a first program of a typical Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m.? The long-overdue government network decided to put back “Shalom” by Fr. Archie C. Guiriba, OFM. When the program pulled out to Light Network, normally, during the three important days of Holy Week, the Paschal Triduum, they visited back their old home and aired a live 3-day Lenten retreat of the show.
Fr. Guiriba donned as a Catholic priest with cassock, alb and chasuble but liturgical critics and Catholic defenders found one big problem: his preaching and catechism deviates from the bounds of sacerdotal standards the Church currently sets. His worship service is modeled after a Born Again church with loud music, that is with drum sets and electric guitars, and sermon disguised a la Holy Mass. Because of this, Catholic apologetics questioned both his loyalty to the Mother Church and his discipline based on his religious order he represents, Order of the Friars Minor (Ordo Fratrum Minorum) or shortly, Franciscans.
But despite of losing a Catholic program doesn’t mean IBC is turning anti-Catholic for as long as Bro. Mike Velarde’s El Shaddai and Bro. Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma TV stays.
Despite of these changes of religious program on the Lord’s Day, for Christian believers, let us remember to settle one day of a week for God, to ask atonement of our shortcomings, to thank Him for the blessings and to ask for a better ways ahead.
Have the blessed Sunday!
[Photos courtesy of: saintjohnvianney.org and Sportsmanila.net]
[Screengrab by Author-Admin, Program courtesy of SVD-MCFI]