Catholic Channel surfing: John Paul & Howard Stern?

Lino Rulli.jpgAny satellite radio subscribers out there? I’m not–yet–but I’ve been on the Catholic Channel on Sirius Radio a couple of times, mainly with Fr. Dave Dwyer and the Busted Halo crew, who are probably more my speed than the channel’s lead personality (well, after Cardinal Egan–“And now, a word from our sponsor…”), the inimitable Lino Rulli. Actually, he may be the imitator, rather than inimitable–or a channeler. Rulli (in this NYT photo) is “The Catholic Guy,” sort of the church’s answer to Don Imus, if there is an answer to Don Imus. Or if we even know the question.
Rulli’s guiding lights, according to this New York Times profile, are David Letterman, John Paul II and “the only genius in radio,” Howard Stern.
Check it out, and a money quote (well, pocket change) from yours truly:


David Gibson, a Catholic writer whose book “The Coming Catholic Church” describes a newly powerful grass-roots pressure for reform in the aftermath of the priest sexual abuse scandal, said the archdiocesan foray into talk radio may reflect some official acknowledgment of the need for a new, more interactive relationship with believers.
“The church really has no choice,” he said. “The old Catholic world, where you were born and married in the church and stayed because you were part of a ‘Catholic world’ — that’s gone. The church has to find people and make them want to be Catholic.”

So can these two worlds coexist? John Paul and Howard Stern? Can they feed off each other? Or must they conflict?

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dustin (The Boston Celtics Fan)

posted July 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

To answer your question, it was The Catholic Channel on Sirius, specifically Lino Rulli’s show, that caused me to convert from being a baptist to Catholic. I’d say they’re doing a darn fine job.

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dustin (The Boston Celtics Fan)

posted July 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

To answer your question, it was The Catholic Channel on Sirius, specifically Lino Rulli’s show, that caused me to convert from being a baptist to Catholic. I’d say they’re doing a darn fine job.

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posted July 23, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I think you’ve got the story completely wrong. Then again, thats the advantage of a blog over actual journalism. :)
Lino definitely is not an imitator. No one has ever done entertainment in Catholic media. And comparing him to Don Imus is crazy. I’ve listened to Lino’s show enough to know he can’t stand Don Imus.
While Lino is my favorite, I like Father Dave’s show, as well. I love my Sirius radio (duh, that may be obvious by now) and the Catholic Channel has certainly got me interested in church again.
Just seemed really bizarre that your blog takes shots at Lino considering that the New York Times didn’t. But congrats on being quoted in an article in about him.

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David G

posted July 23, 2008 at 8:41 pm

You have a great story, Dustin, and glad the Catholic Channel drew you in. I imagine and hope there are many of you…But no need for you or Liz to get too defensive about Lino–I wasn’t taking any shots. (And if you do consider those “shots,” what do you call what you hear on Sirius?!) I was and am encouraging such entreprenurial instintcs by the church. But that Lino’s “shtick” (hope that doesn’t qualify as a shot) is of the same patter as Imus and Stern and others seems inarguable. Just as today’s comics owe so much to Lenny Bruce, it’s the way of the world.
Peace. David

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Catholic Chump

posted July 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

You have lino all wrong. I like Dustin was pull back into the catholic faith. I was a nonpracticing catholic and now I listen to almost 100% catholic channel.I have got over my fear of confession and mass thanks to this show. I think god gave all of us a sense of humor and maybe lino is not your cup of tea, but a lot of people like Dustin and myself have either found faith or converted because of lino. Over his comedy and sketchiness, lino has a lot of information, if you bother to listen to the whole program (over time you can see continuity within the show) you will learn a lot. Even if he shows the same patter as Imus and Stern, the point is he evangelizes and brings people to god and the catholic church.
God Bless,
Alex Vargas

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