Fr. Robert Barron

June 29, 2015
We've been here before: Marriage and the Room of Tears
By Father 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 Father 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 Father 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 Father 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 Father 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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February 24, 2015
Stephen Fry, Job, and the Cross of Jesus
By Father Robert Barron

The British writer, actor, and comedian Stephen Fry is featured in a YouTube video which has gone viral: over 5 million views as of this moment. As you may know, Fry is, like his British counterparts Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, a fairly ferocious atheist, who has made a name for himself in recent years as a very public debunker of all things religious. In the video in question, he articulates precisely what he would say to God if, upon arriving at the pearly gates, he...

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December 02, 2014
Dietrich von Hildebrand and Our Relativistic Age
By Father Robert Barron

Postmodern relativism and deconstruction have produced, at the popular level, what I have termed the “Meh culture,” that is to say, a culture dominated by the “whatever” attitude, a bland, detached indifferentism to the good and the true.  How often have you heard someone say, “that’s perhaps true for you but not for me,” or “who are you to be imposing your values on me?” or in the immortal words of the Dude in “The Big Lebowski,” “well, that’s just like your...

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November 21, 2014
Revisiting the Argument from Desire
By Father Robert Barron

One of the classical demonstrations of God’s existence is the so-called argument from desire. It can be stated in a very succinct manner as follows. Every innate or natural desire corresponds to some objective state of affairs that fulfills it. Now we all have an innate or natural desire for ultimate fulfillment, ultimate joy, which nothing in this world can possibly satisfy. Therefore there must exist objectively a supernatural condition that grounds perfect fulfillment and happiness,...

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October 30, 2014
John Henry Newman at the Synod on the Family
By Father Robert Barron

The controversies surrounding the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family have often put me in mind of John Henry Cardinal Newman, the greatest Catholic churchman of the 19th century. Newman wrote eloquently on an extraordinary range of topics, including university education, the play between faith and reason, the nature of papal authority, and the subtle manner in which we come to assent in matters of religion. But the arguments around the Synod compel us to look at Newman’s work...

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October 14, 2014
Having patience for the sausage-making Synod
By Father Robert Barron

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake, the big one that hit after months of smaller tremors.” Certain  commentators on the right have been wringing their hands and bewailing a deep betrayal of the Church’s teaching. One even opined that this report is the “silliest document ever...

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