Colombian institution Padre Chucho, formerly of RCN’s morning show Muy Buenas Dias, told newspaper El Tiempo why his part on the show is no longer on air and responded to accusations from the rumor mill.
The RCN press office claims that Padre Chucho’s programs “Cura para el alma” (Cure for the soul) and “Mass” are temporarily off the air due to the restructuring of programming.
Padre Chucho, who had been on RCN for nine years delivering a daily spiritual message on Muy Buenas Dias, said however, “They did not take me off the air but the Catholic Church did. While restructuring programming, they decided to remove all spaces for the church.”
The well known and well loved (by some) Padre Chucho, real name Jesus Hernan Orjuela, invited people with problems – such as drug addicts – onto his show and foundations and organizations throughout the country would offer their help to those individuals.
According to La Nacion, channel sources claim that the priest was protected and his career advanced by the daughter of the station owner, Maria Emma Ardila, who was his friend in a high place, causing jealousy among the other members of staff. It was said that he didn’t tolerate failure and on his orders seven people were fired.
In response to rumors that he had a girlfriend and children he said, “I don’t have, neither am I hiding, any pregnant woman. I would not get married because I am committed to the Church. I have been robbed of my dignity but no one can take away the peace and joy that Christ gives me.”
It is also rumored that as he traveled throughout Colombia celebrating masses, he earned millions from each appearance, and that he required 12 bodyguards, two armored cars and an ambulance. He did not respond to this claim but he did rebut the criticism he received for wearing designer clothes and going around in fancy cars.
“When one talks about a priest it seems they think of poverty. Are the only ones who have the right to dress well those who have contracts or steal from people? My family taught me well and to have good manners.”
“I have been threatened and insulted by telephone. The tricky thing is that people judge and do not understand what I do there. I embody love and hate, I am the embodiment of all the rage against the church.”
However fans should not despair for Padre Chucho may be back on the air very soon. “I was invited to international channels such as Telemundo and MTV to present talk shows but I declined because I do not want to leave Colombia. For the moment I am recording Mass on Sundays on Cristovision Channel. I have another offer that I am in the process of completing with a national channel but for now I can’t give anything away.”
“The representation of the Church in the media is very important, so I will keep working, I will not stop.”
With regards to the spiritual air time given to Moises Angulo on the show Muy Buenas Dias, Chucho said, “If a man is doing well and has a good message to give to the people, we should not get in the way. God does his work through people.”