Bishop Barron Weighs In

It's great to see Bishop Robert Barron weighing in to comment on what seems to be the prevailing narrative of the synod on synodality, which Cardinal Pell, in his final interview, described as a "Toxic nightmare".

In his statement, the bishop states:
increasingly uneasy with two words that feature prominently in the document and that dominated much of our discussion—namely, “inclusivity” and “welcoming.”

He draws attention to the woolly language used and the imprecision of the terminology and asks would a Church exhibiting these qualities (inclusivity and welcoming) never pose a moral challenge to those who would seek entry? Would it ratify the behaviour and lifestyle choices of anyone who presented him or herself for admission? Would it effectively abandon its own identity and structuring logic so as to accommodate any and all who come forward?

However, instead of condemning what is clearly an agenda embedded in the document, Bishop Barron blames the ambiguity. I think, in reality, there's nothing ambiguous about this process, it is meant to undermine Church teaching.

It is shocking that Bishop Barron has to make the incredibly basic point that the inclusivity of the Lord was unambiguously and consistently accompanied by his summons to conversion. But he does, and in doing so his point seems somewhat desperate...Have we really sunk this low? Is our understanding of our faith truly this thin???

The bishop continues:

An overall concern that I have, very much related to the consistent use of the terms “welcoming” and “inclusivity,” is the trumping of doctrine, anthropology, and real theological argument by sentiment, or to put it a bit differently, the tendency to psychologize the matters under consideration. 

He explains that the Church doesn’t prohibit homosexual acts because it has an irrational fear of homosexuals; nor does it refuse communion to those in irregular marriage arrangements because it gets its kicks out of being exclusive; nor does it disallow women’s ordination because grumpy old men in power just can’t stand women. For each of these positions, it articulates arguments based on Scripture, philosophy, and the theological tradition, and each has been ratified by the authoritative teaching of bishops in communion with the pope. To throw all these settled teachings into question because they don’t correspond to the canons of our contemporary culture would be to place the Church into real crisis.

I mean, it has gone a long way and been overseen by a lot of other Catholic bishops, and it is all out in the open...But Bishop Barron is showing it up for the utter disaster it really is here! Well done Bishop Barron; better late than never I suppose!

I was disappointed with his final statement:

And I sincerely do not believe that this shaking of the foundations is what Pope Francis had in mind when he called for a synod on synodality.

It is hard to agree with this. It seems very clear to me that that is exactly what Pope Francis had in mind.


  1. You are such a great promoter of the Faith, and a rock-solid Catholic gentleman. I've wondered at times about your seeming partiality towards Bishop Barron, whom I view with a more critical eye. However, after this essay, I now think you understand him and his "whither the wind blows" postering more than I'd thought. Your final paragraph has me wondering, "Are we, apostolic Catholics, possibly winning?". How else to explain Bishop Barron's casting his lot, on this matter at least, with the rambunctious traditional Catholics? Pax Christi, Missy Higgins

  2. Bishop Barron could be a really positive force in the Church (more so than now), but he has to ditch the confusion of the Nouvelle Theologians. He also does not understand that he is also engaging with relativism. In a recent video he condemned Catholics engaging in what he called "private satisfaction" within the Church. Thirty seconds later he then talks about his mother preferring the New Mass, and not wanting to go back to the Old Mass. He gave this as a reason to stick with the New Mass. The point I am making here is not about the merits of the new or the old Mass, but the fact that he is not bothered about getting to the bottom of the truth, but is also caught up in "private satisfaction" i.e. making a Church in his, or others, own image, where what someone personally feels or believes is more important than what the truth might be.

    In short, he has backed himself into a corner with his arguments against the trads, to the point that his objectivity is diminished. On one hand he calls out the problems of Vatican II, but then refuses to listen to the trads, who in most cases, have a point. As such he is not open, in reality, to learn from the mistakes of the past. (Man speak with forked tongue, so to speak). This is most likely due to the weak post-conciliar iffy theology that underpins his ministry. He actually, can neither pin down the problems (or admit them), nor come up with workable solutions to the problems.

    He doesn't understand that the trads were once in the Church at the Novus Ordo, and wanted direction and engagement from the clergy and hierarchy, but were let down. He needs to ditch the dish water theology, get back to Catholic basics, and then listen to not just angry trads, but also disgruntled conservatives (sorry to use those words).

    If he really engaged his brain, and then acted on a better formed conscience, he would no doubt help the Church come back to life.


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