UPDATE #1: Proof (Video)

I'm Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and host of the award-winning "CATHOLICISM" series, which aired on PBS. I'm a religion correspondent for NBC and have also appeared on "The Rubin Report," MindPump, FOX News, and CNN.

I've been invited to speak about religion at the headquarters of both Facebook and Google, and I've keynoted many conferences and events all over the world. I'm also a #1 Amazon bestselling author and have published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life.

My website, https://WordOnFire.org, reaches millions of people each year, and I'm one of the world's most followed Catholics on social media:

- 1.5 million+ Facebook fans (https://facebook.com/BishopRobertBarron)

- 150,000+ YouTube subscribers (https://youtube.com/user/wordonfirevideo)

- 100,000+ Twitter followers (https://twitter.com/BishopBarron)

I'm probably best known for my YouTube commentaries on faith, movies, culture, and philosophy. I especially love engaging atheists and skeptics in the comboxes.

Ask me anything!

UPDATE #2: Thanks everyone! This was great. Hoping to do it again.

Comments: 11795 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

Ambiorix669409 karma

Do you find it a major hindrance only being able to move diagonally?

BishopBarron65 karma

Ask Harry Potter.

LucidLunatic4489 karma

Bishop,

I am an atheist/agnostic who was raised Episcopal, and learned canonical Greek to read the New Testament in the original language many years ago. When I was considering my own faith, I could not get passed the fact that the central text of Christianity, the New Testament, was written by man. At the stage of translation, I can see how some meanings were changed or obscured. Of the many gospels, including those unknown and now apocryphal, those that were chosen for inclusion were chosen by men with political goals at the Councils of Nicea and Rome.

While this does not prove or disprove the existence of God, nor the truth of the scripture, it is indicative of the fact that everything of religion that we learn and know has first passed through the hands of people. According to scripture, these people have free will, experience temptation, and so on. Thus, for me, an act of great faith in humanity would be necessary to believe in the accuracy any of the materials or teachings associated with the church presented as facts of the distant past.

Is this something that you have worked through? I would be interested in how you resolve the acts of man in assembling the articles of faith for your own practice.

Thank you for your thoughts.

BishopBarron2420 karma

Well, any sort of divine revelation would have to pass through human minds, bodies, hands, and conversations. There is simply no way around this. And the same, actually, is true of any form of intellectual endeavor. Vatican II said that the Bible is the Word of God in the words of men.

LucidLunatic1283 karma

The difference, for me, with many other matters we have an ability to confirm or disprove what we are told. I have myself had the experience of reading a paper from another physicist, going into the lab, reproducing their steps and finding a different result. When I am fortunate, I can determine the cause of the discrepancy. I cannot do this to affirm the original source of divine revelation. If I could, no faith would be required on these counts.

I suppose my failing is that I wish faith in the divine were only required to determine if it were worthy of following, much as it is for any mortal leader, not for determining provenance and existence. Thank you, Bishop.

BishopBarron295 karma

But you can't follow that process in regard to any historical claims either. You have to rely, finally, on someone's testimony.

Mediocretes1144 karma

any sort of divine revelation would have to pass through human minds, bodies, hands, and conversations. There is simply no way around this.

Direct revelation would be a way around it. I mean, it would have to pass through a human mind, but people trust their own minds above others almost universally.

BishopBarron151 karma

But then others have to take the revelation seriously. This means that they have to accept or reject it, think about it, draw out its implications. Just as there is really no private language, as Wittgenstein said, there is really no private religion.

stmarcellina3579 karma

Hello! What are your thoughts about the nonresponse of Pope Francis to the Vigano letter? This is day 25 since the letter was communicated.

BishopBarron4527 karma

You know, I can't speak for the Pope. But for the past several weeks, I've been calling for an objective, transparent, lay-led investigation into the McCarrick scandal. I think we have to get to the truth for the sake of the victims.

I made two longer videos on the topic here:

https://youtu.be/ncMEXr60AeI

https://youtu.be/-ani_hnN8Fs

Em3rgency2008 karma

Hello! Thank you for taking the time to do this. I am an atheist who enjoys discussions with religious people!

I grew up in a family where both of my grandmothers are fanatically religious, though of different catholic denominations. And they were both trying to show me "the true way" as I was growing up. I love them both dearly. However, as a result of their teachings, I ended up questioning religion in general. As an adult I've read the bible and came to the conclusion that although it has good moral guidance on some issues, it does not show itself as being a "word of God" or having any divine inspiration and I am now atheist because of this realization.

How do you reconcile the fact that the bible prohibits so many things that society and devout Christians consider to be allowed, because the times have changed, or whatever other reason. How can humans decide against anything that a supposedly divine text proclaims? Surely in this situation, either the bible is not of God or the people are not true Christians. Would that mean that only fringe zealots are the true Christians?

BishopBarron2464 karma

Not everything that is in the Bible is what the Bible teaches. Even in Paul's time, it was recognized that elements of the legal code no longer had binding force. This is a matter of a progressive or evolving revelation. It is most important to attend to the patterns, themes, and trajectories within the entire Bible and not to individual passages taken out of context.

Cordelia_Fitzgerald1232 karma

Why would God choose to reveal himself to only one nation? If the goal is for people to know God, why didn't he make covenants with peoples all over the world so everyone would have an equal chance to know him?

Why do I get the benefit of being born into a Catholic family while other people may have never heard of God? It seems like I have an unfair advantage right from the start.

BishopBarron308 karma

The bottom line is that if God wanted to reveal himself in history, he ipso facto had to reveal himself particularly, which means at a definite time and to a definite people. Now, the ultimate purpose of this revelation is to bring the divine truth and love to the whole world, which is why Israel properly understood its identity as missionary. "Mt. Zion, true pole of the earth, there all the tribes go up..."

CardboardSoyuz739 karma

Raised Catholic and I am still fond of what the Church is supposed to be about. And I love the ceremony, but I find myself utterly agnostic these days. I'm manifestly not an athiest, but God seems, all but definitionally, unknowable. Prayer never seems to do anything for me. I don't expect miracles, but I never seemed to found even guidance. I'd like to be faithful, but I've never had a sign.

How does one reach out from a long held (but respectful) agnosticism to even entertain the question openly any more?

BishopBarron830 karma

Start with C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity and see where his approach to God leads you. You definitely don't need "spectacular" experiences to be religious. Most of the saints didn't have such experiences. You might also take a look at my videos on the argument from contingency for God's existence.

dem0n0cracy703 karma

As a moderator of r/DebateAnAtheist - I have never seen a good argument for why God exists. It seems to all come down to putting virtue into the mechanism of faith - which is an epistemology - or a way to know things - but faith isn't reliant on evidence - just confidence. If I were to have faith - I could believe that literally anything is true - because all I'm saying is I have confidence that it is true --not evidence. Why are theists always so proud that they admit they have faith? Why don't they recognize they have confirmation bias? Why can't they address cognitive dissonance? Why do they usually 'pick' the religion their parents picked? Why don't they assume the null hypothesis / Occam's Razor instead of assuming the religion their parents picked is true? Why use faith when we can use evidence? Please don't tell me that I have faith that chairs work - I have lots of REAL WORLD EVIDENCE.

BishopBarron536 karma

Why don't we bracket faith for the moment. The best argument for God's existence is the argument from contingency. Things exist, but they don't have to exist. This means that they exist through a nexus of causes. Now are these causes themselves contingent? If so, we have to invoke a further nexus of causes. This process cannot go on infinitely, for that would imply a permanent postponement of an explanation. We must come finally, therefore, to some reality which exists through itself, that is to say, not through the influence of conditioning causes. This is what Catholic theology means by the word "God."

iebennett587 karma

Hi Bishop Barron. How would you defend the Catholic claim of papal supremacy? It seems to me that the development of a monarchical pope had more to do with politics than theology. I ask this as a former Protestant who is looking for an ancient, sacramental, and apostolic church. So for me the above question boils down to: why should I become Catholic and not Orthodox?

BishopBarron805 karma

Think of papal supremacy along the lines of umpiring or refereeing a game. Precisely because doctrine develops over space and time, there has to be some final authority to distinguish between legitimate evolution and corruption. Without this authority, the community tends to dissolve into endless bickering or it breaks apart.

total_carnations211 karma

how do you reconcile the concept that "doctrine develops over time" vs "moral absolutism"?

BishopBarron512 karma

A plant develops and yet remains the same plant. An animal interacts continually with its environment and yet remains the same animals. You're proposing a false dichotomy.

beefstewforyou585 karma

I converted to Catholicism several years ago but left after a couple of years. One of my biggest issues with Catholics is that they seem to not care about converting anyone but would rather purge their own members. I was even told I should leave because I have a separation of church and state view in regards to political issues. After leaving, not a single person ever contacted me to ask why. I ran into one person and she asked why I haven’t been around. I told her I was as no longer a Catholic and she passive aggressively told me I could never truly leave the church. What do you have to say to me about this?

BishopBarron969 karma

Gosh, I hate that story. I'm really sorry. Please don't reject the Church because of the bad behavior of some pastors and some parishioners.

shadowfrost613573 karma

Hi there! I would identify myself as an atheist in that I do not believe in any particular God. That being said, I do not deny that I do believe there to be "something more" to the nature of the universe and am open to as many interpretations as I can find. One thing that I have never fully understood from a Christian viewpoint is what it is they actually view God as? Is it the embodiment of the universe itself, meaning that we are all a part of God and God is in essence "everything"? Or is God viewed as a literal figure reigning over the existence of the universe as a creation wholly separate from itself?

If the latter is the generally accepted view (as I understand it is). Then would that not lend itself to God simply being a higher being that may not be the final explanation to all things? And if that is true, what would the Catholic explanation or interpretation of such a possibility be?

Please note that I intend this question with respect and honest curiosity.

BishopBarron1046 karma

God is, in the words of Thomas Aquinas, ipsum esse subsistens, which means the sheer act of to-be itself. He is not an item in the world or alongside the world. God is the reason why there is something rather than nothing.

Kalmadhari470 karma

Asking as a Muslim.

What is trinity and how is it monothetic instead of polytheistic or monoistic?

BishopBarron624 karma

The Trinity is a doctrinally-elaborated statement of the claim that God is love. If God "is" love, then there must be within the unity of God, a play of lover, beloved, and shared love. These correspond to what Christian theology means by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Here are some resources I have on the Trinity: https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/bishop-barrons-top-10-resources-on-the-trinity/4770/

maddog367461 karma

Why does hell exist? If you believe that god is omniscient that would mean he knows the future. So, before he creates someone he already knows if they are going to hell or heaven since he knows the future. If god is all good, then why is he creating people he knows are going to suffer for eternity? Wouldn't the "good" thing be non existence?

BishopBarron533 karma

Hell is a corollary of two more fundamental teachings, that God is love and that we are free. "Hell" is a term used to describe the ultimate and final rejection of the divine love. This produces great suffering in the one who refuses. If you want to get rid of Hell, you have to deny one or both of those previous assumptions.

Quilter1961410 karma

Hi: what do you find is the most significant challenge to your personal faith?

BishopBarron1097 karma

You know, like a lot of people over the centuries, I would say the problem of evil. Why do innocent people suffer?

PolskaPrincess399 karma

As a moderator of /r/Catholicism, I really am curious about your engagement strategies on the internet.

How do you discern it's time to walk away from a discussion?

What strategies to you have for engaging with non-Catholics and lukewarm Catholics?

Have you noticed any changes in online discussion trends in the last few months with all the scandals?

BishopBarron637 karma

I think it's time to walk away from a discussion when emotion has come to dominate reason. It's so important that we're really arguing about religious matters and not just sharing passionate feelings. As for luke-warm and non-Catholics, I usually like to start with something good, true, and beautiful in the culture--movies, music, etc.--and then show how these lead to God.

Mileston395 karma

Do you plan on being active on reddit after this AMA? Reddit is a wonderful way to interact with the broader culture, and it would be cool to see you on here more often.

BishopBarron596 karma

I certainly enjoyed it. I'd love to participate again.

RobIsRight278 karma

How do we defend the moral truths that the catholic doctrine teaches in the light of moral failure of the catholic teachers? People are more vocal and acerbic to catholic faith than ever before. What can we do?

BishopBarron292 karma

It's so important to distinguish the objective validity of moral teaching from the subjective responsibility of Church leaders. I mean, we're all sinners who fall short of the glory of God. The fact that Church officials cannot always live up to the moral demands of the Church doesn't tell against the legitimacy of those demands.

nedthenoodle256 karma

Are you familiar with the teachings of other prophets/teachers of other religions/schools of thought (not sure how to phrase) and if you are, what do you admire most about them? In no way am I asking you to validate their legitimacy, merely as an intellectual exercise.

BishopBarron662 karma

I would say, with the Second Vatican Council, that there are elements of truth in all the great religions of the world. I admire, for example, the moral system within Judaism, the mysticism within Hinduism, the Buddhist sense of apophaticism, the great Protestant stress on grace, etc. Now, I think Catholicism contains the fullness of truth that God wanted to reveal to the world. But this doesn't mean there aren't partial truths in other faiths.

miznyu33246 karma

I’m not a Catholic, but I’m a longtime listener and twitter follower. Easy question: what do you miss most about Chicago now that you’ve relocated to LA? And where and when can I hear you do a homily in person?

BishopBarron511 karma

Deep dish pizza and watching the Cubs.

As for sermons, I preach all over the place, but usually in my region on Sundays.

stickwithplanb234 karma

I was raised Catholic and went to a private Catholic school for 9 years, and I feel like if I had not been taught about this religion every day I wouldn't have questioned it as much. Do you see any kind of correlation between people losing their faith or never really having it, and having gone to religious institutions for school?

BishopBarron322 karma

I think it's far more common that people received poor instruction in the faith and therefore left it. Why do our high school kids read Shakespeare in religion class, Einstein in physics class, Homer in Latin class--and comic books in religion? That's the problem, I think.

swtor_sucks179 karma

What's the most important thing you've learned from dialoguing with atheists and agnostics?

BishopBarron737 karma

That they are deeply interested in religion.

Tzavok174 karma

There's some things I've always wondered.

How can believers you know "believe" at all? How can people be so sure something like that exists if they have never seen it or felt it? How can their faith on something unproven be so big?

I honestly find it fascinating, nothing I could ever do, in my mind it all seems illogical, that's why I just can't believe in something I'm not sure exists.

Honest questions.

BishopBarron214 karma

Quick response: there are an enormous number of things that you believe without absolutely compelling evidence. As John Henry Newman said, there is not a strict correlation between assent and inference. My point here is that religious belief is really not all that different from other forms of belief. They are all based on a congeries of reason, hunch, intuition, sensation, testimony, tradition, etc.

ProbablyMyLastPost146 karma

Hello Mr Barron.

Were you born a Catholic, did you parents choose for you or did you choose to become Catholic at a later age?
Also, why is Catholicism correct, and Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc incorrect?
Do you think you would still have become Catholic, had you been born in Iran or Afghanistan?
Thank you.

BishopBarron71 karma

In answer to your first questions, I would say "yes." They're all true and they're not mutually exclusive. In fact, practically everything we hold to be true is accepted through a similarly gradual process.

ivandoesnot136 karma

Matthew 7:5 Why is the church talking about ANYTHING besides the sexual abuse crisis and the plight of survivors? Isn't it callous to talk about helping immigrants or whomever when the church continues to ignore the plight of survivors? At least in (arch)dioceses like St. Louis?

What am I referring to?

BishopBarron62 karma

I think that's too strong. We're saying and doing a lot about sex abuse, but the Church can't stop its work until this problem is definitively solved. We still must preach, worship God, evangelize, and care for the poor.

insane677115 karma

Asking as an a Agnostic.

Do you have any close friends or family who aren't as devout, or maybe subscribe to a diffrent belife system altogether? Does this negatively affect your relationship with them?

BishopBarron285 karma

Sure. I have friends and family all over the map on religious issues. It doesn't really affect my own convictions. I try to think things through on my own.

trailrider102 karma

Given the recent sex scandals in PA, and on top of all the other sex scandals that have happened, I've had Catholic, and Protestant since they have their own scandals, friends who've told me that they've instituted policies/procedures in their churches to ensure that children aren't raped/molested by priests and congregants.

Assuming that your god is real, my question is this: What does it say about your god who was so allegedly outraged at gay sex that he issued orders to put men to death who engage in it and destroyed two ancient cities over it but yet does/did nothing while his own representatives here on earth groomed/molested/raped thousands of young boys, in his own house no less, for a period of at least decades if not centuries?

BishopBarron33 karma

God does not violate our freedom. Don't blame God. Blame sinners.

JackRyanDCI89 karma

Bishop, thanks for taking the time to do this. The "partisan" divide seems to be growing between those who emphasize social justice and those who underscore the importance of the sanctity of life and marriage. Why do you believe there is such difficulty to embrace and act upon all of our Church's teachings, and what can we do to bridge the divide?

BishopBarron212 karma

Good question. Hard to answer in short compass. I would simply say that both the pro-life and social justice teachings of the Church are grounded in a respect for the infinite worth of the individual human being.

willdrakes88 karma

Hey! I'm a 15 year raised catholic that greatly struggles with my faith. My biggest problem is how God allows people to suffer for no reason. For example babies that have a birth defect or a disorder? I've have asked my parents, but they seem no help because their answer was some have to suffer for others to be able to feel compassion.

BishopBarron83 karma

Thanks for the question, friend. The key phrase here is "for no reason." It's very difficult for us who have an extremely narrow grasp of space and time, ever to say in regard to an event "that doesn't make any sense." I mean, how can we possibly claim to know this? God is the Lord of all of history, all of space, all of time. He sees implications, consequences, and after-effects that we cannot even in principle see. That's why we have to stand back from some things that appear meaningless to us and give them over to God's providence.

jacobita86 karma

What did the Church Fathers meant by word "begotten" in the Credo "...begotten not made..."?

BishopBarron170 karma

What is begotten comes from another, does so automatically, and fully participates in that from which it comes. Hence the Son of God is begotten not made. What is made comes from another, but does so through a free choice and does not fully participate in that from which it comes.

whyenn84 karma

Steven Fry has made an interesting claim about God- that he wouldn't want to live in a world created by God.

Asked what he would say if he was confronted by God at the pearly gates of heaven, Fry replied: “I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about?

“How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil.

“Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say. ”

What would your response be to this?

BishopBarron89 karma

My response is that no mere human being is ever in a position to declare that something in this world is utterly meaningless. How could we? We have a diminishingly narrow grasp of space and time. But God sees the entire picture.

See my longer commentary on Stephen Fry's claim here:

https://youtu.be/07AWWJiyAU8

CustosClavium80 karma

Thank you for the work you do with the New Evangelization, Bishop Barron! If you had the responsibility to name a patron saint for Reddit, who would it be?

BishopBarron334 karma

Thomas Aquinas, who engaged frequently in what were called "quodlibetal questions" in the medieval university. This meant that he would go before a crowd and answer whatever they asked.

ckeirsey199276 karma

What makes a heaven without any pain, flaws, or sin of any kind, be preferable? To me, it still seems like complete ego death would occur, as the things that make someone who they are cease to exist.

BishopBarron116 karma

Not at all! Sin is a deformation of our humanity. In heaven we are completely ourselves. And who needs pain?

degrabatman71 karma

Hello Bishop Barron! I am a moderator of a Catholic Memes chat on GroupMe which now boasts well over 500 members. My question is: what role can memes, and comedy in general, play in the work of evangelizing the world?

BishopBarron204 karma

Chesterton, Philip Neri, Fulton Sheen, and Pier Giorgio Frassati all used humor to propagate the faith. I would quote the words of my friend, Fr. Paul Murray, who said that laughter can relax and open up the soul so as to received the seed of the word.

AThievingStableBoy63 karma

Hi there, thanks for doing this!

I'm a lifelong atheist with a bachelors degree in philosophy, but recently registered for RCIA at the age of 29. My reasons for this are both personal and philosophical, but that's not the crux my quesiton.

My issue is as follows: I'm at a point where I can accept the notion of a God and the basic fundamentals of the faith. But, I still struggle with things like transubstantiation. It's just such a leap of faith to believe that the bread and wine really becomes the body/blood of Christ. I've heard some compelling arguments for a metaphorical interpretation, but that's contrary to Catholic doctrine.

So, what would you say to someone like me who truly wants to embrace the faith, but is hitting a brick wall in accepting some of the more extreme claims? How do you reconcile that which seems contrary to reason with your faith, both in general and in the specific case of transubstantiation?

BishopBarron47 karma

What God says, is. God's knowledge and "speech" are not passive and derivative, but active and creative. God knows or "speaks" things into being. Jesus is God. Therefore, what Jesus says, is.

RoyalCake61 karma

I was raised catholic, I'm not a practicing catholic anymore but I still believe in a lot of norms and values the Catholic church upholds. I think Im not alone in this, what's your view on this aproach to Religion?

BishopBarron58 karma

Not good enough. You're reducing religion to morality, which was the strategy of Immanuel Kant. Authentic morality flows from metaphysics and from a proper view of God. Take God out of the picture, and the morality will fade away, like cut flowers in a vase.

brittommy55 karma

Hello, thanks for doing this. I have some questions about idolatry.. In the Bible, God makes it pretty clear that idols are a no-go. But I attended a church of England (not Catholic, but fairly similar in this regard) service the other day where the bishop walked down the aisle holding a bible above his head, preceeded by another holding a cross atop a tall pole with two candle-bearers by the side, and they all bowed to the altar at the front, neatly adorned with 2 silver candlesticks.

So my question is: how is any of that not idolatry? I don't think it calls out those rituals in the Bible anywhere, they're created by man and the church. Just because it's the christian God, doesn't mean it isn't idolatry. And I certainly don't think God & Jesus would care for them having all these fancy robes and gold crosses and silver chalices when they could sell them (or not buy them in the first place) and use that money to feed homeless, etc.

BishopBarron117 karma

Idolatry is the worship of something other than God. None of the things you describe involve this.

WhatYallGonnaDO50 karma

Do you think God interferes with the world? If yes, what do you think would change if he'd decide not to? Sorry if it's not clear, what I'm trying to say is that I don't see a God in anything, I just see men and the randomness of the world, where do you see a God in your everyday life?

BishopBarron152 karma

God does not so much "interfere" with the world. He sustains it from moment to moment, the way a singer sustains a song.

justmikewilldo49 karma

Can we agree that by definition, Faith in god, is to believe in something for which there is no evidence?

BishopBarron55 karma

No!!!!!

AlmostEnoughCooks48 karma

Why are you refusing to answer almost any questions about the scandals? This is clearly what people are most upset and intrigued about. The only way this situation is going to be fixed or diminished is if people like you step up and actually speak out.

BishopBarron66 karma

I didn't refuse! See the top-rated question.

bdresner39 karma

If God is so concerned with the safeguarding of human souls, then why, on pain of eternal torture, would he require us to believe in him on bad evidence, that is to say on faith?

BishopBarron46 karma

Faith is not accepting things on "bad evidence." It is the reasoning of a religious mind.

nahomyh38 karma

I have many friends who, although non-believers, claim that they have come to talk with Jesus and be sure of the transcendent, existence of "a being" because of the use of psychedelics (drugs). What do you make of those testimonies? What would you say to them? /Thank you SO MUCH for all you are and all you do, Bishop Barron!

BishopBarron108 karma

Whatever they are experiencing under the influence of those drugs is not what the Church means by God.

JazzySpinalFusion38 karma

What is your opinion on George Harrison’s music?

BishopBarron89 karma

Love it! Especially While My Guitar Gently Weeps. One of my favorite songs.

erehwonrepsaj37 karma

Bishop Barron, first of all, thanks for doing an ama. If god is all powerful, then isn’t god complicit in the actions of the devil? On another topic, could god make a stone too heavy for himself to move?

BishopBarron91 karma

God cannot do the impossible. That implies no limitation on his power. Making a stone so heavy that he can't lift it is a contradiction, like a square circle.

FlosCarmeli36 karma

Hello your excellency from a moderator of /r/TraditionalCatholics

You have been quoted and paraphrased as saying "Hell is probably empty", how do you respond to this when you have examples such as the vision of Hell of the children of Fatima and On the fewness of those who are saved by St. Leonard of Port Maurice?

Pax Christi

BishopBarron189 karma

I never said that "Hell is probably empty!" I said that it is permitted to hope that all people might be saved. As for Fatima and other similar visions, the Church never bases its doctrinal teachings on private revelations.

amywokz33 karma

How would you debate Neil deGrasse Tyson on the existence of God? What points would you make in taking on his objective view that there is no scientific proof of God's existence?

BishopBarron108 karma

Science as such cannot adjudicate this question. It's not a scientific matter. One would have to move to a philosophical plane, and this is what Tyson and so many others refuse to do.

walkeale32 karma

What do you think of the Gnostic doctrine? I recently learned of it, and am curious what the catholic reception of it is.

BishopBarron139 karma

We're against it. We have been since the second century.

consummatumest30 karma

Bishop Barron, whats your opinion on the philosophies of the so called post-modernists Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard etc? Also are any of the theories of Carl Jung compatible with Catholic doctrine?

BishopBarron86 karma

I like elements in the thought of all of those people. I read Foucault, Derrida, and Jung when I was a doctoral student in Paris. I would object to much in them and I would appreciate things in all of them.

TexanLoneStar30 karma

Greetings your eminance.

Any thoughts on growing a beard?

BishopBarron88 karma

I just don't grow a good beard. I've tried a couple of times, but it always looks scraggly.

Tigernesto29 karma

Bishop do you have a private program of morning prayer and meditation before you greet the day and deal with all the things you have to deal with? And how did you go about developing the program? And do you have any recommendations? I am just getting the idea that for me to dive into a day with whatever mood I have going on at the moment when I wake up might not be the best way to go about things. Lol

BishopBarron86 karma

I do a holy hour every morning. It usually involves part of the "office" that every priest prays every day. But I often do the Jesus Prayer or pray the rosary or just ask God to help me. I'm more of a morning person; so it's a good time for me.

perd127 karma

My wife and I have seriously decreased our tithe in response to the no response on the part of our Holy Father regarding +Vigano's accusations. I feel the silence is an insult to the faithful.

Is this morally a acceptable way to express our outrage at the episcopacy?

I hate to say it, I have enjoyed your responses but I also feel they have fallen short. I understand reason should prevail in these discussions and sincerely hope you're as outraged at the pope's lack of actions as the rest of the informed laity and are being censored by your obligation of duty to superiors.

BishopBarron22 karma

Take a look at my two videos on the subject.

bolek_the_papist25 karma

Hi Bishop Barron,

Who is your favourite saint and why?

Thank you and God bless!

BishopBarron90 karma

Thomas Aquinas. He changed my life.

Therealbadboy2223 karma

What are your theories on the discrepancies as to which the Bible says creation happened and when science says homosapiens evolved?

BishopBarron67 karma

Apples and oranges. The Bible is not dealing with science here.

Wlah22 karma

Why do you have to worship god?

Can't god just be your friend?

I wouldn't want my friends worshipping me...

BishopBarron83 karma

Worshipping God doesn't do one little thing for God, because God doesn't need anything. But it helps us enormously, for it properly orders us. And quite right, your friends should not worship you! You're not a fit object of worship.

CallMeEllieB20 karma

[deleted]

BishopBarron25 karma

God permits evil to bring about a greater good.

aga_blag_blag19 karma

Would you compare the statement "catholic priests are pedophiles and rapists" to "muslims are terrorists"?

In other words, how would you characterize the pedophilia scandals? Is it systemic? Or is the Church just an arbitrary avenue for pedophiles to get what they want?

BishopBarron66 karma

Friend, the clear evidence is that the overwhelming majority of priests are not pedophiles and rapists.

dontneednosaltwater16 karma

Mate don’t have much to say other than big thanks for helping me pass those exams with your videos, you rock dude! Also, is Plato right in saying we cannot fully understand the world?

BishopBarron47 karma

Thanks! So glad you got through your exams.

blockpro15616 karma

How do you defend the idea of human sacrifice, of one man being tortured and killed to make up for the sins of other people, which Christianity is built upon?

Likewise, how do you defend the idea that someone should be punished for the crimes of their ancestors? Also a concept that is very prevalent in the bible.

Besides the lack of any convincing evidence, this has always been my biggest problem with Christianity, the morals of it all just seem completely nonsensical and unfair, I can't imagine a just and wise god coming up with any of it.

BishopBarron54 karma

I don't defend those things. The sacrifice of Christ is pleasing to the Father inasmuch as it represents God's downward journey into all forms of godforsakenness.

Paladin122915 karma

Bishop barron who is your favorite writer of the church fathers?

BishopBarron63 karma

Irenaeus of Lyon.

HomelessFuckinWizard13 karma

Hi, I have two questions I'm curious to hear your perspective on. As an atheist born into a heavily Christian family, my one core issue with religion has been putting faith into a power that I can't confirm the existence of. Since I cannot personally say that I have ever had an experience that would prove the existence of God to me, how do you find yourself able to maintain your faith? What gives you confidence in what you've been taught? I've asked this question before, but the answer usually lies at "I just do", I'm hoping you can share more insight.

Similarly, how do you find yourself rationalizing some of the horrible deeds that humanity has committed? Think the holocaust, Armenian genocide, etc. I know that many people of the Jewish faith viewed the holocaust as a test of God, would you agree?

BishopBarron57 karma

There are lots of good arguments for God's existence. Go to StrangeNotions.com to find at least twenty. No real need to "rationalize" human wickedness. it's a function of freedom. God could have eliminated the Holocaust, but he would have to have eliminated freedom. Would you really be open to that?

LightlySalty12 karma

What is in your opinion the best and worst parts of Catholicism?

BishopBarron84 karma

Best part: Jesus. Worst part: we sinners.

FG39V9-111 karma

I know I'm a little late to the party but what's the chances of me convincing the Catholic church of the pope himself to donate a plot of land or old disused church to someone helping the homeless and runaways of Europe?

BishopBarron55 karma

That happens, in fact, all the time. Take a look at the work of Catholic Relief Services or Caritas International.

Dark_messengeR10 karma

Why would god have feet if he came into existense in a matterless void?

BishopBarron38 karma

He doesn't have feet!

apoconeedsataco9 karma

What are your thoughts on the synod for the youth? Do you think it should still go on?

BishopBarron29 karma

I'm for it.

[deleted]8 karma

How can you, in good conscience, continues to be associated with an organization that harbors and protects sexual predators? By not resigning you are complicit.

I guess my question is, why should we listen to someone complicit in the predation of children, like you are?

exit: autocorrect

edot: "The church is no more predatory that the rest of society, geeze. We still somehow have the moral authority, even though we are admittedly as bad as everyone else despite spending our lives studying the Bible." Ok.

BishopBarron77 karma

Oh give me a break! Some people within the Church did bad things. Some people in the Church are guilty of cover-up. But to claim that absolutely everyone in the Church is equally guilty is just a calumny. Study after study have revealed that roughly 4% of priests engaged in sexual abuse. This is precisely the national average. I'm not condoning any of it, but to say that the Catholic Church is somehow uniquely guilty in this regard is just ridiculous.

szymissick7 karma

[deleted]

BishopBarron86 karma

Jesus.

ill_infatuation6 karma

Hello Bishop, thank you for takin your time in answering questions.

My question is rather personal,
Are you saved? Could you take us through on how the Lord lead you to salvation?

BishopBarron161 karma

I'll respond with the words of Joan of Arc, when she was asked whether she was in the state of grace: "If I am, may God keep me so; if I'm not, may God put me so."

SKI_BOARD_TAHOE6 karma

Is God all powerful or all good?

BishopBarron41 karma

Both!

Imprefect225 karma

Hello Sir,

What do you know of Heaven from the Bible? What will it be like? What are you most excited for?

BishopBarron44 karma

Seeing God in the face.

Balthactor4 karma

I've heard you are modeling your ministry after Msgr. Luigi Giussani's work in founding Communion and Liberation, led by a charismatic man. Thinking that you are a charismatic man you're trying to build a similar movement around yourself.

Why not simply join with them, recognizing not there charismatic man, but the charism granted by God. I mean, if it is good enough for Fr. Carrón, who was founding his own movement in Spain before joining with CL, why not you?

BishopBarron72 karma

It's got nothing to do with me as a "charismatic" man. Word on Fire is dedicated to the evangelization of the culture. I'm calling people to this task.

LosersSizeDown4 karma

Your Excellency, what a great opportunity! I am a cradle Catholic trying to get stronger in my Faith. Apart from your Catholicism series, which books or resources would you recommend to someone who, despite being a cradle Catholic, is a "newbie" and still has LOTS to learn? (My Catholic self-esteem is kind of low now, too).

Thanks and God bless you!

BishopBarron137 karma

G.K. Chesterton's "Orthodoxy". Fulton Sheen's "Life of Christ". C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity". Joseph Ratzinger's "Introduction of Christianity".

Jadams107a4 karma

Bishop Baron, As someone who works in a church and catholic school setting, how do keep our young families excited about their faith beyond the required classes?

BishopBarron47 karma

Talk about it at home, a lot. Many studies have shown that family discussions contribute mightily to the maintaining of faith in kids.

InGenNateKenny3 karma

I watched many of your videos in religion class in high school. How does it feel to have a vast reach through different kinds of media?

BishopBarron27 karma

Delightful.

megor7773 karma

Bishop Barron, thank you for the work that you do for the Church and for doing this ama. I know you've discussed the role of the laity in general, but as an aspiring theologian, what do you think is the role specifically of theologians at this difficult time in the Church's history?

BishopBarron45 karma

Indispensably important! Give your career to the evangelizing of the "nones."

KSIChancho0 karma

Christian here

Do Catholics still believe that someone can be bought out of hell? And if they do what is this based off of biblically?

My dad was a catholic many many years ago so I’m working off what I’ve studied in the past and his experience.

BishopBarron86 karma

No Catholic has ever believed that.

honeywithhotchocolat-1 karma

Hey Bishop!! Do you watch any Catholic YouTube? If so, what do you watch?As a CY myself I find your videos so inspirational for the rest of us

BishopBarron65 karma

I'm very fond of the Word on Fire Channel!

dem0n0cracy-11 karma

How confident, on a scale of 0 to 100, are you that Jesus was actually real? How about that Jesus was the Son of God? How about that Jesus resurrected? I'm at a 0 for all 3.

BishopBarron82 karma

That's way over the top, friend! There is almost a universal consensus even among the most skeptical historians that Jesus was a real historical figure. His resurrection can be proved by the very strangeness of the claim that he is the Messiah of Israel. For ancient Jews, there was no clearer indication that Jesus is not the Messiah than his death at the hands of Israel's enemies. That Jews went to their deaths declaring the Messiahship of precisely this crucified figure is a powerful historical proof of the resurrection.

jbawgs-23 karma

At what point in digestion does the cracker turn into dead guy skin?

BishopBarron80 karma

Your question reveals that you know nothing about the doctrine of transsubstantiation.

CurraheeAniKawi-25 karma

Do you see the hypocrisy in spending $2000 for an Apple computer to use email and browse the web when you could have used linux practically for free and used that money towards something good in the community? Doubt it.

BishopBarron31 karma

Come on, man! The computer can be used for lots of good within the Church. There's no hypocrisy.