Fr. Robert Barron

Just last week, Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which the depth of his Catholic faith was on pretty clear display. Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man—the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash—he told the interviewer how, through the ministrations of his mother, he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it: “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was ten; that was quite an explosion…It’s that I love the thing...

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August 13, 2015
Mother Nature is one unreliable lady
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Conservation International has sponsored a series of videos that have become YouTube sensations, garnering millions of views. They feature famous actors—Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Robert Redford, and others—voicing different aspects of the natural world, from the ocean, to the rain forest, to redwood trees. The most striking is the one that presents Mother Nature herself, given voice by Julia Roberts.

They all have more or less the same message, namely, that nature finally doesn’t...

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August 06, 2015
Why you need spiritual food
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Every third summer, the Catholic lectionary provides a series of readings for Sunday Mass from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. This is the magnificently crafted chapter in which the evangelist’s Eucharistic theology is most fully presented. It is a curiosity of John’s Gospel that the Last Supper scene includes no “institution narrative,” which is to say, the account of what Jesus did with the bread and cup the night before he died. But as many scholars have indicated, the...

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July 30, 2015
The death of God and the loss of human dignity
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

I am sure by now that many of you have seen the appalling hidden-camera videos of two Planned Parenthood physicians bantering cheerfully with interlocutors posing as prospective buyers of the body parts of aborted infants. While they slurp wine in elegant restaurants, the good doctors—both women—blandly talk about what price they would expect for providing valuable inner organs, and how the skillful abortionists of Planned Parenthood know just how to murder babies so as not to damage the...

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July 14, 2015
A prophetic Pope and the tradition of Catholic social teaching
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

In the wake of the publication of Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato Si’ and of the Pope’s recent speeches in Latin America, many supporters of the capitalist economy in the West might be forgiven for thinking that His Holiness has something against them. Again and again, Pope Francis excoriates an economy based on materialism and greed, and with prophetic urgency, he speaks out against a new colonialism that exploits the labor of those in poorer countries. With startling bluntness,...

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June 29, 2015
We've been here before: Marriage and the Room of Tears
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Just last week, I had the privilege of spending four hours in the Sistine Chapel with my Word on Fire team. Toward the end of our filming, the director of the Vatican Museums, who had accompanied us throughout the process, asked whether I wanted to see the “Room of Tears.” This is the little antechamber, just off of the Sistina, where the newly-elected Pope repairs in order to change into his white cassock. Understandably, tears begin to flow in that room, once the poor man realizes the...

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June 25, 2015
'Laudato Si' and Romano Guardini
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

In 1986, after serving in a variety of capacities in the Jesuit province of Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio commenced doctoral studies in Germany. The focus of his research was the great twentieth century theologian and cultural critic Romano Guardini, who had been a key influence on, among many others, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, and Joseph Ratzinger. As things turned out, Bergoglio never finished his doctoral degree (he probably started too late in life), but his immersion in the...

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June 09, 2015
Bruce Jenner, the 'shadow council' and St. Irenaeus
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Two news items from last week put me in mind of St. Irenaeus and the battle he waged, nineteen centuries ago, against the Gnostic heresy. The first was the emergence of Bruce Jenner as a “woman” named Caitlyn, and the second was a “shadow council” that took place in Rome and apparently called for the victory of a theology of love over John Paul II’s theology of the body.
 
I realize this requires a bit of unpacking. Let me begin with Irenaeus. Toward the end of the second century,...

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April 20, 2015
Thoughts on the Passing of Cardinal George
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Cardinal Francis George, who died last week at the age of 78, was obviously a man of enormous accomplishment and influence. He was a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a past president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archbishop of one of the largest and most complicated archdioceses in the world, and the intellectual leader of the American Church. A number of American bishops have told me that when Cardinal George spoke at the Bishops’ meetings, the entire room...

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March 20, 2015
Kenneth Branagh's Very Christian Cinderella
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella” is the most surprising Hollywood movie of the year so far. I say this because the director manages to tells the familiar fairy tale without irony, hyper-feminist sub-plots, Marxist insinuations, deconstructionist cynicism, or arch condescension. In so doing, he actually allows the spiritual, indeed specifically Christian, character of the tale to emerge. I realize that it probably strikes a contemporary audience as odd that Cinderella might be a...

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