The following comes from an Oct. 26 posting by Fr. Robert Barron on the Catholic World Report website.
Just last month, my media ministry Word on Fire marked a milestone: 10,000,000 views on our YouTube channel. This achievement fills me with gratitude both to God and to the many people who have taken the time to watch one or more of the videos that I’ve produced over the past several years. It also provides the occasion for me to reflect a bit on both the pitfalls and advantages of evangelizing through the new media.
When we commenced our outreach through YouTube seven years ago, we did so in the manner of an experiment. YouTube had just come into being at that time, and it largely featured crude, homemade videos of cats jumping off the roof and babies gurgling for their mother’s camcorder. I thought that we should try to invade this space with the Gospel and so I resolved to make short video commentaries on movies, music, current affairs, cultural happenings, etc. We had absolutely no idea whether anyone would watch, and at first, our offerings garnered just a small audience. I distinctly remember being thrilled when one of our videos managed to pass the 500 views mark for the first time.
But over the months and years, word spread, and we began to build an audience. The first video of ours to go viral was my response to Bill Maher’s awful movie Religulous. In the course of a few weeks, it had been seen by 100,000 people, and it continues to perform well, even to the present. In fact, the atheists have been my most active friends on the Internet. Whenever I do a video on Maher or Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking, I get a strong reaction and lots of views.
One of the features of YouTube that I appreciate the most is its interactivity. At first, I didn’t realize that people could comment on videos—but I quickly found out. Most of the responses, I have to admit, are negative. There are an awful lot of people in the virtual world who hate God, religion, the Catholic Church, priests, etc., and they come after me with some energy. But after getting over the initial shock of reading such vitriol, I have actually come to enjoy the give-and-take with my detractors. In fact, on a number of my forums, quite lengthy and sometimes quite sophisticated arguments have unfolded, somewhat in the manner of Platonic dialogues.
YouTube provides pretty thorough demographics of one’s viewership, and so we have been able to determine that the vast majority of our viewers are young men in their twenties and thirties—the very group that the Church has a notoriously hard time reaching. That the Internet allows me to engage young men who would never darken the doors of a Catholic church or come to a church-sponsored event is a source of great encouragement to me.
The format that I have chosen is the short video commentary (8-10 minutes), based usually on a column that I have prepared for publication in the print media. Early on, some communications “experts” advised me to lose the Roman collar and appear in civilian clothes, so as to attract the more secular audience. I never took that advice, thank God. I always want it to be clear that I am a Catholic priest speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church—and I don’t think young people are the least bamboozled by awkward attempts at “relevance,” just the contrary….
As to my general approach, I have tended toward what Cardinal Dolan of New York calls “affirmative orthodoxy,” which is to say, emphasizing what the Church is for rather than what it is against. I have also adopted the patristic method of seeking out semina verbi (seeds of the Word), hints and echoes of the Gospel that can be found, often in distorted form, in the high and low contemporary culture. Accordingly I have argued that Spiderman, Superman, True Grit’s Rooster Cogburn, Gran Torino’s cranky Walt Kowalski, The Shawshank Redemption’s Andy Dufresne, and Frodo the Hobbit all convey some dimension of Jesus Christ; and I have maintained that both Christopher Hitchens’s essays and the Twilight films speak inchoately but surely of the longing of the human heart for God….
Visit Father Barron’s YouTube channel.
To read the original posting, click here.
The first line of the last paragraph almost says it all….Cardinal Dolan as someone to emulate? Add to this, everyone’s reasonable expectation of going to heaven and don’t worry so much about the devil all lead one to believe that his seminary training was strictly Vatican II and the prelates like Mahoney as true leaders.
I lost respect for the opinion and words of Fr. Barron when he basically called Jesus a liar.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy,[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – JESUS
This is what Barron is promoting in his own words.
“we have to accept the possibility of Hell”. “We can hope that hope that all people will be saved”.
Fr. Robert Barron on Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty
I wish Barron would stick to Holy Scripture, and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” rather than interject his own personal opinions which conflict with the teaching of Jesus.
Voris on Barron’s “we can hope that all people will be saved”.
Voris quotes Sacred Scripture.
Unfortunately, Barron was named the rector and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary in 2012.
Mundelein is the major seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago, with national and international reach. It has an enrollment of 250 students, 165 of whom are seminarians preparing to become diocesan priests in 25 dioceses.
Why can’t our seminaries get leaders who adhere to the Bible and CCC ?
I’m tired of graduating Priests putting their own spin on teaching the Faith.
Is this the same Barron who believes we can hope that all people will be saved?
Well if he teaches this belief there will be no need for anyone to do anything they do not feel like doing.
We can sin, we can live a decadent life – cause he hopes we are all going to Heaven. And it can be extrapolated that we don’t need to keep any of God’s Commandments.
Really learn much from Fr. Barron’s videos on YouTube. Thank you Father Barron!
Bob, have you watched Barron’s video where he contradicts Jesus, and also contradicts the Doctrine of the Faith ?
From Barron we learn that we can hope everyone is going to Heaven.
And contradicting both Jesus and the Church, we only have to accept the “possibility” of Hell, not that it really exists.
Fr. Robert Barron on Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty
This is what the MAGISTERIUM of the Church teaches:
CCC: ” 183 Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16).
There are 16 paragraphs on HELL in the CCC including:
CCC: ” 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.
Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”
The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”
At least 25 Diocese are affected by Mundelein Seminary, plus others.
Students do not need to be taught heresy as fact, but heresy as lies.
Pope Francis please put out a Motu Proprio that requires ALL Students in ALL Seminaries to read the Bible and CCC from cover to cover in their first 2 years – the true ‘Doctrine of the Faith’.
And that teachers may NOT interject their own opinions or the opinions of others unless the opinions are in full accord with the Bible and CCC (Doctrine of the Faith).
Fr. Barron is a good example why Priests are so screwed up; heretical personal opinions (mixed with fact).
Von Balthazar, Karl Rahner, and Bernard Lonergan, are NOT teachers of the ‘Doctrine of the Faith’, yet their personal opinions are taught frequently as fact in many seminaries.
The Church is the purveyor of the Doctrine of the Faith as approved by the Magisterium through the Bible and CCC.
Not the personal opinion of individuals. (Personal opinions are a dime a dozen, everybody has one.)
Heresy is usually fact mixed with fiction as truth.
We have our Parish Priest over for dinner from time to time. He lent us a book from his Seminary that was written by Karl Rahner, it contains clear heresy.
Von Balthazar, Karl Rahner, and Bernard Lonergan should not be read as part of any Seminary, Covent, or Catholic Theology classes anywhere.
They can be read separately if someone is interested just to know the heresy that is out there.
Paul, be specific. What heresy, by whom? We have got to stop saying bad things about people without specifics. The people who are upset with Fr. Baron in this thread totally misread, misheard what he said. He cited several theologians’ comments on hell and confirmed that we must believe in hell too! That is not heresy. If you take a course in theology in college, hopefully you will read and discuss the teachings of several experts on the subject in order to develop your faith on sure footing. If anyone expects college profs to simply read the law to the students, they don’t understand the learning process and basic pedagogy. But anyway, tell us where you see heresy, please.
Bob One – Barron did not state there is a Hell. He specifically stated there is a “possibility of Hell”. – There is a huge difference.
I don’t give two hoots about what individual theologians state unless they are Saints.
The Magisterium is the teacher of the Doctrine of the Faith, not a bunch of individuals trying to make a name for themselves.
Bob the problem is if “the law” isn’t read to the students. Why don’t we teach all of our seminarians every side of every issue and doctrine and let them decide what to believe and impart to their parish flock. If a priest fails to instruct his flock by the light of the Holy Spirit and teach what the Church teaches, he’s going to find out about hell first hand. Fr. Barron is wrong and I’ve lost some respect for him.
Anna, I used to watch Fr.Barron frequently and had heard him speak in Steubenville, and I remember being struck with how often he referred to Von Balthazar, of whom I’m totally unfamiliar. I think he mentions him in his Catholicism tapes, as well. It’s really sad to see such a brilliant man as Fr.Barron truly is, succumb to the wiles of intelletualism. I suppose that is what has caused such heretical inroads amongst the Jesuits? Fr. Barron is NOT heretical nor is he unreasonable. If you have concerns I think you should write to him and tell him if and why you are concerned. He has a gentle, wry sense of humor and a sincere love of Christ.
Dana, Barron (as well as many other seminarians) are forced to study Von Balthazar and Karl Rahner in Seminary. It is unfortunate.
Barron’s words speak for themselves in his video.
Someone linked the Voris video above. Listen for that for Scripture references.
Because of his statements on the “possibility of Hell”, I no longer watch anything to do with Barron.
He apparently is very taken with Von Balthazar, if he mentions him as frequently as you posted. Unfortunately he probably passes this enthusiasm on to the unknowing seminarians, and all those who watch his videos.
I prefer the teachings of the Magisterium.
Dear Janice, and all who are worried about Father Barron…Please write to him, or you can email him at https://www.wordonfire.org/contact/
I agree that Father’s view of hell is indeed troubling and ambiguous, but he is so totally in agreement with Church teaching on all other points and explains things so beautifully that perhaps he could make his views more emphatic? His homilies, etc. are truly wonderful! He may avoid the reality of hell because Jesus was so strongly against the disciples trying to determine who goes to heaven or hell. But Jesus spoke of hell so many times and warned that it would be better to pluck out one’s eye or cut off one’s hand if they cause you to go there that no one should be a wet noodle about speaking of being
“Cast to outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth
Matt. 8:12, “but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Those cast into the fire suffer consciously
Matt. 13:41-42, “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Dana, before anyone contacts Fr. Barron, they need to education themselves a bit.
Fr. Barron is very defensive in favor of Von Balthazar, and Barron is not stupid.
Watch Barron’s video carefully taking notes.
Fr. Robert Barron on “Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty”
watch the reply by Michael Voris, also taking notes.
Dispatches “Massa Damnata”
Then get out the Bible and CCC, and ask Barron to justify his position using teaching from the Magisterium, NOT the personal opinions of one or two theologians.
Thanks Dottie…I know of whence you speak because I’ve subscribed to CMTV for about four years and also try to catch some of Fr.Barron’s videos. I respect everyone’s right to an opinion here and am not going to put anyone down for not agreeing with me. As I said, I agree that on this issue, Fr Barron is definitely in error, but still believe him to be a faithful, reasonable man who would very much want to hear from you. I remember years ago when you could write in his combox about his videos (especially the movie crits) and he always took the time to respond in some way. He loves the little sheep (us) and wants us all to go to Heaven, that I do know. He’s no Archbishop Sheen, but he does reach alot of people that might otherwise turn away from the Church. Pray for him…if you’re not happy with a priest, pray for him!
Do you know what Father Barron said about hell in his Catholicism series?
Fr. Barron’s “hope that all men will be saved” comes straight from Von Balthazar (an ex-Jesuit).
Well said Dana! Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke highly about Von Balthazar many times. So did Pope St. John Paul the Great. https://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2005/benxvi_praiseshub_oct05.asp
Kihei, everything those theologians say is not wrong, but those things they get wrong are really wrong. Did you know that Origin mentioned in Barron’s video was praised by a Pope and later excommunicated ?
Stick to the teachings of the Magisterium.
Neither Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul II taught that Hell is only a possibility or that hardly anyone is in Hell.
Origen is regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as an Ecclesiastical Writer and even Church Father, but not a Saint. When he was within the orthodoxy, he wrote lots and lots of really good things. The same with Tertullian. Pope Emeritus Benedict in 2007 referred to Origen as a “master of faith” and encouraged people to learn from him in numerous Wednesday audiences, especially in practicing Lexio Devino, which Origen started. https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20070425_en.html
Kihei, people including many Priests don’t fully know the Doctrine of the Faith as stated in the CCC.
They can not be expected to read Origen who was excommunicated.
Most heretics are not wrong in everything. They are usually not stupid.
But in those areas that they are wrong – they are heretics.
CCC: ” HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith,
or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; “
Never let it be said that their is anything that passes for intellect or intellectualism here on CCD!
Indeed, anon., but you’re confusing my expression “intellectualism” ( which is man’s attempt to supplant spirituality and supernatural understanding with materialism and pedantry) for intelligence, wisdom, faith and reason that only comes from God. I’m reading Whittiker Chambers’ ‘Witness’ and he had some devastating but droll appraisals of this sort of intellectual pretense, but I digress. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I find wanting to be an intellectual is something we go through, like pubescent chubbiness and zits.
PS To my mind, Jean Paul Sartre is the ‘compleat’ intellectual. I rest my case!
And what is the name for the mixture of nuts and fruits that you offer here? How many years experience do you have teaching in a seminary or a college. Do you really believe that reading CCC and the Bible “cover to cover” is something that takes 2 years to do, or that doing so is not done, in practice, even while you spout off?
Anonymous, we know you absolutely hate most of the teachings in the Bible and CCC, so no one knows why you post on a Catholic web site.
Further one can not properly study the entire Bible and entire CCC over night. Yes, study takes a few years.
I fully RESNT you calling our GOD and our POPES “Nuts and Fruits”.
“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.” – Pope John Paul II CCC pg 5.
“….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” – Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.
CCC: ” 81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.
“And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth,
they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”
You can see the seminary’s requirements here: https://www.usml.edu/mundelein-seminary/programs-and-degrees#master_of_divinity_program
Most of the faculty (including Fr. Barron) don’t even have PhD’s.
Dave, thank you for posting this link. Anyone who reviews it will understand that becoming a Priest involves more than just reading the Bible and the CCC. That would be a minimuml
St. Paul, St. Mathew and St. Luke didn’t have Phd’s either, Dave. tsk tsk
Actually, Shakespeare, Einstein and Beethoven didn’t either. Actually, judging from some of the many Phds. (fuds) I’ve known, that is not a very fair assessment as to the qualifications of anyone. Mother Angelica never even went to college!
Mike you know nothing if you think i hate CCC or the Bible. This is the problem with people who blather about a fundamentalistic notion of Church teaching or scripture: All too often, fundamentalists can quote something but they aren’t able or willing to understand what it actually means. You seem to be in that camp.
Anonymous abt 75% of your postings violate the Doctrine of the Faith as stated in the Bible and CCC.
You are the one who clearly hate them or never read them.
You guys actually don’t understand what is in the doctrine of the faith, so consider me in the not worried camp that you think 75% of what i write is opposed to it. If I took the words of Mother Theresa and quoted them verbatim to you here but used another name, you would rant that she was a heretic.
Anna, how can you possibly infer that seminarians should not read the writings of theologians in order to build their understanding of the faith. Do you believe that the Bible was not formulated as a result of serious debate and voting by the church fathers? Do you not believe that the CCC was not created as a result of study and debate by and among the authors? Do you not believe that the teachings of the church have evolved over the centuries? When you send a person to the seminary, you expect them to engage in serious discussion and debate and serious readings of the past church fathers. How and why did the Bishop of Hipo come up with a different version of hell than some past theologians? How and why are some of today’s theologians coming up with new ideas about hell? Going to college means never again taking anything for granted without study, thinking and praying about it. A spiritual adviser once told me that the first question I should ask every morning was “do I believe there is a God.” If the answer is yes, then say my prayers. So far, I have prayed every day.
Bob One, people should be taught the Doctrine of the Faith before they are taught the various heresies by theologians.
Many seminaries do not even have their students study the CCC itself.
In order to justify himself, wrote in essence that Jesus was smarter after His Resurrection (when He did not teach much), so that those things Jesus stated prior to His Resurrection don’t mean much.
This is heresy. Jesus was and Is God.
Was everything Von Balthazar wrote heresy – no.
But his personal theory on Hell and everyone getting to Heaven is .
When anyone says “the possibility of Hell” that means there is also the “possibility” that it does not exist. This is the real message of Barron.
You got that right David V !
– – – When anyone says “the possibility of Hell” that means there is also the “possibility” that it does not exist. This is the real message of Barron. – – –
I watched the 9 minute and 24 second film mentioned by Ed, above. There is not one idea in that film that is not in total conformance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. In fact, after mentioning the several top theologians who have taught about hell, Fr. Baron explains that we must agree that there is hell and that those who have no faith will send themselves there. There is nothing in Church teachings that says we should not hope that everyone will go to heaven. We must hope that everyone has the faith to get into heaven and it is our job to teach the faith so that that will happen. To have a problem with that is is a problem.
Watch it again Bob One.
The personal opinions of a few Theologians is not the Catholic Faith.
The Doctrine of the Faith comes from the Magisterium who have provided us with the Bible and CCC.
Those who die in mortal sin are not going to Heaven, and you can “hope” all you want.
Do you believe Barron or Jesus ?
Barron’s words are in his video.
Jesus words are in the Bible.
JESUS: – “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, ] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Also see Lk 13:23-27 – where JESUS explains this further.
Apparently you also need to read the Bible and the CCC.
Fruits and nuts. Fruits and nuts…
I watched the video. Nowhere in it did Fr. Baron teach anything against the teaching of the Church. His whole argument, for a generation born with little or no knowledge of hell or other teachings, was that we must be open to the existence of hell, not deny it. That is the same as saying there is a hell, unless you are parsing every single word and not looking at the context in which things are said or writing negative campaign ads. To say that it is our hope that all will have the faith needed to go to heaven is what we all strive for. It is not calling Jesus a liar or heresy. Do you actually believe that the church teaches you to sit around hoping that not many people will go to heaven? We have always been taught that if we die in a state of grace we will go to heaven, perhaps with a way station in between. We have been taught that if we die in a state of grave sin we will go to hell. That is exactly what Fr. Baron stated.
Fr Barron states there is a POSSILIBITY of HELL, NOT there is a HELL.
And that we can “Reasonably hope that ALL will be Saved.”
This is heresy.
He calls Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ a liar, because he denies the teaching of Jesus who clearly said there is a Hell and that those who are Saved will be few.
It appears that Barron and his beloved Von Balthazar also assume that when Jesus (God) was teaching, He did not know He was going to die on the cross for everyone’s sins, therefore want Jesus said about few being saved is not true.
Barron NEVER states that ” We must hope that everyone has the faith to get into heaven” nor does he state anything about “teaching others” in his video as stated by you, Bob One.
Fr. Barron is just the latest iteration of EWTN’s much lauded “celebrity” priests and part of the larger cult of personality that seems to unduly afflict our Church. The careers of such priests typically do not end well.
When Barron went against the words of Jesus in Holy Scripture, Mother Angelica would have booted him out on his behind.
ANYONE else want to ARGUE with JESUS ? ? ? ? ?
The Narrow Gate “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction,
and those who enter by it are MANY.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life,
and those who find it are FEW. ” – JESUS
Further explanation by JESUS in Lk 13:23-27, including that MANY will seek to enter by the narrow door and will not be able;
and depart from Me all you workers of iniquity ! There you will weep and gnash your teeth….. and you yourselves thrust out. – plus more.
I guess Barron and a few of the posters on this page do not understand what the word “MANY” means.
Or they believe JESUS (God) did not tell the truth.
Which is it ?
I think it’s fine that folks discuss and debate, sometimes vehemently, a point of theology like this one. What I don’t get is the vitriol with which it is done. Y’all gotta get a grip and figure out that people you disagree with are not automatically and therefore damnable people. Show a little respect as you claw your way to heaven. There may be a hell filled with many people. But you don’t have to take such glee in sending people there, do you??
I wholeheartedly agree with you. Mother Angelica would have certainly had to take several sips of water in between some emotionally induced coughing spells in order to properly address this doozey on television. While it may be true that many of Father Barron’s tapes on Church teaching remain clear, then this misleading tape on hell is all the more serious. You are correct! This is NOT what Jesus said about hell. Are we so deprived that when we hear the truth so rarely that when a teacher comes along and for the most part teaches what is true but then slips in a very misleading falsehood, we will excuse it because the other tapes are true?
Perhaps Father Barron is even being a bit presumptuous about the real reason for 10 million viewers. There are so many dissenters within the Church they can still teach their particular brand of dissent and then point them to Father Barron as a very respected teacher of Catholicism and then ask them to view Father Barron’s tape on Hell. That is a danger. Father Barron should only clarify and uphold “Jesus’s teachings, ” period.
Yes, Catherine – SIN of PRESUMPTION.
CCC: ” 2092 There are two kinds of presumption.
Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high),
or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit). “
“Though it might surprise and dismay some people, the Biblical figure who talks the most about Hell is Jesus of Nazareth. So, look in the New Testament and you will find lots of references to hell on the lips of Jesus. He warns again and again of Gehenna and it’s never=ending fire. Think of the parable of Lazarus and Dives, you know, where the rich man is separated by this infinite gulf, you know, from the bosom of Abraham. Uh, think of Matthew 25, that sort of startling parable where God will separate the goats from the sheep and it’s pretty clear that some go off to an eternal punishment. So, we didn’t just drag this language of hell up from nowhere, I mean it is coming up from Jesus Himself.”
Father Robert Barron, from the video
Archbishop Sheen was a ‘rock star’ celeb of the fifties, as was Fr.Peyton, with his ‘Family Theater’ (where James Dean got his first acting gig) Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that exposure on tv and radio makes stars of people, but it also brings the word of THE WORD into people’s livingrooms. Fr. Mitch Pacwa isn’t likely to end up like Fr. Corapi, but all priests need our prayers, including those who are not famous.
Dispatches “Massa Damnata”
What I like about this Voris video is not only the accurate Scriptural teaching,
but underneath the video, he provides documentation,
Dr. Ralph Martin, Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, has written an important book titled “Will Many Be Saved?” which refutes Barron and Von Balthazar. (I have this book.)
(For those who watch EWTN, Dr, Martin has white hair, I’m sure you have seen him.)
I love Ralph Martin..he’s a true spiritual warrior of the faith. I think it was his book that spurred Fr.Barron to write his WordonFire video to refute the splendid clarity of Martin’s book.
I think you all should pray for Father Barron. He has areas that need cleaning up, just as we all do. Go ahead and throw the first stone if this is not so. But he is also doing a lot of good. His videos on the Catholic Church were outstanding!
No Noel, we should all be throwing stones! The first stone, the hundreds of stones after that, and the final stone. Because that is what we do here on CCD. If someone says something that we find a wee bit different than what we think or say, pummel them, right? Isn’t that what the Catechism says?
Anonymous, then why are you always throwing stones at posters,
and hating the Bible and the CCC – which you knock everytime someone suggests that we read them ?
You are the problem.
Only you throw stones Anonymous, and YOU cause dissention with your anti-Bible, anti CCC rhetoric.
You accuse people of not knowing Doctrine. The Doctrine of the Church is contained in the CCC (- that you love to take pot shots at).
“….the CATECHISM has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
Anonymous, don’t make things up. If you wish to quote the Catechism, provide the paragraph number, because you can not be trusted to tell the truth.
I am reminded of the song lyric that says: “I don’t believe n Heaven, and I Pray there ain’t no Hell.”
Once again Purgatory gets a rather short study by either side, although it seems rather central to whether the ‘Hope’ of Heaven is destroyed upon death of the body; or can eventually flower if nurtured in Purgatory.
I would very much like to watch a moderated debate between Voris & Father Barron, during which the exchanges might provide greater clarification to those of us interested (dare I say invested?) in the issue.
When the series ‘Catholicism’ was first available I purchased several copies to donate to some local Catholic Schools – and following up over the years have seen some incorporate the work in to their education – and others leave it gather dust on the shelves.
Regardless of Content (Yeah – The Content Is what matters) the series was very well put together and visually appealing, which on the one hand should be the least important part of it – but when dealing with Humans and Modern Media sensibilities, can make or break putting across the Message – particularly amongst the young.
Paintings & Frescos… from hundreds and hundreds of years ago, rarely have the visual impact of the latest ‘transformers’ movie in inciting imagination and thought / discussion, and the ‘Miracles’ on the big screen (I like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea) are often gaudier and ‘grander’ than those ordinary every day miracles – like sunrise.
That’s so true, Michael It is one of Fr. Barron’s greatest gifts that he loves beauty and brings that aspect of the Church to people who otherwise don’t realize the importance of beauty to the life of faith. If it isn’t beautiful, it isn’t true. He is helping to train viewers’ eyes to the importance of beauty in liturgy and Church architecture, etc. He has a true missionary zeal for sharing the faith with the world.
Michael Vorris is a wonderful apologist and his website is a wealth of learning and history, and those are his gifts. It isn’t either /or but both/and . How fortunate we are to have such myriad gifts and blessings.
I think that perhaps Fr. Barron and Cardinal Dolan mean well, and really want to help the Church– however, I think that they are too secular, sensational, babyish, and “media-oriented,” trying to be popular, rather than trying to be truly holy and Christ-like! I prefer a Catholic cleric to be mature, unworldly, holy, and Christ-like! Then, if people in the secular world are interested– fine! I adored Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, when young! He was always very mature, in presenting the Faith to the millions, worldwide! He also was very firm, and totally mature— about sin! A wonderful Role Model, who brought millions of new Catholics into the Church! Since his era, particularly the days prior to Vatican II– we have not one Church leader, like our beloved Ven. Fulton J. Sheen! Not even one, truthfully presents Church teaching, and honestly lives and practices Catholicism by it, as Sheen did! NOT ONE (except, maybe Cardinal Burke??) Not even the recent sainted (and beatified) Popes are as honest, mature, manly, brave, strong, truthful, and as faithful to God– as Ven. Fulton J. Sheen!
there is a hell and people can go there.
The Catholic Church teaches that those who die in mortal sin go there.
Those who are defending the Church teaching are doing well.
But as you read in the article, Father Barrons youtube videos are not catechism and not apologetics.
“I resolved to make short video commentaries on movies, music, current affairs, cultural happenings, etc.”
Father Barron is offering a short history of different ideas of hell, about half of them are not Catholic. He offers his own ideas about it without reference to Church teaching. He never addresses at all what the Catholic Church’s teaching is. (I agree with those who say that he should have.)
I went back and starting his heretical video again. The title within the Video says “Fr. Barron” and he is wearing his roman collar as well.
If he was doing his video’s as a civilian, he would not use his Church title, nor wear his collar.
Barron fully intends to give the impression that he is speaking as a Catholic Priest. This gives Scandal and causes confusion to non-Catholics and the uncatechised,
Barron knows exactly what he is doing.
Do any of you actually understand the concept of freedom of speech? Do any of you actually KNOW what the Church’s teaching is on Hell, or are you just relying upon something you saw in a comic book?
Imagine a day – what if – when we all clearly saw that the joys of heaven are so enormous that no one would make the choice to go to Hell. Imagine such a heaven!! Because that heaven is most certainly real. And if imagining that heaven makes me a heretic, then fire up the stake.
I am sure that everyone would love to be able to believe that everybody went to a good place when they died. It would even be comforting to believe that one ceased to exist at death. The idea of hell and Purgatory strike terror into the heart of man. However, reality bites.
Dr Scott Hahn, one of the foremost Bible scholars of our day has a talk on Church teaching on Hell that he specifically wrote to address theologians such as Fr Barron who make it sound difficult to go to Hell and easy to get to Heaven. He said the latter was in direct contradiction to Church teaching and opposed to what Jesus taught. I heard it today on EWTN and the CD is available through Lighthouse Ministries. Heaven will be beyond anyone’s imagination, so full of beauty, joy and light that it might actually destroy us if we were to go there as we are right now. Purgatory makes so much sense…a purging of sin and filth, a cleansing that most of us will definitely need. I mentioned it before, but Catherine of Sienna could actually smell people’s corruption, and one woman who wanted to give money to St Catheine smelled so strongly, St Catherine felt ill and had to leave the woman’s home, The thought of being separated from God is too terrible to contemplate! I think Hell will be utter blackness, totally coldness, complete aloneness, no recognition, no friends, no communication…just a “gnashing of teeth in the cold, outer darkness”.
Anonymous, apparently you have never read the Bible, which include the words of Jesus.
The Bible is not a comic book.
Precisely, Mandy. Yet most of the theology of the commenters here comes more from comic books than from serious study of Jesus words in the context of the entire history of salvation. Fr. Barron invites us to look at the question with a degree of seriousness – starting with Jesus’ words – in ways that can deepen our faith in Jesus’ desire to have us enter into heaven, rather than focus on how big or how small or how fiery hell is. If we focus only on Jesus words like a fundamentalist Southern Baptist, without putting them into context, we would have to believe that their is literally a narrow gate to get through physically. Literally a narrow gate. Gee, I wonder if that gate is made of marble or wood, or stone? How many angels can dance on a pin?
But if we use our knowledge of scripture we can see that that gate might just be a reference to the lintels upon which the blood of the sacrificial lamb was to be smeared so that the angel of death would passover us. There is depth to the Scriptures beyond any simple-minded comic book rendition that might be made. God’s desire always and throughout history is to provide a way for his people to be saved.
And with that, my prayer for you and all of CCD today is that through the blood of the Lamb, the angel of death might pass over your house and that you would enter through that narrow gate into life.
Anonymous (regarding your statement below) – you are making things up again.
Jesus was very clear on all of His teaching about Hell.
Please also pray for the adulterers, fornicators, and those performing homosexual acts with no repentance, no intention of sinning no more.
Pray for those who commit Sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion unworthily and thus bringing condemnation upon themselves.
1 Cor 11:27:28.
And pray for those who support any mortal sin in the public media, or the voting booth.
And pray for people like yourself who try to twist the words of Jesus to condone mortal sin, and lying stating that others are doing wrong when they are guilty.
And pray for those high ranking Clergy and Priests who twist the teachings in the Bible to support sin, and thus are remote participants in those sins. (CCC 1868)
And pray for those Bishops who give Scandal, by not teaching, correcting or disciplining when necessary those Catholics who chose to live in a public state of mortal sin, because these high ranking clergy are like wolves in sheeps’ clothing. (CCC 2285)
Anonymous, Barron is promoting heresy in the public media. And in his video he clearly stated that he believes as Von Balthazar regarding we can hope everyone will be saved which is in direct contradiction to the words of JESUS.
Further Barron did not state there is a Hell, but that there is a “possibility of Hell” which is heresy.
Andrea, NOT IT IS NOT HERESY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you really believe it is heresy, you need to go through a Catholic Faith Formation program. Your belief is not what the church teaches. Go talk to your pastor about this and get the straight scoop.
Bob One, whether you or Barron like it or not – it is a HERESY to publically state that there is only the “POSSIBILITY of HELL”,
and to state (that JESUS LIED in Mt 7:13-14 and Lk 13:23-28) that we can hope ALL are SAVED (going to Heaven).
Please be specific in quotes from JESUS (give specific Bible verse numbers)
where JESUS said that;
1) there is only the “possibility” of Hell
2) that ALL or almost everyone will be Saved.
I’m not interested in your personal opinion, or in your false justifications of Barron.
God desires that all men are Saved, however
he gave each of us a free will and those who chose to live in mortal sin with no repentance will go to HELL.
As a Catholic Priest, and as head of a Seminary, it is Barron’s job to teach the Faith only according to the Magisterium, not according to some dissident theologians.
Barron is misusing the public media when he promotes heresy.
Barron owes student Priests the teaching of the Doctrine of the Faith only according to the Magisterium which is contained in the Bible and CCC.
This is all he should promote in the public media.
It is all he should teach in the Seminary, because this is what these students will pass on to the Laity when they are ordained.
Mike, when you take a course in theology you are likely to learn the thinking of many scholars in that body of knowledge. When you take your next course in theology you will learn about the thinking of many scholars in the new body of knowledge. It is the same as learning a language or a science. You take 101, and then 102 etc. In each course you learn more than you did in the last course. In the seminary students don’t take a read the CCC and then get ordained. It takes a lot of study and a lot of soul searching to learn what the Bible is telling us. What is the meaning of a particular sentence? Why was that word used, from the Greek instead of the Latin? How would that really translate into English? How can we take one verse and build a homily about it that has meaning for our parishioners. They are not there to be brainwashed, but to learn about and grow in their faith. It is not as simple as you make it out to be. The lack of understanding of the context and meaning of this video demonstrates that.
Bob One, why do you think so many homilies are poor today?
Why do you think so many Laity are not accurately and fully taught the Faith by their Parish Priests?
Why are they not taught about: Sin, particular judgment at death, Hell ?
Many times it is – because of LOUSY formation in Seminaries.
Many Seminiaries do not study the CCC completely.
Jesus did not make the Faith difficult, He did not tell His Apostles to study those who promote heresies.
Von Balthazar, Karl Rahner, and Bernard Lonergan, are NOT teachers of the ‘Doctrine of the Faith’, yet their personal opinions are taught frequently as fact in many seminaries.
“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 5)
“….. let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.
i was thinking that Fr. Barron meant the possibility of hell in relation to a soul going there, not that hell existed. Listened to the video and looked at comments below. Here’s one that set right with me:
“Look guys, here is the point.
Father Barron recognizes and agrees; firstly that Hell is real, and furthermore that people can go to Hell. No one is saying that all is permissible. When Fr. Barron mentions “The possibility of Hell”, he is not saying that Hell’s existence is uncertain – but rather that Heaven is not guaranteed.
BUT HERE’s THE POINT! – the reason Fr. Barron is unapologetic about this video, is that it is POSSIBLE that even the darkest sinners can be saved by the great mercy of God! Are people likely in Hell? Maybe. But let us all HONOR God by hoping in his mercy! and trusting in the greatness of his mercy! Hope? Nothing wrong with Hope. Is it a fool’s hope? If you believe that it is only a fools hope, then you diminish the greatness of God’s Mercy. Let us honor The infinite Mercy of God! How great it is beyond comprehension!
See? Not so bad! We’re all on the same team here! Have I stated this correctly, Father Barron?
Fr. Robert Barron
Admin, you are putting your own words in Fr. Barron’s mouth re his video.
Barron is not stupid and capable of speaking for himself IN HIS VIDEO that he is promoting in the public media.
Barron called JESUS a Liar, by disagreeing with JESUS in Barron’s video with the topic of: “WHETHER HELL is CROWDED or EMPTY”.
We can not “hope” that ALL or MOST will be saved.
And there is not merely the “possibility of Hell” at stated by Barron;
there is a “Hell”.
JESUS CLEARLY SAID:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are FEW. ” Mt 7:13-14; (caps on many and few are mine)
and see Lk 13:23-28.
Maybe it would be helpful to step back from saying Fr. Barron is calling a Jesus a liar. He did after all start his video with a rather comprehensive look at Jesus’ teachings (given the length of the video)? The concept of hell certainly at one time at least included the widespread notion that hell was a place for the righteous to occupy before the salvific acts of Jesus took place. Hence, the Church has a rich history that says that Jesus himself descended to hell (as we say in the Apostle’s creed), and the image of what he did there is preserved in so much rich art: He unchained Abraham and Moses and all the righteos-but-not-yet saved, which must have been a pretty crowded place. So somehow the early Fathers saw hell as a holding tank much like purgatory, and the uses of hell after the Resurrection and whether or not there are a lot of people there is open to an aweful lot of speculation and prayerful thought, which is after all the point of this video. If you pray about heaven and hell and your personal choice about where you want to spend eternity, then perhaps Fr. Barron has accomplished his goal here.
New viewers of the merciful and clear teachings of the Catholic Church should not have to wait to search out the comment sections from posters in order to crossword puzzle guess or clarify the confusion caused by this particular video. Like it or not, that particular tape does not clearly teach what Jesus taught about hell. Mercy is GOOD when it accompanies the full truth. Mercy without truth is NOT merciful, in fact it is cruel because it has the potential to confuse and mislead. AND if ever you don’t want to unintentionally mislead someone, then it IS on the topic of the existence of hell. Our weak and vulnerable fallen nature often inclines us to search out loopholes in order to rationalize certain sins. Clarity is of the utmost importance especially when teaching new seminarians. Should the new seminarians have to sift through the comment sections on a website to figure out what Father Barron meant or should they be taught the clear teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the existence of hell?
“BUT HERE’s THE POINT! – the reason Fr. Barron is unapologetic about this video, is that it is POSSIBLE that even the darkest sinners can be saved by the great mercy of God!
Catherine, no one should second guess the words of Clergy.
They (including Barron) are capable of stating exactly what they mean.
Barron knew this video on “Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty” was being taped, and that he would release it to the public media.
No one accused Barron of being stupid.
He chose his words carefully, and some of them are a heresy.
PETER, DOTTIE and Chris,
Thank you! You ARE all absolutely correct. After the terrible behind the scenes agenda at the synod was exposed to the world, it is all the more important to speak up and clarify. Father Barron did choose his words ever so carefully and I am sad to say that I fear perhaps even very craftily. St. Augustine said that in order for the devil to destroy you, he must first deceive you. How terrible are these times that our compromised shepherds at the Synod and many compromised shepherds are now trying to either change Church teaching or slip in some strategically ambiguous statements from men in order to rescript God’s revealed truths to fit the political correctness of thought and speech.
To those who truly believe and understand the Catholic faith it seems that Father Barron carefully chose those particular words thinking that he was safely straddling the fence so that if voices DID start to recognize the error then he perhaps knew the particular defense that we are hearing would suffice in sweeping this matter under the rug. In these very perilous times when it comes to clearly teaching the faith, Catholics cannot just rest on their You tube laurels and assume that all shepherds have their salvation as their prime motive or reason for saying some of the things that are said. Jesus’s teachings on Hell were crystal clear. Even opening up the discussion to newly entertain the idea that it might not be that crowded IS a direct insult to Jesus’s clear words.
Another strong proponent of Hans Urs Von Balthasar was the late great Fr. Thomas Dubay SM. He was on EWTN for many years in which he taught the importance of authentic Catholic Contemplative Prayer. Not this “Centering Prayer” dangerous sham (which is nothing more than technique-based Eastern meditation practices-not Catholic or even Christian at all) that I’ve seen even otherwise orthodox Catholic pastors allow regularly in their parishes. Go check EWTN’s audio archives for yourself or get a hold of Fr. Dubay’s books and you can see how regularly how much he praises Von Balthasar’s writings. And if you want to learn more about how dangerous Centering “Prayer” is, do a Google search for Catholic apologist Sharon Lee Giganti and listen to her explanations. She regularly endorses Fr. Dubay’s books for authentic Catholic Contemplative Prayer.
Kihei, You are not paying attention.
Several people have already told you truthfully that NOT EVERYTHING said by Hans Urs Von Balthasar is wrong, nor is everything heretical.
Not one person you mentioned praised Von Balthasar for calling Jesus a liar. Jesus said few will be saved. Mt 7:13-14; and Lk 13:23-27.
Von Balthasar said almost everyone will be saved – which ultimately means there is no need for judgment at death or a last judgment for the majority.
There will be no need to separate the sheep from the goats.
Are you calling Jesus a liar too ?
Where is the real issue here?
Fr. Baron, throughout the video recognized the existence (at least that is what I heard in his discussion of different theologians) and for those of us who go through life thinking we are not going there, we should be open the possibility of hell being our future. He also said that we should hope that we all go to heaven. We should all live so that we are in a state of grace when we die. My question is this: is it against the teachings of the church to accept the possibility of going to hell, and is it against the teachings of the church to hope that we all die in a state of grace? If I believe that hell exist and the possibility of my soul going there, am I a heretic? If I hope that a lot of people go to heaven, am I a heretic?
Fr. Barron admitted to the “POSSIBILITY” of HELL. The “possibility” is not what the Church teaches, nor is it what Jesus taught. The Church teaches Hell definitely DOES exist.
Bob One, what you are writing in some of your post. and what Barron states in his video ” WHETHER HELL IS CROWED or EMPTY” at the 90% level are not related at all. Barron does not speak about the need for repentance, or that MANY can end up in Hell if they do NOT repent.
Further, back up YOUR own accusation that anyone posting on this site has said they will definitely GET to Heaven ? Post the name, date, and article under which it can be found.
Stop lying about the exact words of Barron, and never contradict the words of Jesus as Barron has done.
Pray for Barron. He is supposed to be teaching the words of Jesus,
NOT the words of Von Balthazar to seminarians and all in the public who see his media presentation on “Whether Hell is Crowded or Empty”.
Believing Von Balthazar, over God is grave.
Idolizing Von Balthazar, over God is grave.
Unfortunately, Barron knows the exact heresy he is perpetrating, because Barron even stated no one spoke more about Hell than Jesus.
Yet Barron chooses to believe and publically teach others Von Balthazar’s particular heresy in this issue.
The lack of people going to Confession these days, shows that Barron’s hope that all people will be saved is ridiculous.
This is what I heard when I listened to the video for the fourth time. There is a hell. For folks who go through life think it doesn’t exist, and who live a sinful life, and are not in a state of grace when we die, then they/we should be open to the possibility of hell and that our souls will end up there. I think that the “possibility of hell” was not a statement of disbelief in church dogma, but simply a way of telling people to beware of their going there. I think that his words, documented though they were, were taken out of context and did not reflect accurately what he was trying to say or the totality of his message. Just a thought..
Bob One, what you think you heard and what was actually stated in Barron’s video are NOT the same.
Barron said exactly what he and Von Balthazar believe, and for you to try to spin Barron’s words is dishonest.
1) There IS a HELL, not the possibility of HELL, because JESUS said so.
2) MANY will NOT be Saved because JESUS said so.
If you choose to believe Barron over JESUS, that is up to you. But to not try to spin Barron’s words – heretical as they are.