Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tony Snow, Requiescat In Pace

Like many Americans I am mourning the passing of Tony Snow, the journalist and White House spokesman who lost his battle with colon cancer on Saturday.

Tony and I had many friends in common and knew each other a bit. Years ago, before he joined Fox News, I met him in Washington and bumped into him occasionally on the road at functions and conferences. He was a class act and a passionate journalist. He was also a committed and practicing Catholic; though I hear little mention of it in the scant media remembrances.

Over the last few weeks another Sunday morning Washington institution, Tim Russert was saluted from all quarters for his civility and faith. Russert's Catholicism was highlighted in nearly every televised memorial. Not so with Tony Snow. And this is unfortunate.

Tony was not only a convert to Catholicism, but he publically stood with the Church on all those issues that separate the goats from the sheep. He was pro-life, an advocate for the less fortunate, and committed to the common good. Still, near as I can tell, no Cardinals came rushing forward to minister to his co-workers or are tripping over one another to celebrate his funeral Mass. As a friend observed recently, "When you do what you're supposed to do the praise comes in heaven."

According to Tony, his brush with colon cancer (which claimed his mother's life) deepened his faith and instigated a reappraisal of priorities. In 2007, during a commencement speech at Catholic University, Tony offered his thoughts on faith. He said:

"Don’t shrink from pondering God’s role in the universe or Christ’s. You see, it’s trendy to reject religious reflection as a grave offense against decency. That’s not only cowardly. That’s false. Faith and reason are knitted together in the human soul. So don’t leave home without either one... Think not only of what it means to love but what it means to be loved. I have a lot of experience with that. Since the news that I have cancer again, I have heard from thousands and thousands of people and I have been the subject of untold prayers... never underestimate the power of other people’s love and prayer. They have incredible power. It’s as if I’ve been carried on the shoulders of an entire army. And they had made me weightless. The soldiers in the army just wanted to do a nice thing for somebody. As I mentioned, a lot of people — everybody out here — wants to do that same thing.”

As Paul said 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' And once you realize that there is something greater than you out there, and then you have to decide, “Do I acknowledge it and do I act upon it?” You have to at some point surrender yourself. And there is nothing worthwhile in your life that will not at some point require an act of submission.”

Tony submitted himself to the Church, and later, in his struggle with cancer, to God's will. This later submission is difficult for us to accept, but it is perhaps Tony's last lesson for us. May we all follow his example and learn to accept God's Will with the same grace and consistency that he displayed in both public and private life. He will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace Tony.

Let me know what you think at

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Golden Sellout

First a confession: I love the Indiana Jones movies. I grew up on the franchise and as a kid owned a brown fedora and bullwhip. Now you know. Today, having seen the first three films on DVD, my sons have their own brown fedoras and a bullwhip. So when they heard that a new Indiana Jones film was being released, the boys begged to see it. I was only too happy to comply with their request.

Another dad and myself signed our kids out of school early and took them down to the local Regal Cinema to be there on the opening day of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” (Yes, we contributed to the $127 million dollar haul.) This was no routine trip to the Cineplex. This was a pilgrimage; a chance for the old guys to share their boyish excitement with the young-uns-- to show them what old fashioned summer movies were like. The boys wore their fedoras and we settled in the dark waiting for the excitement to begin.

It never did.

In fairness, the boys were mildly interested in a jungle jeep chase sequence. A swarm of killer ants that devoured a mean Commie also made them put aside the Skittles for a nanosecond. But aside from that, my sons were literally tipping over from boredom.

Indiana Jones is one of those iconic American characters that we need today. Cut from the cloth of John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart, Dr. Jones is an unapologetic male: a good guy who is sure of himself and his culture. He is both brash and educated—a solver of riddles who can pop bad guys in the mouth, outsmart the fascists, and still get the girl. But something was missing from this adventure. When it was over, it felt as if we hadn’t seen an Indiana Jones picture at all. National Treasure 2 was a better film.

Oh, Harrison Ford was there doing a fine job as an elder, more resigned Indy, but the old magic around him was absent. The first problem was the time period. 1957 is a far cry from the glamour and mystique of the 1930’s. And having an Indiana Jones movie begin in NEVADA with strains of Elvis’ “Hound Dog” in the background is probably not a good idea. And who’s choice was it to have Alvin and the Prairie Dogs show up in the opening scene?

In retrospect it was as if George Lucas (the producer who is credited with the absurd story) and director Stephen Spielberg were more interested in paying tribute to their hits of yesteryear than reviving one of America’s great movie franchises. Imagine random scenes from American Graffiti (which Lucas directed in 1973), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg’s 1977 film), and Jaws (Spielberg,1975) with Indiana Jones wandering about and you pretty much have a sense of this film. Despite the promise of a few scenes between Harrison Ford and Karen Allen (as Indy’s old love Marion Ravenwood), there is little humanity here for audiences to hold on to.

Yeah, Indiana Jones is still snapping his whip and throwing out cocky asides. He tips his hat to nuns and is obviously the Indy we know from better days; but lost in this ridiculous storyline, even die-hards will have trouble caring about him. Once the space ship takes off from the Aztec temple, it is all but impossible to watch. The character is so out of place in this milieu, Spielberg and Lucas may as well have ended the film with Indy, Marion, and their love child walking into Al’s Diner for a burger. Fonzie, Richie Cunningham, Laverne and Shirley could have been sharing milkshakes in a nearby booth just to complete the excitement. Heck, wait another 20 years and in the next installment, Indy and Marion can go on a senior’s Princess Cruise with Captain Stubing and special guest star, Carol Channing.

Whatever Indy was searching for (and after sitting through this graphic laden nightmare I still am not at all certain what that was) I don’t think he found it. Neither did we.

As I write this my sons are wearing their fedoras in the backyard, spinning adventures far more exciting than the muddled Indiana Jones disaster abusing screens everywhere. Save your money and watch the kids in the yard. They’re more believable, and unlike these filmmakers, they love Indiana Jones for more than the box office riches he can deliver.

Raymond Arroyo is the New York Times Bestelling Author of “Mother Angelica” and host of the EWTN Newsmagazine “The World Over Live.”

Friday, May 16, 2008


There have been lots of e-mails asking about attending one of The World Over Live broadcasts. For those of you traveling to Washington DC this summer and staying over on a Friday night, this is your chance. All you have to do is give us a weeks notice by dropping us an e-mail at In the subject line be sure to put the date that you will be joining us and the number of seats you would like us to reserve for you.

Seating is limited so contact us as soon as you can. We have some great guests scheduled for the summer months that I know you will enjoy in person. Looking forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Papal Visit Wrap

Honestly, I have something of a papal hangover. After intensely focusing on the papal travels this past week I am in a bit of a daze--day after day of live coverage will do that to you. As I recover, I thought I'd share a few interesting pieces that may have escaped your attention. There are two very insightful articles by Newsweek's Daniel Stone: "The Green Pope" and a good wrap up of the papal visit, "What the Pope Accomplished."

Also of note is Bill McGurn's piece from Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, "The Pope and the President." Bill is going to be my guest on the World Over this week - so be sure to join us.

We'll wrap the papal visit and provide some analysis. If you don't have EWTN, you can watch on line at

Come back and see us soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Some wonderful news to report: The World Over Live will soon be broadcasting from the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington DC each Friday night. The lights are finally in our new studio. You can certainly watch the show on EWTN live, but now, when you are next in DC, you can come experience the World Over in person.

Seating is limited, so to insure that we have a seat for you, drop us an e-mail at Tell us what Friday you would like to come, and how many people will be in your party. We'll send you a confirmation and see you in the studio. Get ready to see all that is "seen and unseen." Can't wait to seeyou all at our new broadcast home.

Thanks for dropping by.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

World Over Live Moves Studio to Washington DC

It has been a crazy Spring. I want to thank the many of you who continue to e-mail and all of my friends who have purchased "Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons" as Easter presents. Mother's teachings are always in season.

We are in the midst of a massive move. 'The World Over Live' is relocating to Washington DC. This week the set was moved up permanently from Birmingham to our new home at the John Paul II Cultural Center. It will give new life to the show and I think give us an opportunity to do some incredible things. I hope some of you will come be a part of our live studio audience and experience the program in person. More on what we're planning soon...

To break it in properly, the new studio will be our anchor location for the DC portion of Pope Benedict's visit from April 15-18th (in fact the Pope is actually coming to the building.) Then we will be off to New York for the second half of the visit. Father Richard Neuhaus and Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus will be joining me for what is sure to be an incredible event. Make sure to watch EWTN for complete coverage of the Papal visit, and keep it here for the latest backstage news.

Thanks for dropping in,