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Fr. Robert Barron
August 22, 2012
The great both/and of Catholic social teaching
By Father Robert Barron

For many on the left, Paul Ryan is a menace, the very embodiment of cold, indifferent Republicanism, and for many on the right, he is a knight in shining armor, a God-fearing advocate of a principled conservatism.

Mitt Romney’s choice of Ryan as running mate has already triggered the worst kind of exaggerated hoo-hah on both sides of the political debate. What is most interesting, from my perspective, is that Ryan, a devout Catholic, has claimed the social doctrine of the Church as the...

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August 16, 2012
´The Dark Knight Rises´ and the Cinematic Christ
By Father Robert Barron

In one way or another, all religions deal with the problem of evil, both how to explain it and how to solve it.

Buddhism, for example, teaches that all life is suffering and that the only way out is through the extinction of egotistic desire, that “blowing out of the candle,” designated by the Sanskrit word nirvana. All of Buddhist practice, theory and doctrine are devoted to the attainment of this blissful state.

Manichaeism and Gnosticism—ancient theories still very much alive...

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August 01, 2012
Woody Allen, moralist, 'To Rome With Love'
By Father Robert Barron

Who would have thought that Woody Allen, who twenty years after separating from his longtime girlfriend to notoriously marry her adopted daughter, would emerge as a defender of what can only be called traditional morality? And yet, I find that conclusion unavoidable after viewing the writer-director’s most recent offering, “To Rome With Love.”  This film is the latest in a series of Woody Allen movies – “Match Point,” "Vicky, Christina, Barcelona,” “Midnight in Paris” –...

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July 17, 2012
Spider-Man, Iron Man, Superman, and the God-Man
By Father Robert Barron

This past decade has seen a plethora of movies dealing with superheroes: the “Batman” films, “The Green Lantern,” “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Thor,” etc.  But the most popular—at least judging by box office receipts—has been the Spider-Man franchise.  Since 2002, there have been four major movie adaptations of the Marvel Comics story of a kid who gets bitten by a spider, undergoes a stunning metamorphosis, and  then “catches thieves just like flies.”

What...

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July 09, 2012
The 'City Upon a Hill' and 'an almost chosen people'
By Father Robert Barron

Ross Douthat’s "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics" has certainly been the most talked about book on religion published in 2012. 

The New York Times op-ed columnist has discussed his work everywhere: CNN, The 700 Club, Andrew Sullivan’s “Daily Beast” video blog, and even “Real Time with Bill Maher.” 

His central thesis can be rather simply stated:  institutional religion is in disarray and decline in America, yet an overwhelming majority of Americans are...

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June 29, 2012
Yves Congar and the meaning of Vatican II
By Father Robert Barron

One of the most theologically fascinating and just plain entertaining books I’ve read in a long time is Yves Congar’s My Journal of the Council. Catholics of a certain age will recognize the name, but I’m afraid that most Catholics under the age of 50 might be entirely unaware of the massive contribution made by Congar, a Dominican priest and certainly one of the three or four most important Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. After a tumultuous intellectual career, during...

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June 20, 2012
Viva Cristo Rey!
By Father Robert Barron

The new feature film “For Greater Glory” tells the story of the Mexican Cristero war, which broke out in the 1920’s when the secularist government, under the leadership of President Plutarco Elias Calles, decided to enforce the strict anti-clerical laws embedded in the Mexican constitution of 1917. All religious ceremonies – Masses, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, etc. – were banned, bishops were forced to leave the country, and priests were forbidden to wear clerical garb in...

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Last week, two prominent Catholic women—Kathleen Sebelius in an address to the graduates of Georgetown University’s public policy school, and Maureen Dowd in a column published in the New York Times - delivered strong statements about the Church’s role in civil society.  Dowd's column was more or less a screed, while Sebelius’s address was relatively measured in tone.  Yet both were marked by some pretty fundamental misunderstandings, which have, sadly, become widespread.
 
Echoing...

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May 24, 2012
The new evangelization and seminaries
By Father Robert Barron

Just last week it was announced that I have been named the new Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary, my alma mater and one of the largest seminaries in the United States.  I believe that one reason Cardinal Francis George chose me for this position is that I’ve been working the past several years in the evangelization of the culture.  The last two popes have emphasized that seminaries should take the New Evangelization as their raison d’etre and organizing principle; therefore, I...

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April 25, 2012
How to solve the bully problem
By Father Robert Barron

It is very difficult indeed to watch the new documentary “Bully” without experiencing both an intense sadness and a feeling of helplessness.  The film opens with the heartbreaking ruminations of a father whose son committed suicide after being brutally bullied by his classmates. 

We hear a number of similar stories throughout the film, and we also are allowed to watch and listen as very real kids are pestered, belittled, mocked, and in some cases, physically assaulted; just because...

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