Fr. Robert Barron

October 30, 2014
John Henry Newman at the Synod on the Family
By Bishop-elect 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 Bishop-elect 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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October 06, 2014
Revisiting the Argument from Motion
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

One of the unintended but happy consequences of the emergence of the new atheism is a renewed interest in the classical arguments for God’s existence. Eager to defend the faith that is so vigorously attacked today, Catholic apologists and evangelists have been recovering these rational demonstrations of the truth of God; and the atheists, just as eager to defend their position, have entered into the fray. In the process, these ancient arguments, long thought by many to be obsolete, have...

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September 23, 2014
The Parable of the Talents
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

The attendance at our daily Mundelein Seminary on Labor Day weekend was sparse. Many of the students had gone home while others were on a special tour of Chicago churches. The celebrant and preacher for the Sunday Mass was Fr. Robert Schoenstene, our veteran Old Testament professor. Fr. Schoenstene offered the best interpretation I’ve ever heard of a particularly puzzling parable of the Lord, and I wanted to make sure his reading got a wider audience.

The parable in question is the...

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September 03, 2014
'The Giver' and the fading memory of Christianity
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel The Giver has garnered a very wide audience over the past two decades, since it has become a standard text in middle schools and high schools across the English-speaking world. With the enormous success of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games films, Hollywood has been busy adapting books written for the young adult audience. The most recent example is the movie version of The Giver, which was produced by Jeff Bridges and which stars Bridges and Meryl...

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August 25, 2014
Why I love my invisible friend
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

One of the favorite taunts of the New Atheists is that religious people believe in an “invisible friend.” They are implying, of course, that religion is little more than a pathetic exercise in wishful thinking, a reversion to childish patterns of projection and self-protection. It is well past time, they say, for believers to grow up, leave their cherished fantasies behind, and face the real world. In offering this characterization, the New Atheists are showing themselves to be...

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July 01, 2014
'The Fault in Our Stars' and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars has proven to be wildly popular among young adults in the English speaking world, and the recently released film adaptation of the book has garnered both impressive reviews and a massive audience. A one-time divinity school student and Christian minister, Green is not reluctant to explore the “big” questions, though he doesn’t claim to provide anything like definitive answers. In this, he both reflects and helps to shape the inchoate,...

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June 16, 2014
Bill Maher and not understanding either faith or the Bible
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

I don’t know what possesses me to watch “Real Time With Bill Maher,” for Maher is, without a doubt, the most annoying anti-religionist on the scene today.  Though his show is purportedly about politics, it almost invariably includes some attack on religion, especially Christianity.  Even during a recent interview with former President Jimmy Carter, whom Maher very much admires, the host managed to get in a sharp attack on Carter’s faith.  Just last week, his program included a...

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May 20, 2014
The danger of soft atheism
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

A very instructive exchange between Gary Gutting, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame, and Philip Kitcher, a philosophy professor at Columbia, just appeared in the pages of The New York Times.  Kitcher describes himself as a proponent of “soft atheism,” which is to say an atheism distinct from the polemical variety espoused by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.  Unlike his harsher colleagues, Kitcher is willing to admit that religion can play an ethically useful role in a...

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April 22, 2014
What Easter means
By Bishop-elect Robert Barron

In first century Judaism, there were many views concerning what happened to people after they died.  Following a very venerable tradition, some said that death was the end, that the dead simply returned to the dust of the earth from which they came.  Others maintained that the righteous dead would rise at the close of the age.  Still others thought that the souls of the just went to live with God after the demise of their bodies.  There were even some who believed in a kind of...

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