Lino Rulli is a walking contradiction

By Dan @

On the Thursday (May 22) Catholic Guy Show, Lino Rulli took another opportunity to remind us, yet again, that he was featured as the cover story in the May issue of the St. Anthony Messenger.

The article, entitled, “Lino Rulli: One 'Sirius' Catholic,” noted one quality that’s made Lino both a success and a source of controversy in Catholic media: he’s a faithful, “orthodox” Catholic, but also a regular guy who’s not afraid to expose and even highlight his often immature sense of humor and personality defects.

The St. Anthony Messenger article notes, “One thing to know about Lino: He’s something of a contradiction. The bookshelf in his New York City apartment, he says, boasts titles ranging from the biography of John Paul II to the memoirs of Peter Jennings to Howard Stern’s Private Parts.”

On Thursday's show, Lino mentioned a recent email he received from a “Catholic Taliban” -- an nickname he’s given to Catholics who he feels are self-righteous and humorless -- which blasted Lino for naming Stern as one of his major influences. Lino was quick to point out, as he often has on his radio show, that he enjoys Howard Stern, but definitely doesn’t agree with everything he does.

After predicting that no one would take him up on his offer, Lino invited listeners to call in and admit whether or not they consider themselves to be “a contradiction.” To his surprise, many callers, including our beloved Father Jim Chern, were willing to dial up the show and admit to Lino and an international Catholic radio audience that they often lived a contradictory Christian life.

Choosing God or Howard Stern?

Right or wrong, Lino isn’t, by far, the only devout Christian who enjoys Stern. Many of us fans probably would never have found The Catholic Channel if we hadn’t purchased Sirius after Stern’s departure from terrestrial radio.

In 2004, a New York Times article reported that Stern listeners were more likely than non-listeners to refer to themselves as Born-Again Christians. The article, which cited a media and politics poll conducted by the New Democrat Network, also said that Stern devotees were three times more likely to attend church services daily.

“The pollsters did not ask why they went to church after listening to Mr. Stern, so there is no way to calculate how many were performing an act of contrition,” the article says.

Back in the summer of 2005, long before The Catholic Channel went on the air and way before I ever heard of anyone named “Lino,” I was finally sold on buying a Sirius subscription after learning that the satellite radio service -- which, at the time, was trailing in sales behind rival XM -- would offer both a Howard Stern channel and EWTN. The idea of being able to flip back and forth from Howard Stern and Catholic Answers Live or Mother Angelica Live Classics seemed pretty cool to me.

So I guess you can file my name under the “contradiction” category.

As for Lino's response to St. Anthony Messenger labeling him a “contradiction,” Lino admitted on Thursday‘s show, “[It] turns out that means I’m a Christian trying to live out my life right but failing. Thank you.”

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5 Responses to Lino Rulli is a walking contradiction

  1. Great article Dan. This December will be five years since I got Sirius, and I wish The Catholic Channel was around in 2003: I might not have wallowed in protestantism for so long!

  2. I don't know if you have to be a guy to comment here or not, but this strikes a chord.

    I used to listen to Stern and never once wondered if it threatened my ability to be a Catholic. A good, Catholic spiritual advisor of mine once told me that the only person would come between me and my faith is me.

    So what's everybody so worried about? Howard Stern is just a man. He'd have to be something completely different to break my faith.

    Great post.


  3. Molly, we gladly accept comments from the ladies. In fact, we encourage it: it's nice to have some common sense injected into our rambling words!

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