Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

The Incredible Shrinking Bishop Barron


I have never been more than an occasional viewer of Fr. Robert Barron’s Word on Fire chats. His recent televised interview with EWTN’s Catherine Szeltner put paid to whatever interest I had.

Newly elevated to an auxiliary bishop in the sprawling L.A. diocese, now-Bp. Barron was in Baltimore for his initial appearance among the USCCB. Ms. Szeltner was on hand to ask how Catholics should respond to the slaughter in Paris. “How should they react?” she wondered, as if Catholics were dependent on guidance in their attitude toward carnage.

This was hardly a spontaneous interview. Chairs had been set. The bishop had not been caught on the run; he was not speaking off the cuff. On the contrary, it is standard practice to establish before air time which questions will be asked. Ms. Szaltner was wide-eyed with anticipation for an answer that had already been rehearsed. Here was the fledgling bishop’s moment to affirm public solidarity with the mantra of love heralding the Year of Mercy. Which—the Vatican just announced—extends to Muslims.

Barron began with a self-reverential response that carried a hint of conceit for having been placed among the great and the good. Our new bishop has ascended above even just anger. The massacre aroused no outrage, not even a wince of distaste. Rather, his first words were on fire with  .  .  . nostalgia. He found the atrocity “especially poignant” because he had studied in Paris for three years.  And because he remembered some of the locations involved, the attacks were “moving and poignant.”

Not obscene, not demonic, foul or repellant. Poignant. It is a word appropriate for the death of a kitten. Applied to the murder and maiming of innocents, it is worse than unfitting. It is shameful.

He glided on to a serene tutorial on mercy, on the obligation to “respond to violence with love,” and “to fight hatred with love.” He enjoined Catholics to mercy and “a non-violent stance.” Listening, I realized why I have never been able to cotton to Word on Fire: Barron is smarmy. His genial TV persona has none of the alert, intellectual muscularity of Fulton Sheen whose lead he presumes to follow. This time on camera, he confused Paris in 2015 with Selma, Alabama in 1965.

Sanctimonious appeal to non-violence is typical of middle-brow respect for the strategy of King—learned from Gandhi—minus any grasp of its genius. There is nothing commensurate between the cultural situation of the American civil rights movement and the events in Paris. To try to impose the conditions of that movement onto Islamic jihad is astonishing in its obtuseness. Mercy is vacated of all meaning when it is used as an excuse for blindness to history, or for inaction in the face of present realities.

King adopted Gandhi’s strategy of non-violence because he understood the nature of the correspondence between American blacks and Indians under British rule. In their different ways and to different degrees, both peoples were subordinate. Their only tool against potentially crushing power was civil disobedience, the crucial tactic of non-violence. Without recourse to civil disobedience, non-violence is no more than passivity. Not only is the tactic impossible against Islamic terrorism, calls for non-violence invite further aggression.

Gandhi, trained as a lawyer in London, was intimate with the basic decency of British culture. His insistence on civil disobedience disarmed Britain only because the British were a people steeped in a Christian ethos, in a sense of fair play, and belief in human rights and the rule of law. As King knew, these animated the American soul as well. They do not apply to resurgent Islam.

Genocide was never the end game of either the British or the segregationist  forces in the United States. Genocide—mitigated only by conversion or the slavery of dhimmitude— is an objective of Islam. Barron misleads his audience with bankrupt, Vatican-stroking noises about nonviolence.

The limited applications of non-violence were obvious when, in 1938, Gandhi advised Europe’s Jews to practice nonviolent resistance against Nazi persecution. In some mystical way, this would supposedly result in Germany’s moral reformation. Nearly eighty years later, Bishop Barron offers the same futile rationale—in the name of Christ crucified—to Catholics.

Inversion of circumstances between Islam and the West is as bizarre as it is reckless. Non-violence is the resort of the weak against the strong. By inviting Catholics to adopt “a non-violent stance” against jihad, Barron insinuates assent to inferiority. It is a failure of will dressed in Christian idiom. Call it submission.

In practical terms, what does it mean to respond with love to genocidal intention? How is non-violence applicable to a contest of civilizations in which one side is committed to the annihilation of the other? Wherein lies the moral force of non-violence against a bloodlust cultivated for fourteen hundred years?

Gandhi’s notorious advice to Jews was tantamount to telling them to march quietly to the ovens. Whether satyagraha serves freedom or a final solution depends on the variables of situation. Bishop Barron’s inability to discern critical distinctions makes his ministry dangerous.

He remains a cheery, good-natured promoter. Sadly, what he promotes is dhimmitude.

Maureen Mullarkey is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She keeps a weblog at


Editor’s Note: Brandon Vogt, who serves as the Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, contacted us to say that “Bishop Barron was grabbed by the interviewer as he was walking through the room and invited to sit down for an interview. He had no advance notice, no idea what questions would be asked, and his answers were given on the fly, without preparation.”

Here’s the interview in question, which was not included in the original post. We’ll leave it to the viewers to decide if Bishop Barron’s lack of preparation affected his readiness to respond:

293 thoughts on “The Incredible Shrinking Bishop Barron”

  1. Thank you. Bishop Barren (of good Catholic sense) is indeed dangerous. The blindness of such clerics is breathtaking.

  2. Very well put! Thanks Maureen! Sooner or later we’re going to need another Lepanto. The piano dude on TV playing “Imagine” in Paris won’t cut it! And sadly, President Payback is determined to be either diabolical or obtuse (or both!) on taking out ISIS and our clergy aern’t up to fighting back. They could from at least from the pulpits, for pete’s sake! What are we all supposed to do? Sing “Kumbaya” or “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” Too bad for Hitler that Obama wasn’t in charge in the ’40’s. Kyrie Eleison Christe Eleison

  3. I tried to read Bishop Barron’s book about medieval cathedrals (“Heaven in Stone and Glass”) which had some good insights, and then he started talking about the “genius of John Lennon.” It was so forced and out of place. Whether or not it was diabolical or merely stupid, it ruined the book. Somebody needs to tell Bishop Barron that he’s not a hipster, will never be a hipster, and is making a fool of himself by trying to be cool with the world.

  4. Thank you. This article helps me with my preaching. After Paris, I spoke about the phrase “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” and that the sacrifice of these lives and of the homicide bombers themselves would not be pleasing to God, based on psalm 51. There is no room for human sacrifice in pleasing God. There is another phrase I used, ” A time will come when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.” By contrast, God is pleased with the rational and unbloody sacrifice of the the Eucharist. I also spoke about Mary, the perfect model for this sacrifice of humility, and how we could pray for the victims because if they weren’t in a state of grace when they were murdered, she can help, even now. Mary teaches Jesus what it means to be a man, and we must turn to her to teach young men today about being men of self sacrifice and how to use their male energy well and not violently.

  5. Nothing wrong with a Christian espousing love as a response to violence. If you don’t agree, you have a problem with Jesus, not Bishop Barron. (The cross? Remember?)

    • I’m starting to wonder if you’re a professional troll, AJ. Whatever someone posts, you seem to find a way to contradict it. Usually by missing the obvious point in a way that looks downright intentional.

        • Not just soft, but incredibly cowardly. The non violent stance has been used so long, that reality has gone through the empty spaces of too many heads. Even Gandhi, that famed non violent man was known to beat his wife or wives on occasion…how does that match up with non violence? One thing is for sure folks and that is Idealism is prohibited by reality…think on that for a few minutes. I think to many take it for granted that everyone on the planet is at least quasi normal, but fact remains that about 1/3 of mankind is sociopathic or psychopathic and Christ’s words were never meant to cure mental illness or outright demonic actions. I don’t recall Christ ever saying that we can turn demons into good guys by just being ‘nice’ to them.

      • THAT’S TROLLING??? I guess there is nothing more annoying than to be accused of not being Christian enough, but how is it inflammatory? I don’t get it.

        Was Jesus a ‘troll’? Annoying everybody with his holier-than-thou hyperbole about non-violence and love for the poor and making sacrifices that seemed way to over the top to be realistic in this fallen world?

        If that’s trolling I’ve been doing it wrong.

        • Yes, Craig. Wilfully missing the point on most things we publish is trolling. Christ most certainly was not a pacifist.

          And if you honestly think that Christian men are called to stand idly by while their wives and children are raped and murdered, please state that for the record here so we can be clear.

          Popes and saints alike fought Islam across the span of centuries. In fact, it was only the armies of Christendom that managed to keep the threat at bay.

          You can cower. We will fight.

          • If this is fighting, sign me up! I just don’t think Christians should get incensed when somebody points out that the tenants of their faith seem rather strange. One might say ‘counter-intuitive’. St. Peter (pray for us) was all about fighting for Christ. And all it earned him was rebuke from the one he was fighting for.

            I’m not trying to be inflammatory. Just trying to understand how to pray for my enemies without desiring their destruction.

          • Peter was rebuked *in that instance*, because Christ was about to do what He was born to do.

            Remember his rebuke of Peter?

            ” From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again. And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.” (Mt. 16:21-23)

            So then perhaps it makes more sense when Christ said,

            “Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (Jn. 18:11)

            But remember also these verses:

            “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything? But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end.” (Lk. 22:35-37)

            Learn something about Catholic history. Understand the reason for the Crusades and the reconquista. We have a positive moral duty not to stand by and allow the innocent to be slaughtered. Mindless pacifism isn’t Christian, it’s a Satanic aping of Christianity.

          • Excellent. It’s this sort of serious and informed reflection on our duty as Christians that I come to OnePeterFive for in the first place. Thank you.

            But why stop at Luke 22:28? Next verse:

            The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.

            Any serious exegesis might sincerely ask if our Lord is really happy that his disciples have two swords? He seems a little fed up at this point.

            Although I can’t disagree with Maureen Mullarkey (is it pronounced ‘malarky’? Ironic!) we should keep in mind that while the heroes of the old testament tend to be warriors, after the new testament, they tend to be martyrs. Bishop Barron’s response may be disappointing, but ‘kill them all’ might not be a viable Christian alternative either.

          • You exaggerate. “Kill them all” is no one’s battle cry, but “kill the aggressors” most certainly is. I prefer the approach to life of a Bishop Phil Hannan, someone who actually knew something about combat, to that of a Weakland or a Mahoney, men who not only did not but who were not willing to learn about it.

          • “Them” can be interpreted to mean terrorists, not Muslims. That is unless you have a hard time making a distinction. I’ll admit that I do sometimes.

          • If that’s what you mean by “them,” viz. the terrorists, then I can assure you that the ones you don’t kill will most certainly make sure they kill you. These guys are not cowards and they are not playing pattycakes, something they have been trying every which way and Tuesday to tell those in the West who desperately want to think otherwise.

          • God wasn’t too happy with the Israelites when they tried to ally with the Assyrians. Or when they decided to call on other nations for help. He always considered it a lack of faith to resort to relying on earthly powers. Next thing you know, they’re in exile because He refused to let help them for their lack of faith. It’s called discipline.

          • Then you should just stay home with the women. Europe would have been steamrolled centuries ago by these barbarians and their diabolical religion If it weren’t for the Crusaders, undergirded by their faith.

          • Ohhh Kay. So when are you shipping out there tough guy? And exactly who is going to be leading the charge? Not the Catholic Church. Not nowadays. I’ve already done my tour of duty for the government and I don’t think it earned me any brownie points with the Lord. So what are you planning to do?

          • Last time I checked, the Mohammedans weren’t in the OT. And if Christians had used this kind of reasoning in the late 1930s, you’d be writing to me in German and your life would indeed be very “disciplined.”

          • When Obama just a couple days ago told our Air Force flying over isis targets to NOT take out 75% of the targets, do you really think BHO wants to be rid of them? Ya gotta be kidding. More and more it is looking like he is the head of the isil islime scene. And further do you actually think any petition the citizenry would send him now will be heeded? Not when he has removed ninety of our top generals…not when he recently said that he will not bring Christians from the ME to the US, only Moes..and not, when the village idiot, Shrillary tells us that we should have ’empathy’ for isis, and not for those who heads were cut off, or hands removed, or the little girls made sex slaves for slimeball. You need proof of the demonic..just look at the not so white house and the insanity.

          • Let’s not forget that in the OT “kill them all” was a frequent injunction from on high. The Israelites more often got into trouble for NOT “killing them all”!

          • But interesting that they have swords at all?! They are fully armed. I presume our Lord was aware of this and this was not the first time they carried deadly weapons in their three years of discipleship with God.

            David was a man after God’s own heart, and he put a stone between the eyes of God’s chosen people’s mortal enemy. He was a warrior from youth to death. Good enough for me.

            Regarding the latter-days martyrs, you’re forgetting all the warrior Saints who died in defense of God’s people. It is a long illustrious line.

            I can’t imagine that God smiles at injustice and murder and strong able-bodied Christians who do nothing in response.

          • I couldn’t agree more. We should just remember how many times the Israelites rushed into battle and were slaughtered because they relied on there own strength and not the help of God.

          • Which leads to phrases like “righteous anger”, and, “Be angry but sin not”.

            We must see the world with the eyes of Christ, not our own self-centered eyes.

            Everything we do in life must be preceded by a consuming love of God, first. everything must start there. Nothing matters; nothing will succeed if we don’t start there.

            Defending the innocent; the weak, widows and orphans will come second nature to anyone who has “put on Christ”.

          • Original? You mean the Greek? Are Catholics so dense about the Bible that they don’t realize that there are about a zillion translations? That was the New International Version. If you don’t like it, nit-pick your own.

            Thanks for the book recommendation.

          • You guys can’t even agree over which Bible to use and you think you can muster up the unity to defeat ISIS. Gudlukwiddat! Send me a postcard from the front.

          • Clearly, the only good Bible is the original that Christ himself typed in heaven and tossed down into king james’ lap. Am I near the mark? KJV is preferred by 8 out of 10 of the most vocal, professional Catholic haters.

          • I think you are confusing the KJV with the Koran. The latter, so the story goes, was “tossed down” from heaven all nicely redacted and punctuated. And whenever Mohammed spied another lithesome young lass, or decided some one of his political opponents needed to be dispatched, why, an amendment was quick-as-you’d-want cooked up in heaven and also “tossed down”! What’s more, the Koran is rated top-notch by nine out of ten of the most wanton, bloodthirsty cutthroats in all history!

          • Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for the pope’s decision on this ongoing fraud. Bold and decisive action concerning it is past due, but our usually voluble pontiff is silent.

          • What a sophomoric retort. You practically deny the divinely-inspired nature of Scripture when you say such things. And no, you are not near the mark. You have missed the mark by a wide margin and shown yourself less than able to effectively argue a point that has great import in how we know and understand Scripture.

          • I don’t tend to point out sarcasm. But I suspect that the Holy Spirit and St Jerome probably constitute as much of a typewriter as was involved.

            However, there are a large number of people in the US who believe that KJV is the ONLY valid translation. Of course it’s not. I translate (NOT greek, hebrew or Aramaic) but i am well aware of the art in even translation of something as mundane as a contract. Kjv’s original version had the books luther removed — but even so, there are a few deliberate skews such as avoiding translating to words pejorative to monarchy (like “tyrant”.)

          • Why do non-Catholics even want to be here? I don’t hang around on Protestant sites getting in the way of their arguments. Of course, that’s because I don’t think their arguments matter.

          • Please. The Church uses the NAB, far more crap than the NIV. Your Catholic high horse does your otherwise good argument no favors.

          • Even the translators of the NIV admitted they had a modern evangelical perpsective. Even modern evangelicals have criticized it.

          • “Kill them all’ would also be impossible seeing as there are a couple billion of them. I prefer to recall what the son of Hamas says in his youtubes. He defected from Hamas years ago much to the displeasure of his father who now wants his son’s head. You cannot argue with the son when he says that ANYONE who believes in that religion will go daffy in time..not if, but when. As he sees it, he doesn’t give Islam 10 years to last as a belief system. As he sees that mental health dictates that people forfeit a belief system based on insanity or a real death cult in action.

          • The whole “buy a sword” line gets trotted out every time Christians want to justify violence for a particular cause. The verses you quote, though, show that it has nothing to do with violence, just or unjust. His command has only to do with the prophecy you included in quotations:

            “For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end.”

            Christ told his apostles to buy swords so that he could be “counted among the wicked” – ie. the leader of a band of thieves.

          • Mindless pacifism isn’t Christian, it’s a Satanic aping of Christianity.

            Brilliantly said! Now, if you can just mail that to the USCCB….

          • >>I’m not trying to be inflammatory. Just trying to understand how to pray for my enemies without desiring their destruction.<<

            One need not desire the destruction of an enemy that one must nonetheless destroy.

            To paraphrase Churchill regarding his overtly kind letter to the Japanese formally communicating the state of war between those two nations: "It costs nothing to be polite when you must kill a man."

          • ‘standing by while innocents are being slaughtered’. What comes to mind of recent times was seeing the pope make warm and fuzzy with his moe foot washing/kissing scene. Funny how little he has said about that very muhammed scene of moes murdering Christians left and right in the ME, BUT he sure does love the muslims, no? Something really out of sync with that pic!

          • I’m not sure that politeness is integral at all. I think Jesus demonstrated some first-rate lack of politeness. White painted tombs easily come to mind.

          • More: there is a stark difference between saving a soul and “saving a life.” The positive choice of inaction as defense of the defenseless does no harm to the body of the aggressor, true, but it does something to the aggressor’s soul.

          • Peter was attempting to fight AT THE WRONG TIME. Our Lord had to die on the cross. However, that does not mean that there are never RIGHT TIMES to fight.

          • Check out the old Catholic Encyclopedia entry on “hate”. It is an essay that shocks our post modern sensibility.

          • Steve, if Christ was not a pacifist (and I agree that he wasn’t except in his own case because of the unique nature of his ministry), then the whole Catholic Worker movement (let alone Dorothy Day) has no credibility as a Christian, let alone a Catholic, movement.

          • Also the pacifists are only pacifistic when other suffer, are terrorized,tortured, raped, slaughtered while they are safe themselves. Pacifists have the luxury to be pacifists since they live in their comfortable cosy and safe homes and whose own safety is
            protected by non-pacifists who do the dirty work to keep the society safe on their behalf. Pacifists quit being pacifists at the moment when it’s about saving their own necks:There are times when pacifism simply won’t work.

    • There’s no reason we can’t love the beasts as we vaporize them.

      In any event, I’m far from convinced that Jesus would require our individual crosses to include passivity while innocents are slaughtered.

      Love does not dictate pacifism in the face of marauding evil.

      Or, would you have that state leaders abandon their responsibility to protect the citizens of their states?

      • “There’s no reason we can’t love the beasts as we vaporize them.”

        I rather like that one Nordog. I hope you don’t mind if I use it.

        And you are correct. The Catholic Church, the part of it here on earth, i.e. the Church Militant, is not and never will be pacifist, despite the daffodils currently skipping about the heirarchy.

    • In my mind I’m seeing a Christian watch as Mohammedan thugs decapitate members of his family. He doesn’t have exactly a smile on his face, not exactly, but what one can read there is clearly love. Yes, love and deep, deep concern for the state of the sword-wielders’ souls. Hard not to admire his magnanimity in the face of such cruelty and bloodshed. The mental picture I have is marred only by the look on his children’s faces as they wonder why their dad isn’t man enough to defend them and their mother.

      • But what can he do to defend them any more than St. Felicitas could for her children? He acknowledges the possibility of just war, but he certainly can’t fight it anymore than Felicitas did. A response of love is infinitely more powerful than one of hatred, whether it takes the form of defense or acceptance of one’s fate.

        • Congratulations, Skyler; yours is the first post to miss entirely the meaning of what I wrote, viz. that at times one has the duty, not merely the option, to defend his family and himself, that there are circumstances where “kumbaya-talk” just doesn’t cut the mustard. There is no question of “hatred” in the matter at all, a point lost on too many Catholics today. They are misled, often as not by their own pastors, into espousing an ignoble pacifism and thinking it’s authentic Church teaching. As to exactly what one can do to defend his people, the answer depends on the details of the situation at hand. I could give you suggestions and examples if you wish, but I suspect you’re smart enough to come up with them yourself.

      • …then we should be strong and risk death to convert ISIS. THAT would be Christlike, not refusing to preach the truth of Catholic Faith and morals while pretending to be like Jesus as we die while professing zero.

          • The real Francis did do that.

            Sadly, much of the world has fallen for the recast of St. Francis as a hippie who was more like Snow White singing We Are The World. Kind of like St. Nicholas being a roly poly elf instead of someone with a prison record who punched heretics in the face.

    • Sadly too many feel like A J Mcdonald that Christ was this effete that only stood around passively telling others to be passive. The Christ I know is a man and men do all they can to protect their own….methinks that AJ is confused about who and what Christ stood for. If a muslim had taken a cleaver to Mary’s neck do you actually feel Christ would have stood by and said, “God loves you???” I think a real look at whom Christ is/was should seriously be considered AJ.

    • Love doesn’t sit by as the blood of the innocent is violently shed by maniacal terrorists. Love rages against the evil and takes decisive actions of violent force to meet the threat in an all out effort to preserve the life of the innocent. Because if love cannot protect the innocent and actively pursue the means to secure true peace – then it is indistinguishable from the evil that threatens to consume it.

      And you’re an idiot.

    • typical soft girly-man misunderstanding of the gospel. Jesus said to turn the other cheek in response to a slap in the face, not somebody trying to slit you and your children’s throats. Jesus addressed someone trying to steal your coat, not your life. Jesus addressed someone forcing you to walk a mile, not forcing you to convert to the devil’s religion under threat of death. Just when you thought a higher grade of biblical ignorance couldn’t be reached…..

  6. Is a husband to practice nonviolent resistance while his wife is being assaulted? Perhaps we parents should practice non-authoritative parenting too? This mercy is pure weakness.

  7. It seems the Novus Ordo Church is stacked from top to bottom with these Neville Chamberlains, doesn’t it? Well, the surrender to the world began at VII, and is really picking up speed under Francis. But as the old Dean Martin joke goes, “picking up speed” is what things do when they head down hill.

  8. I have been listening to Fr (now Bishop) Barron for several years. I have struggled tremendously with some of his presentation, particularly his reference to biblical accounts as “stories” and an over-emphasis of the symbolism contained in the accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings. I became ever more concerned when I came to understand that Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton were two of his heroes. Dubious characters, to say the least. Now, I hear this latest account…..Like Fr. Barron, I think it is fair to say that most sincere Christians see the path of non-violence as the high road and more preferable. However, there are certain situations and times when we must fight. This is literally a matter of self-defense. Are we to assume that when an intruder invades the home, the husband/father is to just beg the intruder to not harm his family? It is utter nonsense. We take the words of Christ and water them down so much so as to become warm pablum, without any sweetness or saltiness. Bland nothingness and as a result, Christians en masse do not provide sufficient, efficient or sincere witness to the world. We are very scattered and certainly not unified. How many of us – to whom much has been given – are actually doing anything with it? I think it is fair to say that most of us are burying “our talents” – our faith. There are exceptions, of course and much of the good and sacrifice that is being done is performed in secret, as our Lord commands. Yet, there are times when we must stand and act for the edification of others and the salvation of our souls for what good is faith without works? Faith requires courage. How many of we Catholics are living courageously the Will of God? How many of us are even willing to do that? Most don’t even go to Mass because the football is on. When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith? One of the reasons Islam is growing is because of the dedication it demands and the passion it inspires. People are wired for worship and to do great things for God. These people have been captured by a false god and are waging war upon the rest. They, in the name of their god, are waging war on the world. In the name of the god of culture, the French have gone back to sipping wine and nibbling cheese. In the name of the god of progressiveness, the US continues to ignore the situation and persecute Christianity. And we can continue on and on. We, who say that Jesus is Lord, what are we going to do?

  9. Thanks for keeping it real! I did enjoy Bishop Barron’s “Catholicism” but have been disappointed to see him kiss the hem of Francis whom he calls “the bomb.” This papacy is fraught with problems due to the scrambled thinking of this pope. It is more than irritating to see a well-formed Catholic intellectual like Barron roll over like a puppy for this pope. I hope he is not going to be one of the many weak American bishops who kowtow to Francis’s modernist whims.

    • ….one must go back to see what and who formed Bishop Barron. Is he not the fellow who believes Hell could be empty? That doesn’t speak to a solid, Catholic formation to me, but the intellectual embrace of novel speculation.

    • That trait, admiration of the Church’s destructor wannbe, by itself, is a very bad sign. Worse yet if it is someone who pays attention and ought to understand what he is doing.

    • I stopped listening to ‘Bishop’ Barron after he made the comment that there was almost no one in hell. It was very disappointing to realize that he was one of the ‘everyone goes to heaven’ crowd of prelates that has permeated the Church. That was the turning point for me, sadly.

  10. There is nothing written here by all you posters that amounts to a hill of beans. The good bishop is clearly bright and knowledgable about the faith. Perhaps you should read the great philosophers of history so that could understand what he says. So many people–too much bitching–and not enough thinking.

      • And, before Bill reads the great philosophers, it would help if he read his own sentences before hitting the “post” button.

    • It is precisely because people have read great philosophers – and the Fathers of the Church, who were great philosophers – that they can discern that the good bishop is not it.

  11. “Barron insinuates assent to inferiority. It is a failure of will dressed in Christian idiom. Call it submission.”

    Read Michel Hollebecque’s book, Submission. Male academics get seduced by the promise of tenure and all the coeds they can want if they will sign up with Islam. And they do. Women, on the other hand, politely disappear

    • We can never agree to or succumb to our own suicide vis a vis
      another’s hands. LIberals take this approach, and sadly if the fit
      hits the shan the libs will be the first to fall..perhaps by both the
      islimes as well as non libs in America.

  12. Bishop Barron is about Bishop Barron. He shamelessly promotes himself while claiming to love God. What on earth could possibly be more despicable?

  13. Excellent article! But here’s an alternative explanation: when chatting up liberal blondes in hotel lobbies, talking about Gandhi and Lennon is par for the course.

  14. Ms. Mullarkey:

    Battle of Tours 732 Ad

    I enjoyed your article. Thank you.

    I am frightened by the good Bishop’s lack of resolve in the face of Muslim aggression. When Charles Martel stopped the Muslims at Tours it was one of the very few really significant Christian victories since the the start of the Muslin conquest @ 630 AD. The difference at Tours, as opposed to many other Christian defeats, was the unity and determination of the Christians.

    Who will follow an uncertain trumpet? (1 Corinthians 14:8)

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  15. Bishop Barron subscribes to the belief that Christ did not know he was the Messiah until he learned it later, a heresy condemned by the Church.

  16. A lot of people seem to be explaining the Paris attacks in the context of a Islam Vs Christianity polemic. Can someone explain how terror attacks in an avowedly secular country, against secular targets in which innocent Christians, Muslims and atheists died alongside each other, fits into this theory?

    May France turn back to the Faith, may the innocents slaughtered on the streets of Paris and in all other terror attacks get to enter your eternal kingdom O Lord and may all terrorists be halted or even better repent and kill no more,

    • Mr. Graham:

      You posted in part: “A lot of people seem to be explaining the Paris attacks in the context of a Islam Vs Christianity polemic.”

      I am unaware of anyone placing this tragedy into a Muslim vs Christian context. The targets were in an upscale, progressive neighborhood.

      The murderers were however all Muslims, murdering for Allah. Nothing new. This sort of thing has been going on for 1400-years.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

    • This is easy enough to answer if you read ISIS’ own statement about the attacks:

      “In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah, a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris. This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him), and His allies. They did so in spite of His enemies. Thus, they were truthful with Allah — we consider them so — and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland.

      And so eight brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France. These targets included the Stade de France stadium during a soccer match — between the teams of Germany and France, both of which are crusader nations — attended by the imbecile of France (Francois Hollande). The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous attacks on other targets in the tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth districts, and elsewhere. Paris was thereby shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets. The result of the attacks was the deaths of no less than two hundred crusaders and the wounding of even more. All praise, grace, and favor belong to Allah.”

      (Taken from: )

      Something that people are struggling to understand is the long memory of Islam. They fight their battles on historically significant dates — often dates on which they were defeated in the past by Christian armies — like September 11th, which marked the eve of the great battle of Vienna in 1683.

      Some have posited that November 13th, the day of the Paris attacks, has its own significance, since on that day in 1918, Allied troops took possession of Constantinople, seat of the last Caliph of the Ottoman Empire. It was the beginning of the end of the last caliphate. They are now attempting to establish a new one.

      Whether or not Western culture is debased and un-Christian, the people of the West are the descendants and inheritors of Christendom. And the Muslims want their revenge.

  17. The Bishop Barron’s of the world will get you killed in the name of false mercy and phony ecumenism. Just what we need another effeminate minded Bishop. Where are the warriors in the Church Hierarchy? In the Dioceses? In the Parishes? Where have all the men gone? Taylor Marshall had a great post regarding what St Thomas Aquinas would say on the Muslim/Immigration Issue. You can just imagine what he would have said on the Paris Terrorist Attacks.

    • …and he negates all of it by bloviating the nonsense of Hans Urs Von Balthasar that we all have a reasonable expectation of being saved…ie universal salvation. Total modernist nonsense. I believe numerous Saints, Popes and Church Doctrine says something about accepting either 100% or it’s nada.

      • A non-negligible proportion of Jesus’ words were spoken on Hell. I strongly suspect that if that many words were spent on say, unicorns, Christianity would be very different. While the dearth of Unicorn-related scripture does not mean that unicorns are irrelevant or non existent, on the other side, if they were mentioned as often as, say, ghenna, then on some level, we would have to assume that their existence is relevant to Christ’s mission.

        They are not. But the good bishop is saying that hell is exactly as meaningful are unicorns. His position seems unsupportable.

        • For the record…In the NT, Christ mentioned “Hell” 90X vs 27X for “Heaven”. It’s either very real or He was just kidding and playing mind games with us.

  18. Excellent article Maureen. Bishop Barron, echoing the ersatz mercy of Pope Francis, calls us to suicide or slavery in the face Muslim religious genocide has destroyed whatever credibility he had. Such thinking is evil or insane. What the Catholic Church should be doing at this most solemn and frightening moment is to reassert her centuries long condemnation of radical Islam and call on the armies of the civilized world to defeat it.

      • A horse is non-violence. A cloud is non-violence. An apple is non-violence. In short everything other than violence is non-violence.

        Which pretty much negates it, that is “non-violence”, as useful for understanding anything.

        Had Ed said, “Not much into pacifism are you, Maureen?” That would have been different. He’d have accused the authoress of something solid upon which actual distinctions can be made. However, that is not what happened.

        If one claims to want breakfast but will not use the means to attain the stated end of the claim, which is to say eating, then others are reasonably lead to doubt the truth of the claim to want breakfast.

        If one claims to want dialogue but refuses to employ the means to attaining that end, which is to say the proper application of language, then others are reasonably lead to doubt the truth of the claim to want dialogue, no?

      • Especially good question when the context is being faced with violence. For example, the state department issued a general travel restriction, today, for all Americans, effective until FEBRUARY.

      • Interesting question. To answer, let’s consider the definition of violence as per Catholic moral theology. That definition of violence is: “the unjust use of force”. The operative word here is “unjust”. All violence involves the use of force. But not all force is violence. There is force that is just, e.g. the defense of innocents. Bishop Barron seems to think that self-defense (or defense of other innocents) is violence. It isn’t.

  19. If there is no hell, or no one in hell, then there is no judgment. If there is not judgment, then there is no sin to judge. If there is no sin to judge, then Christ’s suffering on the cross to redeem us was a wasted effort. No hell, no judgment, no sin, no need for salvation, no need for Christ. I’m okay, you’re okay. So let’s just get on with it!

    • They see only Infinite Mercy but sort of leave aside Perfect Justice. Even the reflected glow of the sight of the Trinity on Moses’ face was unbearable to people living with sin. Angelic encounters are also typically described as difficult to bear, particularly with those angels like Gabriel who worship before the throne. Look even to Isiah 6, and the hot coal. So the implication is that being in the presence of God, stained with sin, is unbearable. Also coming to mind is Jesus parable where the king casts out the man who is poorly dressed at the wedding feast. There are so many ways to refute universal salvation (or justification. I mean going to Heaven) — narrow road and wide path for another example — it is a staggeringly blind position to claim universal salvation as even desirable. It is certainly not scriptural.

    • That’s why Barron says that Francis is “the bomb.” Either Francis validates his theology or he’s being a good careerist by mouthing what Francis wants to hear.

    • Just curious if Susan prays the Rosary and the Fatima prayer at the end. If you do, why do you pray this: “Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy”?

      • It is one thing to hope that all will be saved, as God desires, its another to believe and promote that all will be saved, which is a defined heresy. One of the joys of heaven is to observe the dispensation of God’s justice to those unrepentant souls in Hell.

        • Reasonable hope…that phrase is uttered more times than I could count watching Fr. Baron in his talk about this subject. He says we have a reasonable hope, not an absolute certainty that all will be saved and that God desires it.

          So, what exactly is wrong with the statements by Fr. Baron? To quote what you wrote, “It is one thing to hope that all will be saved, as God desires it”

          • Saint Paul says in 1 Cor 6:9-10: Know you
            not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God

            God’s Mercy is not a free pass to Heaven , as Francis and Barron seem to want, without the accompanying repentance. It is a sin to imply those in mortal sin will go to Heaven because it opposes Scripture. It is appropriate to hope that all will convert, it is false to imply that all souls will be saved an Hell is empty- which was a heresy denied at the Council of Constantinople.

          • Pope Francis has encouraged those in adultery to receive Communion, so he has failed to bring those people to repentance and compounded their mortal sin by encouraging them to receive Communion in that state. According to St Paul, they have brought judgement upon themselves. These are false shepherds my friend and you would be advised compare their statements with the teaching of the Church over the centuries, lest they lead you to Hell also.

          • To me “we may reasonably hope that all will be saved” suggests a high probability that all will be saved, whereas in fact, the argument seems to be “despite the historical understanding and despite a simple reading of the Bible, one can come up with an argument that all will be saved that is at least not logically impossible”. It’s a dangerous statement. It’s reasonable to hope that my daughter will be a president. It’s probable that she won’t, and if I base my life on that assumption, I’m a fool.

      • Thank you, Patrick. I came across this vitriolic piece by Ms. Mullarkey while searching for something to help inspire and guide my daughter, who seems to have embraced nonviolence and compassion as a calling, and I want to help foster this in her in a good and holy way. Why are people blasting our Bishop Barron, who is truly a gift to the Church? I certainly understand anger in the face of such horrendous human rights abuses, but to ask him for his response, and then criticize and blast him like this, calling him “the Incredible Shrinking Bishop Barron”? There are many and varied correct Christian responses to such people and to such acts. Christ calls and equips each of us, and we each need to respond to His grace acting within us. One cannot say that to promote a peaceful, prayerful, merciful response is wrong, and one cannot say that to respond by taking up arms is necessarily wrong all the time either, in the face of such atrocious and spreading violence. Can we not make some effort to live in peace, at least with each other, as Christians? To scroll down this page and see all the criticisms of Bishop Barron is so disheartening. His words in this interview echoed to me what Saint Maximilian Kolbe taught when he was in the camp at Auschwitz, before freely giving his life so that just one other could live – to fight evil with good. This, he counseled, was the only way to stop evil. And St. Paul said, “While there is time, let us do good.” Let us do the good that the Lord calls us to do, each of us, and stop spending so much time scrutinizing what our good brothers and sisters are doing. Bishop Barron is not your enemy, Ms. Mullarkey.

        • If this kind of milque-toast response is the best our church can do, then our church is entirely failing in it’s responsibilities. I believe there are many people who will not comprehend the reality that Muslims will kill them if given the chance, until they are standing in front of them. For our church “leaders” to refuse to acknowledge this reality, is a shocking display of weakness in the face of that responsibility. Forget hurt feelings. This is survival dear. You have a daughter you care about. Do you not wish to see her grow up in a safe environment? The reality of violence is not a reality show. Personally, I do not believe Jesus intended to tell us that in the face of marauding crazies, we should toss flower petals.
          We may have to fight this with one hand tied behind our back. Personally, I am disgusted and sickened by this kind of weakness. We desperately need a strong pope and strong leaders, and we find nothing but weak men ignoring the reality that Christians have been killed, are being killed, and will be killed. And they just don’t care.

        • I’d like to point out that, when people dislike women, it’s this sort of Hands-Across-America All-You-Need-Is-Love crap that they dislike.

        • I agree with you Jen…This article is very misleading. I watched the whole interview and he did not only talk about love, justice, mercy et al but DID mention “just war” where appropriate/needed. The Catholic church cannot go to war, but Catholics can join their countries armies to defend.

  20. Is it a true statement that the sons of Adam are also known as the sons of perdition? Are not all humans sons of Adam? Is it not also true that to be called a son of perdition means one is a rebel against God? Therefore all men born of women, save one, are rebels against God. No man, save one, can lay claim to innocence.

    Since the central condition of mankind is the fact of his participation in a war against God, the only solution is for himself and on behalf do those under his authority is to attempt to make peace with God. God, in His infinite mercy and condescension has provided the forum in which a man may make a formal renunciation of his misguided participation in the war against God, surrender his ill gotten gains, and take the King’s peace.

    The holy altars of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church are the anvils upon which the our cold and iron-hard hearts, warmed by the fire of Divine Love, may be forged into an object of lasting peace with God.

    The first step, however, is to renounce our claim to innocence.

      • If you want, please accept my invitation to flesh out your allusion a little for me. I am having trouble seeing the point of if. I know what it means in the overall catechism, just not in relation to my original post.

        Thank you in advance.

  21. Pray for our bishops. To paraphrase LBJ, “they’re the only ones we’ve got.”

    Abp. Cupich might be right – we’re being punished (in his case, for 19th century anti-Catholicism or something) – the punishment? Terrorists as refugees (but dialogue will triumph!)

    I agree with the archbishop halfway: we are being punished. the punishment? Bishops like him.

  22. If this is true, it’s disastrous. What Bishop Barron is advocating is nonperformance of God’s promise (Exodus 17:16) and commandment (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) to blot out all remembrance of the name of Amalek under heaven.

    He’s advocating the overthrow of Christ the King.

  23. Bishop Barron, while always emphasizing non-violence, has never repudiated, the need for violence as a last resort. He upholds the just war theory, so to charge his thinking dangerous, seems a bit much.

    • Mr. JG:

      Innocents are being slaughtered all over the world by Muslims – again. Between @ 630 AD and 712 AD half of Christendom fell to Islam by fire and sword. After 712 AD again and again complete disaster was only avoided by Popes and Bishops rallying the faithful to fight the infidels.

      And Bishop Baron, faced with a double threat from both the baby killers and Islam, does nothing to defend innocent life.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

    • Well … what about saying that Hell is an option never used? You might as well go all out. Pass sola fides, go straight all the way to sola nihil. I’d argue that that’s satanic on its face — but at the very least, it’s not Christian.

  24. Watch them climb that ladder.
    Now that Wuerl is set to retire who could possibly take his place in the cast of our “get to the top” hierarchy, and CYA cartel bowing to the cartel currently in place.

  25. Bishop Barron and Fr. Martin are the new voices of Catholicism. If you are to the ring to the you will be labeled Fundamentalist. They have the hierarchy for the foreseeable future. Priests, not laymen, control the Church. Quite obviously.

  26. Jesus Christ said:

    MATTHEW 7:13 Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. 14How narrow is the gate,
    and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!

    Fr Barron says in IS
    HELL CROWDED OR EMPTY? A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE by Bishop Robert Barron March 30, 2011

    “My own conviction is that Balthasar has this more or less
    right. Catholic doctrine is that Hell exists, but yet the Church has never
    claimed to know if any human being is actually in Hell. When the Church says
    that Hell exists, it means that the definitive rejection of God’s love is a
    real possibility. “Hell” or “Gehenna” are spatial metaphors for the lonely and
    sad condition of having definitively refused the offer of the divine life. But
    is there anyone in this state of being? We don’t know for sure. We are in fact
    permitted to hope and to pray that all people will finally surrender to the
    alluring beauty of God’s grace.”

    This seems to oppose what the Church declared at The Council of Constantinople II, Canon 9 which states :

    If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons
    and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at some time,
    that is to say, there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of
    impious men, let him be anathema.” [Denzinger 211]

    The Bible says:

    Isaiah 5:14 For this reason, Hell has expanded its soul,
    and has opened its mouth without any limits. And their strong ones, and their
    people, and their exalted and glorious ones will descend into it

    St Therese says in Letter
    94, a letter from Therese of the Child Jesus to her sister Celine.

    “…Celine during the short moments that remain to us, let us
    not lose our time…let us save souls…souls are being lost like flakes of snow,
    and Jesus weeps, …”

    again Scripture says of the wicked and unrepentant sinner:

    Psalm 48:15 They have been placed in Hell like sheep. Death
    will feed on them. And the just will have dominion over them in the morning.
    And their help will grow old in Hell for their glory.

    Psalm 54:16 Let death come upon them, and let them descend
    alive into Hellfire. For there is wickedness in their dwellings, in their

    Sirach 21:11 The way of sinners is paved and level, and at
    their end is hell and darkness and punishments.

    Saint Paul says in 1 Cor 6:9-10 Know you
    not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither
    fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10Nor the effeminate, nor liers
    with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor
    extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

    Fr Barron’s statement opposed Scripture,
    Tradition and the Magisterium

    Barron says his opinion is we may reasonably hope and pray that all human persons will be
    saved. Praying in support of a defined heresy, and promoting the same is itself sinful and materially heretical.

    To the best of my knowledge he still holds this belief in True Modernist Style so why would anyone listen to him on any other issue?

  27. “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust… UNLESS IT’S ISIS, THEN ALL BETS BETS OFF!”

  28. It is interesting that you call upon history and you miss the most obvious of all, who is Christ Himself and His crucifixion. Was his life taken from Him or did He willingly give it? To whom did he give it? To a people steeped into a morally-righteous, human-rights based ideology? Or to the blood-thirst, power-seeking Romans? Was he not handed over by people who claimed to be the people of God yet were more concerned with tradition and culture and political control? You may dismiss Christ’s example to non-violence because it was God Himself in His mission to save humanity… But what do you say about what Jesus said to Peter after he cut the soldier’s ear? Forward a few years… what do you say about Paul? Did he not give his life freely, and handed himself over to the Romans? I am not saying we should all walk into the gas chambers and the ovens in order to be good Christians… Paul did not do this until he finished his ministry and mission, so did Peter. They were warriors, just not the political warrior the Jews sought… Just as Jesus was not the political, power-seeking king the jews hoped for. Move forward a few hundred years… really study the story of St Rita of Cascia and see how she established peace back in Cascia. Did she do it politically, or through war? Or was it by peaceful resistance towards a people that, though traditionally called Catholic, did not operate, nor truly lived as such, but rather lived centred in their political and financial interests ONLY. Move forwards a few mote years… Mother Theresa… Should I say more? One that is given to arouse anger and judgement thinking that is a way to be a true Christian cannot understand true mercy or the significance of turning the other cheek. Without mercy, one cannot have holy zealousness that can move the heart into seeking, not revenge, not vendetta, but true justice. It is easy to judge some one trying to calm a people that may give into frustration, fear and sentiments of anger that can turn voraciously agitated and violent, paying an evil with an equal coin. It is easy to pinpoint them and call them culturally unfit to deal with the way the world runs, or the proper political stances… the Jews sure made that mistake with Christ!

    • Truly obtuse. You, who sit comfortably on a sofa somewhere in the United States or at least a western land, are basically asking Christians who suffer immensely in infidel and pagan lands to “just take it.” You are quite adept at quoting Scripture, but your knowledge of history, particularly history as it pertains to Islam, seems lacking. If, as you seem to suggest (except for one small line about “not all Christians” laying down their lives) Christians in general should be willing to die without resistance, you will soon find yourself (or your children) being forced to convert or die. Our western leaders, for their own ends, are encouraging the death of Christianity by urging Christians to just lay down and die at the hands of Islam. This is suicide, both individually and culturally. And it is terribly sinful.

  29. I’ve been thinking about this post for a couple of days. I returned to the Church with the benefit of a 1970’s “CCD” knowledge of it. I am effectively self-catechized. The then Father Barron filled in some blanks. He was useful! So were Mothers Angelica and Theresa. So was Sheen. Hahn. Groeschel. Maybe another hundred names belong here when you add Polycarp and Thomas and even savages like Aristotle. And I happen to really like Origen.

    The other day I had the radio on. One of those mentioned was very earnestly offering a rosary meditation and quoted Jesus saying something like “whatever you do to the poor you do to me.” (Emphasis mine.)

    Maybe that’s tenable — but it sounds a bit Revelation 22:18 to my ear.

    The point is this: empty hell seems categorically untenable. Just Matthew 7:13 seems to anihillate the bishop’s position. But I’m certain that Hans Urs Van had some great explanation about why that’s wrong.

    But … the good bishop still helped me along. I read scripture a good deal — not enough — i think it starts getting good around the fifth way through.

    At the point where listening to Fr. Barron was most helpful I knew just about nothing. He thinks though, and is interesting that way from time to time. Even when you can say: “here’s why that’s wrong.” Goodness, who doesn’t make mistakes?

    Wasn’t it St. Jerome (right?) who said that ignorance of scripture is ignorance if Christ? How would I recognize Origen’s mistakes? Or the Good Bishop’s? Because I read scripture like I mean it and as much good Catholic stuff, fathers particularly, as i can take – I’m struggling at the moment with homily #3 of Chrysostom’s 100 homilies on Matthew (seems like a hundred). Because I keep going until it hurts and then I go a little longer.

    I haven’t listened to Barron in years. I do think that the Bishop has fallen into heresy. And that’s very bad. Particularly now. Particularly Francis.

    Yet I have some awful ideas myself. I have a track record of being REALLY wrong on stuff. Ask my wife.

    Sure. Some of what he says is not from God — guess where that comes from? Yet I can think of exactly one teacher who makes no mistakes. People repeat what they hear. We’re not that bright but our enemies are.

    If one were to listen to only modernists, or to listen not enough — that is a choice. Don’t do that. Know your faith… there’s another thought: A quote from Augustine that I can not find again: it’s not the rather pertinent to the day one about not being attracted to the Church because of its bishops — how true is that today?! But im thinking of an Augustine quote that’s related or adjacent– about the salvific odds faced by bishops (he calls the odds grim) … we do tend to repeat things … with disordered passions — and a few wrong thoughts. (Another quote: “God has put very obvious limits on our intelligence but none whatsoever on our stupidity.” — someone connected to Ike during ww2.)

    Barron is wrong in this. He’s not as good as Origen maybe, but he’s not worthless either. Yet, in the end, I can’t condemn his work entirely. But he’s still wrong on this. And I wish that more people were saying the opposite about Hell.

        • Not so fast. I think your main error here is to compare the paltry fare of Bishop Barron with Origen. Not only that but the Church has spoken clearly about the errors of Origen. We have the Church’s judgment, so we can be clear about his banquet and what we should avoid. Not so with Bishop Barron.

  30. Are you serious?! With comments like these who needs friends? What ever happened to the Just War (CCC 2307-17 “…attacks against, and mistreatment of, non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners; genocide, whether of a people, nation or ethnic minorities; indiscriminate destruction
    of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants…”)? Sorry Bishop I can’t buy into your ideology. Justice must be preserved and people’s lives protected at all costs.

  31. Just FYI, the speculation in your third paragraph is utterly wrong. In fact, I’m shocked the editors allowed it to be published. It’s nothing more than wild conjecture meant to paint Bishop Barron’s response as cold and calculated.

    In reality, I know with certainty that the interview was spontaneous. Bishop Barron was grabbed by the interviewer as he was walking through the room and invited to sit down for an interview. He had no advance notice, no idea what questions would be asked, and his answers were given on the fly, without preparation.

    Thus your claim that his “answers had already been rehearsed” is simply unfounded and meant only to serve your later polemics, which are exaggerated and lack any basic sense of respect or goodwill. The fact that you’re so flippant about basic facts betrays your agenda.

    You’re interested in character assassination more than truth. It’s shameful.

    • I can’t speak for Miss Mullarkey, Brandon, but I can speak as “the editors.” In the interest of fairness, you might want to start with, “Full Disclosure: I’m the Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.”

      If what you say about the interview is true, Miss Mullarkey can be accused of speculation based on insufficient evidence. Still, this isn’t journalism, it’s commentary. Mistakes in speculation are sometimes made.

      Her subsequent arguments don’t lose merit because of that paragraph though. It was an ancillary point, meant to bolster the idea that Bishop Barron actually knew what he was saying.

      Unless you’re saying he didn’t really know what he was saying because he was put on the spot?

      Nobody is all good or all bad. Bp. Barron has obviously done some good work in his ministry, but he also tends to be really squishy at certain moments when firmness is very muich needed. Beyond that, he has some theologically dangerous ideas, like those presented in this interview, and his full-throated embrace of a sort of not-fully-committed universalism.

      Since this was a public interview offered by a public persona, it’s subject to public critique. There’s no obligation to agree.

      • Hey, Steve! I didn’t know you were an editor here.

        “Still, this isn’t journalism, it’s commentary. Mistakes in speculation are sometimes made.”

        Of course. But when someone tries to paint a picture of a Catholic bishop who arranges an interview to “promote dhimmitude”, and that picture is shown to be based on ungrounded speculation, a good editor would add some sort of clarification or apology.

        I’m flabbergasted that you’d publish such speculation, but even more that you’d be fine with “mistakes in speculation.” Most papers and online news sites A) wouldn’t post speculation, or B) would at least identify it as such. You not only published it, without note, but seem surprisingly flippant about the speculation being wrong.

        “Her subsequent arguments don’t lose merit because of that paragraph though.”

        I don’t agree. Maureen’s conclusion that Bishop Barron “promotes dhimmitude” depends on her belief that Bishop Barron offered a prepared, calculated response to the ISIS attacks. But that’s not what happened. He simply offered some initial impressions he felt after seeing the attacks.

        Look, we’ve all said things we wish we could have said more clearly, and speaking as someone who works for a bishop who is under intense scrutiny, I know how difficult it is to express your thoughts clearly in response to spontaneous questioning.

        Given that this interview was unplanned, a better move on your end would have been to first reach out to Bishop Barron or his assistants for clarification instead of jumping right in to character assassination mode.

        Yet as the person in charge of Bishop Barron’s media requests, I can confirm that never once did you or anyone from this site reach out for comment or clarification.

        Not only does this violate the basic standards of journalistic integrity, it displays a sad lack of goodwill. Instead of giving a bishop of the Church the benefit of the doubt and asking, “Is this really what you meant or did your answer lack the necessary nuance?”, you just published this speculative hit piece.

        “It was an ancillary point, meant to bolster the idea that Bishop Barron actually knew what he was saying.”

        I don’t think it was ancillary, for the reasons given above. There’s a world of difference between being caught off guard for a spontaneous interview and delivering prepared answers to previously reviewed questions.

        “Unless you’re saying he didn’t really know what he was saying because he was put on the spot?”

        Again, he was the put on the spot for 30 seconds to answer the interviewer’s general question about responding to the Paris attacks. I’m sure he would have given a fuller and more nuanced response in an essay or video commentary, which will likely be forthcoming.

        “Since this was a public interview offered by a public persona, it’s subject to public critique. There’s no obligation to agree.”

        Of course not! I’m all for public critique. I welcome it, so long as it’s based on fact, delivered with goodwill, and driven by a genuine desire for truth rather than polemics. But this critique fails on all three criteria.

        One more point: I find it odd that Maureen did not link to the original YouTube video so readers could arrive at their own conclusions instead of relying on her own polemical spin. I’m surprised you, as the editor, overlooked this omission. Clearly she or someone on your team knew the video existed, since you used a screen-grab image, but you conveniently failed to link to it or embed it in the article.

        Here’s the full video, which is only 3 minutes long. Oddly, Maureen completely (intentionally?) left out the line where Bishop Barron said, “The Christian approach to violence [is] not to fight [violence] so much on it’s own terms, though I think at times that’s the only thing we can do, hence our Just War theory.”

        • In commenting on the Paris attacks he said: “That’s the Christian response to violence, not to fight it so much on it’s own terms, though I think at times that’s the only thing we can do, hence, our Just War theory; but the basic approach I think is to respond to violence with love, with non-violence, with mercy, and thereby don’t fight fire with fire, but fight fire with its opposite, fight hatred with love. Um, so that means prayer, that means a witness, that means the non-violent stance, both in your personal life and publically.”

          That’s just great. He pays lip service to Just War theory, but then, in responding to a concrete scenario (i.e. genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter; poignant, no?) effectively takes that card off the table, and exhorts every would-be victim to take a non-violent stance. That doesn’t leave much room for Just War theory. If not in the face of genocidal demoniacs, when?

          Sorry, whether prepped or not, the practical effect of his counsel is, at best, precisely dhimmitude. At worst, telling people in their private lives to respond to genocidal demoniacs with non-violence is, quite frankly, to lead sheep to the slaughter. I sincerely hope he will repudiate this in a future video.

          Regarding the preparation, you’re telling us that before filming their sit-down, the reporter never once said anything about what she was going to ask him? No, “Hey, got a sec? Wanted to get your thoughts on the Paris attacks for EWTN? (1) How do you know this, and (2) will you admit that’s highly unusual?

          • “That’s just great. He pays lip service to Just War theory, but then, in responding to a concrete scenario (i.e. genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter; poignant, no?) effectively takes that card off the table, and exhorts every would-be victim to take a non-violent stance. That doesn’t leave much room for Just War theory. If not in the face of genocidal demoniacs, when?”

            Hey, Brian! That’s one way to read his comments, but I don’t think it’s what he intended. The key to his response, which you neglected to quote, is “not to respond to violent aggressors [like ISIS] on their own terms.” Hence, Christians shouldn’t punitively bomb and massacre whole towns or countries, including those inhabited by innocent women and children, in an attempt to suppress ISIS. That’s where Just War theory comes into play.

            As Bishop Barron notes, sometime war is necessary, and war includes violence. But not on the same terms as our aggressors.

            If you’re genuinely interested in Bishop Barron’s views on this, I recommend you read his many writings on violence and Just War, which are accessible online (through articles) and in his books instead of relying exclusively on a spontaneous 30-second sound bite.

            “Sorry, whether prepped or not, the practical effect of his counsel is, at best, precisely dhimmitude.”

            I don’t see how you can go from “Christians should respond with love and, when necessary, employ Just War theory” to “I promote dhimmitude.” That’s quite a stretch and one that, I think, is completely unfounded.

            Yet even if you believed Bishop Barron encouraged dhimmitude, do you think a respectful author or editor would send a quick email to verify if that’s the case, or if perhaps his spontaneous, 30-second answer lacked the nuance necessary for a complete evaluation of his position?

            I’m just not aware of any respected paper or periodical that would take Bishop Barron’s comments and wildly conclude that he promotes “precisely dhimmitude.” That requires such a stretch as to tear his original comments.

          • Your insinuations about our lack of respectability are clear, Brandon. You don’t need to keep repeating them.

            This is an opinion piece based on a televised interview. The author is entitled to her opinions, and despite any error in her assumptions about the setup, argued her case well.

            An authentic understanding of Islam is one that recognizes it to be more than a religion – it is a political ideology that demands total submission of the world to its demonic system of beliefs. It cannot be reasoned with. Missionary efforts against Islam have been almost completely ineffectual. The Christian response to Islam is, and always has been, to fight it – from the Crusades to the Reconquista in Spain to the Battles of Lepanto and Tours to the Battle of Vienna.

            Islam views us not as fellow sojourners towards heaven, but as conquests who must convert or become dhimmi and pay the Jizya. This means that a response to Islamic aggression in the form of non-violence will lead to total defeat. There is no mercy in Islam. Their god is not a loving god.

            I encourage you to read our other articles on Islam. You might find them educational.


          • Sorry Steve but it was an impromptu interview…nothing pre-planned, nothing rehearsed as accused by Ms. Mullarkey…and I can say this because of the setting in which he was interviewed…a busy hall way…and as Brandon said, he was on the run. Hence Mullarkey’s accusations that it was pre-planned fails.

            And I am surprised that your stand would be to fight fire with fire…and obviously your stance is anti-Catholic.

          • When I give interviews, and I don’t have the questions beforehand, I don’t express things other than what I believe – I express my beliefs in a more unfiltered way, with less caution about how they might be perceived.

            Whether it was planned or not, there is not a single reason to believe that this is not precisely what the Bishop thinks. And as per Miss Mullarkey’s reasoning, that thinking is not only flawed, but will lead to a dangerous result.

            And if my stance is anti-Catholic, you must then impugn Pope Urban II — who called the first crusade, and St. Bernard of Clairveaux, who preached the second. You should also condemn as all these Saints, who said the same kinds of things about Islam:


          • What is presumptuous about assuming that a Bishop would have advanced notice of the questions being asked when he gives a sit-down interview on a global news station? That’s an industry standard; it would be strange to assume otherwise.

            Because there were people walking around in the background? Really?

          • This is polemical and false. Christians (and Jews) lived peacefully under Muslim rule for centuries before control over the Silk Road prompted the First Crusade. The Crusades may have, to varying degrees, have been justified, but that does not mean that Catholics are Divinely vindicated against all Islam. You are basing your conception of Islam entirely upon the extremists, which is unwarranted. Just because missionary efforts have been ineffectual does not mean that a religion is violent by necessity or must be met with force.

            It’s easy to paint the other, the foreign, the different, as a force only to be met with violence and revenge; it’s immensely more difficult to follow the command to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. Love requires knowledge, and so we must come to know and understand whom we perceive as our enemies, the bad and the good, even if we’d rather focus on the former.

            I’d suggest that you watch the movie “Of Gods and Men” if you haven’t already, and read this article, you might find it enlightening.


            It might not be easy for Islam to defeat the polemic and drag towards violence, but many have, and it is possible.

            God be with you.

          • This is polemical and false. Christians (and Jews) lived peacefully under Muslim rule for centuries before control over the Silk Road prompted the First Crusade.

            The First Crusade was prompted by the collapse of Byzantine power in Asia Minor following the defeat at Manizert to the Seljuk Turks – with the result that most quickly led to Turkish conquest of most of the peninsula with the usual slaughter, pillage and exodus of Christians from that most ancient of Christian lands. The Byzantines could not longer cope with the threat, and asked Urban for aid. This idea that it was prompted by economic motives over the silk trade is the sort of thing we get from economic deterministic schools of historiography. It was a defensive war, and it reasonably met classical Just War criteria, and has been held to be such by a long line of Just War thinkers – even if not every action taken in its course can be defended as moral.

            Secondly, it’s problematic to assert that Christians lived “peacefully” under Muslim rule in the pre-Crusade lands even apart from Asia Minor. Steady conversions, usually under pressure, turned most of them into Muslim majority lands by the 10th century, and the Eastern and Western martyrologies list no few martyrs to the violence that followed those conquests. Even the ones who were allowed to live and work or weren’t made into slaves certainly functioned as dhimmis, which feeds into Maureen’s and Steve’s point. Not something for a Christian to aspire to (even if we are sometimes called to sacrifice for the faith).

          • I oversimplified, and that was wrong. The silk road may have played a role, but there were many issues at play.

            That was the case in many countries, but not all those under muslim rule, in many, the Christians were able to maintain their Christian identity, to varying degrees. Again, it’s bad to oversimplify or overgeneralize, as I admit I did about the first crusade.

            What I said about loving and knowing our enemies still holds.

          • Christians and Jews can always live peacefully under Muslim rule….as long as they accept dhimmitude. And if they don’t, naturally, they can always opt for the peace of the grave. Please spare us the silly pseudo-psychological talk about “the other, the foreign, the different, etc……” It’s patronizing at best.

          • “It cannot be reasoned with. Missionary efforts against Islam have been almost completely ineffectual. The Christian response to Islam is, and always has been, to fight it”

            Which totally ignores the huge amounts of Muslims currently converting to Christianity

            “In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. ” Stunned, the interviewer Maher Abdallah interrupted. “Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?” Al Qataani repeated his assertion. “Every year,” the cleric confirmed, adding, “a tragedy has happened.”
            -Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, Live interview on al Jazeera Network, “Islamic Law and Life” program, Dec. 2001

            Further links showing the current phenomenon





          • Bravo Steve, Johnny and Brian. As a brand new Catholic who learned the Truth of The Faith through Traditional Catholics such as yourselves, I would probably have remained a Protestant (it would have been a whole lot easier considering my divorce/remarriage situation). Mr. Vogt….your defense of Bishop Barron’s remarks and your responses were painful for me to even read. Happy Eucharistia!

          • Argued her case well? It’s one thing for Mullarky to ignore the
            substance of Bishop Barron’s answer and to ignore his acknowledgement
            that we can respond with force to such violence within Just War theory.
            She’s dishonest. And she’s uncharitable down to the smallest detail
            such as calling his personal reaction to seeing violence in a place
            where he has been as “a self-reverential response that carried a hint of
            conceit for having been placed among the great and the good.” But for
            you as an editor to then defend such tripe. . . . Did you watch the
            video before posting her article? Have you watched it since? You owe
            Bishop Barron and your readers and Brandon Vogt an apology. Barring
            that, your “lack of respectability” is a foregone conclusion. If you
            want to “educate” your readers about Islam, you ought to be able to do
            so without twisting anyone’s words. But what fool would trust you as a
            teacher knowing how everything you present will be cherry-picked?
            Bishop Barron has spoken out powerfully against Muslim violence and
            Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East and lamented the
            lack of media coverage of these crimes. It just doesn’t fit your
            polemics to acknowledge this. So, to be clear, I’m not insinuating
            anything: You and Mullarky have no integrity.

          • I’ve watched the videos twice. Just like his responses to questions on universalism, these are unacceptable. I’m not interested in your approval, but I’m sorry you lack the ability to see this for what it is.

            His lip service to just war theory has absolutely no bearing on the reality: meeting expansionist, militant Islam with love is a death sentience. You want to love them? Pray for their conversion that they not spend eternity in hell for worshiping a demonic false god.

            But if they come for your family, you’d better be ready to expedite their eternal reward.

          • As a student of G. K. Chesterton, I can say that there is no conflict between loving your enemies as Christ taught and as His Church clearly teaches and being ready to take up arms against an enemy to defend the innocent. Likewise, there is nothing in Bishop Barron’s statement that would drive a wedge between these two principles. Ironically–bizarrely–heretically–it is you who explicitly pit the two principles against each other.

            “Lip service.” “Dhimmitude.” The truth is that you and Mullarky didn’t need to watch the video even once. You knew all you were willing to know about Bishop Barron going in. For the love of God, don’t you ever get tired of this charade? I flatly said that you and Mullarky have no integrity, but surely you have a shred. Can’t you admit she overstated her case?

          • Why is it so hard for you to understand that I agree with her? Why are you hell-bent on eradicating an opposing view?

            Bishop Barron’s response was weak. Feckless. Uninspiring. It was the kind of insipid, Thomas Kincaid, Hallmark Channel Catholicism that has caused our faith to lose its vitality and credibility in a world gone increasingly mad.

            You’re welcome to argue your case if you do so respectfully. But tackle what the article says instead of these phantoms of perceived correctness.

          • The article is supposed to be about what Bishop Barron actually said yet fails to “tackle” his, you know, actual words. Your accusation against me is accordingly ironic. As for “respectfully” arguing a case, if only you would have insisted on this from Mullarky as her editor. Think of her personal and baseless assumption that the bishop mentioned his connection to Paris as a way to place himself “among the great and good.” I will try to be civil. I can’t pretend to be respectful of such nastiness.

          • The stakes are incredibly high, Mike. If everything that’s happened from 9/11 to Paris hasn’t taught that to you yet, it will. It takes forceful rhetoric to cut through the warm, fuzzy feelings that our Church has gotten in the business of distributing in lieu of truth.

            This isn’t a referendum on Barron as a person. It’s a referendum on his comments, ideas, and their consequences. And his responses to these questions absolutely deserved to be challenged, because — like Gandhi advocating Jewish nonviolence against the Nazi regime — Barron’s answer to fundamentalist Islam, which is growing in leaps and bounds, is suicide.

            Put away your bias, your appreciation for the man, and your emotional reactions. Re-read the sentences in the post above and ask yourself precisely what about them is logically false.

            And if you find that you keep arriving at the same haughty indignation, take it somewhere else. We can’t wake up everyone.

          • Oh, yes. That’s what you’re doing. Waking people up. I do respect Bishop Barron, but I would defend my worst enemy from the tactics used here on this website. If you could be even half-heartedly fair to the bishop, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

          • I disagree with you. Can you not comprehend the situation? This is SURVIVAL, and we are being told to expose our throats.
            I have seen comments like yours, and it is confounding. All I can conclude is you do not understand the catastrophic enormity of what we are facing. Like many, you are in denial.

          • Mark, I quote the salient portion of his statement entirely above, and expose it accordingly; the practical effect of his counsel is dhimmitude, Brandon’s subsequent interpolations notwithstanding.

          • Frankly, I knew all I needed to know about Barron’s reliability when I watched his “Catholicism” series, and it became painfully obvious that his Christology has a screw loose. It’s a common problem among Jesuits: they’re coasting on a reputation for scholarship that ran out of gas about a hundred years ago, when they began to indulge in speculative theology.

          • There is nothing presumptuous whatsoever about assuming that a Bishop would have advanced notice of the questions being asked when he gives a sit-down interview on a global news station; that’s just standard operating procedure. So again, will you admit that any departure from such protocol is highly unusual? I’m guessing not because it rather takes the sting out your “shock!” that Steve didn’t think to call to make doubly sure that EWTN conducted a sit-down interview in accord with established industry standards.

            But taking your word that he did not have any notice at all, and was truly put on-the-spot, my contention is that, while he may not have intended to promote dhimmitude, the PRACTICAL EFFECT of his counsel remains precisely that, and potentially worse.

            Moreover, with respect to his meaning, you are now providing cover by putting words in his mouth. Barron doesn’t counsel against responding to genocidal demoniacs only with their own brand of violence (and where are there any serious Christians calling for that???); instead, he makes a case against responding to genocidal demoniacs with ANY form of violence. Sure Just War theory might be applicable someday somewhere, but in the face Paris-style butchery, he nevertheless exhorts Christians, both privately and publically, to take a non-violent stance.

            Ergo, practical dhimmitude.

          • “Hey, Brian! That’s one way to read his comments, but I don’t think it’s what he intended.” Hmmm. Sounds like a lot of things I’ve heard concerning the documents of Vatican II. It’s really hard to criticize chameleon statements.

        • Well, Brandon, having both read the article and viewed the video, I would have to say Maureen’s overall characterization is correct. First of all, as she points out, the idea that Catholics need to be told what attitude they should have toward something like this is more than a bit condescending.

          Secondly, how else are we understand Bishop Barron’s urging of non-violence here as being other than passivity in the face of such terrorism (in this case practical dhimmitude) unless there is a massive call for violence against Muslims? And of course, there isn’t.

          And yes, Bp. Barron does mention the Just War Theory. Having heard things he has said in the past regarding Just War, I don’t think any muscular military approach to Islamic terrorism would pass muster with his rather milquetoast interpretation of the Just War. So, his passing reference to Just War is meaningless.

      • What absolute hogwash. If the interview was not planned and questions not known and answers not rehearsed, then you have no business whatsoever leaving in print direct statements to the contrary. That’s falsehood. Libel. Completely dishonest and unworthy of anyone claiming to be Catholic. “Mistakes in speculation?” Are you serious? Pathetic.

          • My comment remains valid. Including Brandon’s rebuttal at the bottom is a bare minimum gesture, and doesn’t amend the fault in the article, which is far beyond “mistakes in speculation.” It’s pathetic.

          • It’s only a fault if Brandon is right, and frankly the burden of proof — which requires more than mere assertions — is on him. The standard in the news industry is that sit-down interviews are rehearsed ahead of time. Anything else, especially with a high profile figure, is highly unusual.

            As such, when a Barron apologist shows up and acts “shocked!” that Steve didn’t call EWTN or Barron’s people to ensure they hadn’t deviated from established journalistic protocol, he’s not making a serious argument; instead, he’s engaging in melodrama to make an emotional appeal. Thus, we get a litany of “How could you’s!?” and “No serious editor’s!” when in reality, no serious editor would ever stop to consider whether a global media outlet might conduct something as oxymoronic as an “on-the-fly-sit-down” interview, complete with lighting and makeup, but no discussion of the content beforehand. To do so is not irresponsible, but rather a silly waste of time.

            Moreover, while 1P5 doesn’t have the notoriety of Word on Fire, both the site, and Steve’s reputation as its founder, are well known among those (like Brandon) who move in online Catholic circles. So his assertion that Steve’s work isn’t even on his radar, while possible, is yet another unusual peculiarity of his complaint. And it’s also a potentially passive-aggressive form of posturing. The whole, “never heard of you before” meme is one of the more common and pathetic forms of internet bluster.

            For these reasons, I take Brandon’s assertions with a grain of salt, especially since he ignored direct questions regarding the degree of preparation involved in the interview, and how exactly he knew that Bp. Barron had no idea — no idea at all! — what he would be asked ahead of time.

            But lastly, and to your point, what you’re now objecting to is simply a basic point of blogging etiquette. When presenting additional information to a previously published post, it is done as an update at the end of the original. The reason for this is intellectual honesty. You don’t post something, and then change it based on new information in an attempt to obscure something that was written before; instead, you post an update which may add to, clarify, correct, retract, etc something that was previously published.

            That’s what Steve did, and since all we have Brandon’s overwrought assertion that EWTN departed from established journalistic protocol, publishing his counterpoint is all that’s really required. If he wants to offer further information to fill in the gaps I’m sure Steve will post an additional update.

            In the meantime, unless you can show us precisely how you know the article “is far beyond mistakes in speculation” you may want to offer an update of you own.

    • And, if what you say is actually the truth, that somehow makes his answers better? That somehow excuses his perfidy against suffering Christians? Does it excuse his faulty reasoning? A bishop of the Church, no less…That is what is truly shameful.

  32. May we expect an article from Ms. Mullarkey concerning the fact that the POTUS rambled on yesterday about kissing Michelle in Paris and therefore the attacks were “personal” to him….or is that type of poignancy not to be questioned?

  33. In the About section of your site it reads: “OnePeterFive exists as a place to begin rebuilding the Catholic ethos. We’re not just here to zero in on the problems, but to offer concrete solutions. We want to restore Catholic culture, rebuild the Church as a patron of the arts, reinvigorate the family and the traditions that keep it strong, reform the liturgy, support vocations, dust off the old devotions and make them relevant again. We want to help infuse the world with beautiful music, inspiring art, families that pray together, parishes centered around the Eucharist, strong communities, and a new generation of Catholics who can effectively bring the Gospel message to a world hostile to that message.

    Our writers come from diverse backgrounds, but share a common goal: to work together to restore the beauty, majesty, and glory of the Catholic Church as the principal force for good in a fallen world.”

    I fail to see how this article (and others which betray a similar tone) work towards this. One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) problems I see and live with in the Church I serve, belong to, and love is precisely this: that instead of working towards the good (which is described after a manner, in the above mission statement) that we all believe in and love — namely the Person of Jesus Christ, believed in, followed — we see the faults in other Christians and spend all our time bashing them … for being too liberal, too conservative, too worldly, etc. Even the comments below betray this mentality. .. one comment about a musician I don’t happen to like makes an entire publication heresy? So, caught up as we are in a number of self-righteous, “truly-Catholic” circles … and bashing on the others who are “ruining” or “degrading” the true faith … no time is spent actually evangelizing. And we appear to be fraying at the seams, and not the one, untorn garment that can actually inspire belief. This attitude saddens me… especially since there is no programme suggested, no solution. I pray that you can provide uplifting, inspirational resources … articles that stir into vigour the flame of belief in Christ. This brand of polemics merely kills hope, and dulls faith.

    • I see you didn’t bother to read anything else on the website. I’d be happy to point you to the kind of thing you’re looking for.

      We do quite a lot on restoration and rebuilding, but the urgency of the present crisis requires thoughtful analysis and refutation as well.

      Orthodoxy isn’t something esoteric – our faith has defined concepts, traditions, doctrines, etc. When things veer dangerously away from those truths — particularly when that happens at the prompting of a popular Catholic figure — we do indeed think it imperative to offer a corrective.

      • I truly don’t know how you are able to continue to be civil and kind to commenters with a holier-than-thou mentality. You must have the Holy Ghost. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

          • Just did. But really, the provocation on Rosman’s part is truly diabolical. I feel, more and more, the need to live a cloistered life away from people who seek the world’s applause (even more so from those who use the Faith to seek gain). I think only a judgment of some type falling upon them will awaken them. I know it has sometimes taken that to awaken me.

    • I think you’re a bit late with this post. All the available positions in the Humbler-than-ever-before Vatican have been filled already by flunkies from the fast-shrinking Belgian, German, and Dutch churches.

  34. May I suggest that you return to the Summa and reread just how strenuous the requirements are for a Just War? IT must be the absolutely last resort resort after the last resort. Christians throughout the centuries lost their lives for refusing to serve in wars.

    Just because someone takes a different approach or emphasis, or has a different charism than you doesn’t mean that they are diabolical. Perhaps it even rises to the point of being a personal fault, that doesn’t mean they should be denounced as dangerous to the faith. I would like to see any proof that Fr. Barron doesn’t follow the teachings of the Church. The Church is made up of St. Thérèses and St. Jeromes. The hot-headed Jeromes like you and me shouldn’t fault the Thérèses for taking a different tack. We need them to balance out our fire.

  35. To Patrick–I do pray the rosary all the way to the end and I always pray that God may lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of his mercy. But we are born with free will and not all want to be saved. There is, today, not only disdain but hatred for Christianity. I can’t judge what those souls will do when they come face to face with God, but it doesn’t look too good for some of them. Think of St. Catharine of Alexandria, whose feast is today, and how bitterly she was hated by the Emperor because she had succeeded in converting his wife! After torture, she was
    ultimately beheaded. He certainly was in need of God’s mercy–if he wanted it. One has to admit sin, then repent and ask for pardon. We will be judged. You might like this: a sign on a car in the South read: “The game is fixed. The Lamb will win. Be there.”

  36. I have mixed feelings about Bp Barron’s ability to communicate on a non-intellectual plane – his style is not inspirational. But I have no idea how you could draw the conclusions about his statements. He’s clearly thinking primarily of US Catholics within the US look at what we’ve had so far. Yes, he’s part of the ‘don’t blame Muslims’ crowd but “submit to Islam”? Complete misunderstanding of what he said.

  37. I am disappointed that Ms. Maureen Mullarkey so frequently attempted to tell me what to think about what someone had said rather than telling me what was said in its full context.

  38. I can never get past Barron’s poses, pauses, but MAINLY– his EGO. Guess with his type thinking (not much in common with Catholic ideas) he needs to eliminate the idea of hell. Such a bore.

  39. Ah, when I watched his “Catholicism” series I was struck and annoyed by what seemed an exadurated overemphasis on “non violence” as if that was the gospel.

    Here it is again, and in this case what’s disturbing is the clinical detachment from the reality of people being killed.

  40. In Nairobi, according to the far left-wing English rag The Guardian, “….[Pope] Francis was restrained on social issues, perhaps reflecting the still-conservative views of many on the continent, including Catholic bishops who insist on traditional church teachings on sexuality, family life and reproduction.” Once again, he trims his message for his audience, and then gets praise for speaking boldly! Go figure. But he is insistent that there be “dialogue” between “warring” religious groups (translated: between murdering, rampaging Muslims and their victims, mostly Christians). Can anyone imagine a pontiff demanding talks between, say, the Italian Carabinieri and mafiosos in Sicily? Wouldn’t it be wiser that he at least recognize that one side is doing almost 100% of the killing and the other almost 100% of the dying? Considering this incongruity at HQ, is it any wonder Bishop Barron thinks goo-goo talk with Mohammedans is just the ticket for achieving social peace?

  41. First, I appreciate that you had the integrity to include the video of
    the interview when it was available. Second, I don’t think it matters
    so much either for or against Bishop Barron whether the interview was
    planned or off the cuff. Finally, within the first minute or so of the
    short video, the entire substance and tenor of Mullarky’s article is
    shown to be false. Bishop Barron is asked how Catholics should react to
    the violence in Paris and he reminds us that this question of how to
    respond to violence is at the heart of the Christian mystery: “We
    worship a crucified Lord.” Christ was hardly enacting his nonviolent
    response to violence from an acknowledged place of weakness and
    submission, as Mullarky accuses Bishop Barron. Christ, the King of
    Creation, had the power to break His enemies to pieces and yet
    refrained. Bishop Barron does not invoke Ghandi or Martin Luther King;
    he invokes Christ. And he does not advocate pacifism. He goes on to
    say that the primary Christian response is not to fight violence on its
    own terms, HOWEVER he concedes that this is sometimes “all we can do,
    hence our Just War theory.” Did you catch the direct quotation?
    Apparently, Mullarky didn’t. Because she wrote an entire article
    ignoring the basics of what the bishop said. This is despicable and
    dishonest. Please watch the video for yourselves. Whether you find
    Bishop Barron’s response to the question useful or edifying (as I do) or
    not, I hope you will see how dishonest Mullarky was in the way she
    ignored much of what he said and twisted the rest.

  42. “I am not a pacifist. I do think that sometimes, in our finite and conflictual world, violence has to be used in defense of certain basic goods.”
    Father Barron

      • And you owe Bishop Barron and your readers an apology for deliberately misrepresenting his views: Accusing him of “lip service” when he says something you agree with and accusing him of dhimmitude when he says things that clearly contradict this.

        • No, Mark. I don’t. That was almost the textbook definition of lip service.

          And I didn’t accuse him of dhimmitude. I said his response to ISIS necessarily LEADS TO dhimmitude. Because IT DOES. They do not respect mercy or love. They respect superior strength. Catholic armies have fought Muslim jihadists for over a thousand years. This isn’t a new story. It’s a very, very old one.

          • A brief comment in a three and a half minute video is the textbook definition of offering “clarification.” The quotation at the beginning of this thread–which has for some reason been deleted–accurately conveys the bishop’s mind on this question. It is a position he has stated and restated for any honest and open ears. (See the deleted quotation and link below.)

            Mullarky specifically accuses Bishop Barron of PROMOTING dhimmitude. If you’re finally distancing yourself from the worst of her exaggerated rhetoric, then good for you.

            Bishop Barron: “I am not a pacifist. I do think that sometimes, in our finite and conflictual world, violence has to be used in defense of certain basic goods.”


          • Bishop Barron has gone into depth about Catholic Just War theory in numerous forums, most publicly in the Catholicism documentary series. In the context of this recent interview, it was a clarification. It was also a reaffirmation of his public view on this issue.

          • I have to say that the overall effect of this interview, the lasting impression it leaves on a viewer, is that the bishop is recommending a Christian version of pacifism; there is simply no getting around that fact. You can cite all you want Bishop Barron’s words elsewhere, or note a passing comment he makes at the start of this clip, but they do not put a dent in the message this televised interview seems to give about his recommended response to the Mohammedan atrocities in Paris, viz. pray, light candles, and sing songs.

            I read your post from, and it also presents problems albeit not as serious. He says, “[o]n the other hand, the Popes of the twentieth century, taking into account the terribly destructive nature of modern warfare, have ruled out the righting of wrongs criterion and have accepted only the repulsing of unjust aggression as a legitimating cause [for war].” (He is commenting on Obama’s aggression against Libya in 2011, a conflict about which I believe the bishop was indisputably right. Ditto for Pope John Paul’s and Card. Ratzinger’s opposition to George Bush’s catastrophic war against Iraq.)

            But if what Bishop Barron says here about modern pontiffs is correct — I’m really not sure it is — it leaves a lot of disturbing conclusions. For instance, it would seem to preclude any military intervention to stop wholesale slaughter in a country, Rwanda for just one example, by outside parties. It may not always be wise to do so, but it seems very unwise to reject ever doing so. And, to address the menace presently at hand, is it really prudent to stand by watching passively while Mohammedan savages acquire more and more wealth, warriors, and weapons, and while they place agents in countries around the world? Or is it better to bomb them to oblivion before they get too powerful and cause even more chaos as they have promised to do repeatedly?

          • You begin by speaking of the “impression” the video gives you and then move on to describe this as a “fact” that we cannot get past. It is just the other way around. Your “impression” notwithstanding, the fact is that the bishop has argued in favor of Just War theory on numerous occasions. That is what you cannot in good conscience get around. You say that his recommended response “seems” to be to “pray, light, candles, and sing songs,” but that is just you echoing Mullarky, not Bishop Barron.

          • Mr. Mark:

            You posted in part: “the fact is that the bishop has argued in favor of Just War theory on numerous occasions”

            So? Christians need leadership from their Shepherds. A successor to the Apostles must do more than merely regurgitate doctrine. Do you think that Tours, or Lepanto or Vienna could have happened if the Bishops of teh day merely sat around and chatted about the just war theory?

            We need men not mice under the bishop’s miter.

            “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • Such bluster. And such willful ignoring of the context of my remark. It takes mice to twist a bishop’s words the way we’ve seen on this site. We need men who are like Christ under that miter.

          • The irony of you accusing others of bluster when you’ve done nothing but spray histrionics across the page since you arrived here is a bit too thick.

            Time for you to find another website to haunt.

          • As many on this thread have noted, Barron does indeed state that there are times when answering violence with violence under Just War theory is the only option. The problem is that, when asked about a specific incident, namely, the Paris attacks (i.e. genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter), he passes by Just War theory as something that may be applicable someday somewhere, and then proceeds to counsel individuals, both in their personal and public lives, to respond to such attacks with a non-violent stance.

            So his response begs the question, if answering violence with violence under Just War theory remains secondary to non-violence in the face genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter, when will it ever concretely apply?

            This is why his passing nod at Just War theory — amidst a much longer discourse on the Christian duty of non-violence — smacks of lip service.

            What Mr. Comerford and the rest of us desire is a Bishop who has the spine to say, “Massacres like this are precisely why the Crusades were fought. They were defensive wars in the face of Islamic aggression. They are not just defensible under Just war theory, but are, in many ways, a moral imperative. Such heroic action will be need again today if we are to defeat these enemies of Christ and mankind.”

          • Mr. Mark:

            Thank you for your reply wherein you posted in part: “And such willful ignoring of the context of my remark.”

            Perhaps your remark itself was unclear?

            “We need men who are like Christ under that miter.”

            And do you think our Lord and Savior would have been soft, temporizing and unclear like Bishop Barron? Do you remember His words concerning the Scribes and Pharisees of his day?

            In the face of the slaughter of innocents (by both abortionists and terrorists) Bishop Barron merely whines. Such whining may please Caesar but does it please the Christ who likened the Pharisees to whitened sepulchers?

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • Be as insistent as you wish, but that doesn’t for a second make what you say right. The “fact” I mentioned is that, watching this TV clip, the “impression” is unavoidable that he is peddling pacifism, regardless of what he may or may not believe or have said elsewhere. Oh, and stop pretending that Mullarkey is talking in general about Barron’s thoughts on this matter; her essay addresses THIS interview specifically and what the bishop said in it. That distortion on your part allows you to forge on bravely, all quixotically loyal to the good bishop, but frankly it’s creating the impression that you’re little more than a monotonous bs artist.

          • Nonsense. In good conscience I disagree. Mullarkey was overly harsh and went too far, AND the bishop’s impression was unmistakable. Her exasperation is totally understandable, her choice of words not so much. Unfortunately to even get anyone to notice problems with the voices that get recognized as official spokesmen, you apparently have to lite street fires.

  43. Maureen does a great job vetting these sanctimonious clerics such as Bishop Barron and Pope Francis. We need more voices to make a mess in our church, a mess of those appeasers who wish to dilute the deposit of faith. If B. Barron was unprepared for the interview, then a priest of his experience should have been more circumspect. I will assume he knew very well what he was saying. I do think Muhammad was demonically influenced. He was a false prophet. Islam means ‘submit’. Christ, as the Word of God, taught us to Love. Submission is not Love because as one Loves, ones will becomes aligned with the Will of God. The Father of Lies demands submission because he declared that he would not serve. The hippie generation of priests can not die off quickly enough and b. Barron is too young to be one of them. God bless Bishop Sheen. My parish priest snorted in indignation when we mentioned his “Life of Christ” in conversation one day. It seems we are in chastisement when our priest and bishops betray the deposit of faith.

    • Mr. Jen S:

      You posted in part: “This piece is uncharitable and libelous.”

      Yeah; but it sure does hit the nail on teh head, doesn’t it?

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

  44. The author of the article completely ignored Barron’s “We should not fight violence on its own terms THOUGH AT TIMES THATS THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO”. That’s what just war theory is about. It sounds like she would have the same vituperative contempt for the phrase “But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:” that Christ uttered in Matt 5:44. We should not return hyper-hatred for hatred, which Barron also said. We should love and pray for them even when we have to turn them back or kill them in self-defense.

    I guess this was written for those who hate Barron as much as she does, or who won’t watch the interview.

  45. >>Editor’s Note: Brandon Vogt, who serves as the Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, contacted us to say that “Bishop Barron was grabbed by the interviewer as he was walking through the room and invited to sit down for an interview. He had no advance notice, no idea what questions would be asked, and his answers were given on the fly, without preparation.”<<

    This was a professionally lit, properly mic'd, two (possibly even three) camera interview.

  46. He’s wrong to say, in the context of answering a question about how to react to ISIS attacking innocent people, that one is to respond to violence with non-violence.


    When demonic forces wantonly slaughter innocents in the streets and public venues the response is to destroy them before they destroy other innocent lives.

    And make no mistake, ISIS, and the Paris attacks they claim as their own, is just such a demonic force.

  47. When I read something like this from Maureen Mullarkey, I better realize why she was let go from First Things. She is like a rabid pitbull ready to pounce on anything that is moving, and thus misses the main point.

    • Mr. KevMo4UAB:

      You posted in part: “Maureen Mullarkey, I better realize why she was let go from First Things. She is like a rabid pitbull”

      I agree. Since the death of its founder, Father Neuhaus, the publication First Things has become effeminate. An actual, red blooded Catholic, like Ms. Mullarkey, is going to make the worldly boys and girls who now work at First Things very uncomfortable not to mention its current readership.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

  48. It is a shame Mullarkey can’t temper her commentary a bit. Also a shame the current leadership is predictably center-left to the point the conservative faithful are so routinely and evidently exasperated. Reminds of why Trump is so popular.

    • Mr. accelerator:

      You posted in part: “It is a shame Mullarkey can’t temper her commentary a bit”.

      You mean like the way Christ tempered His commentary on the Scribes and Pharisees?

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

    • Ms. Evangeline1031:

      You posted in part: “Where did all the men go”.

      Perhaps Bishop Athanasius Schneider has at least a partial answer to your question:

      “The clergy is very afraid and intimidated because they’re afraid of
      [losing] their positions,” he said. “The Second Vatican Council says
      this is your [the laity’s] hour: be defenders and knights of the faith.”

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

  49. Hi Maureen,

    I just found out about this super-cool thing called Google. Apparently, you can search for information on almost anything. Wild! I know, right? It’s probably helpful for writing articles and other stuff too. Anyway, I found this quotation that seems pretty relevant to your topic:

    “I am not a pacifist. I do think that sometimes, in our finite and
    conflictual world, violence has to be used in defense of certain basic
    goods.” –Bishop Robert Barron

    Full disclosure: I work for Word on Fire. Please don’t attack me too much for that. Also, if I made any errors of spelling or grammar, I apologize very much. Also, this comment is not spam and I am not selling any weight-loss products. Thanks!

    • Hi Patrick, as many on this thread have noted, Barron does indeed state that there are times when answering violence with violence under Just War theory is the only option. The problem is that, when asked about a specific incident, namely, the Paris attacks (i.e. genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter), he passes by Just War theory as if it’s an aside, as something that may be applicable someday somewhere, but not in this instance; and then from there he proceeds to counsel individuals, both in their personal and public lives, to respond to such attacks with a non-violent stance.

      So his response begs the question, if answering violence with violence under Just War theory remains secondary to non-violence in the face genocidal demoniacs bent on mass and indiscriminate slaughter, when will it ever concretely apply?

      This is why his passing nod at Just War theory — amidst a much longer discourse on the Christian duty of non-violence — not only smacks of lip service, but also amounts to practical dhimmitude.

      What many of us here desire is a Bishop who has the spine to say, “Massacres like this are precisely why the Crusades were fought. They were defensive wars in the face of Islamic aggression. They are not just defensible under Just war theory, but are, in many ways, a moral imperative. Such heroic action will be need again today if we are to defeat these enemies of Christ and mankind.”

    • Patrick Thornton

      You posted in part: “I am not a pacifist:”

      A follower of Jesus Christ cannot be a true, complete pacifist.

      and in part: ” I do think that sometimes, in our finite and
      conflictual world, violence has to be used in defense”

      Again the good Bishop stands apart from Catholicism. Under certain circumstances force (the moral use of physical power) can be used against an aggressor. No Christian can employ violence under any circumstances.

      and in part: “I work for Word on Fire”

      You (and your Boss) should know more about the Catholic Faith then.

      Christians are being slaughtered all over the world via abortion, euthanasia and Muslim aggression and your Boss’ response is to tap dance. He, like you, need to find your courage. It is time for Bishops to accept matyrdom for Christ.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

  50. I have great respect for Bishop Robert Barron and have been watching his YT videos for years. Yes. I do not agree with everything but he has a great way of explaining very difficult theology to lay people. He has taught me a lot.

    • Ms. Alicia Summers:

      Re: Origen

      You posted in part: “he has a great way of explaining very difficult theology”

      No doubt. But one of the great fathers of the church, who was also great at explaining things, was also a heretic.

      From wiki: ‘Unlike many church fathers, he was never canonized as a saint because some of his teachings directly contradicted the teachings attributed to the apostles, notably the Apostles Paul and John.’

      Perhaps what we need are less articualte but more courageous Bishops?

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...