Brandon Vogt

24 Atheists Impressed by Bishop Barron’s YouTube Interview


A few months ago, a man named Dave Rubin reached out to us at Word on Fire to ask if Bishop Barron would be open to an interview. (Apparently lots of Dave’s Twitter followers suggested the idea.)

To be honest, we didn’t know much about Dave at the time. But after some Googling, we discovered he’s a well-known comedian and host of the super popular “Rubin Report”, a show that airs directly through YouTube. “The Rubin Report” has over 350,000 subscribers and 100 million views. It’s one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world.

Dave mostly shares cultural commentary and interviews with leading thinkers, scientists, politicians, and celebrities. He’s a fair and balanced host, but from the videos and comments, it’s clear his audience skews very secular and fairly liberal.

Dave is an interesting guy. One website describes him as a “rising media star” and “the voice of liberals who were mugged by progressives.” It says he’s “a 39-year-old pro-choice, pro-pot, recently gay-married atheist with a strong allergy to organized religion.”

In other words, the anti-Bishop Barron.

We wondered how Dave and the Bishop would do together since they’re almost polar opposites. But after sampling some of Dave’s videos, we noted that even when Dave disagreed with his guests, he was still fair and engaging. He’s a big champion of free speech and welcomes all sorts of people on his show. Instead of hammering them or tossing “gotcha” questions, Dave sincerely tries to understand the guest’s point of view, giving them free rein to articulate it.

So, with all that in mind, Bishop Barron decided to do the interview. He figured while some Catholics might wonder why a bishop would appear on such a show, the net effect would be overwhelmingly positive. His main hope was that it would put the Catholic Faith on the radar of thousands of people—especially young people—who would otherwise never consider God or religion.

And wow, did that happen!

Dave recently posted the full interview on YouTube (in two parts, watch them below) and immediately the comment boxes and social media lit up as hundreds of atheists, agnostics, and non-Catholics expressed admiration and interest.

(The videos already have over 100,000 combined views.)

Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it. I run the #4 most popular blog for atheists and I’ve chatted with hundreds of skeptics over the years.

Yet I’ve never seen a such a stream of genuine respect and appreciation for a Catholic cleric.

My job at Word on Fire involves keeping tabs on the different reactions, so I picked out some of my favorites to share below. I’m pretty sure all of them are from atheists.

(Neither Bishop Barron nor anyone at Word on Fire asked me to share these comments; I’m doing it just because I’m so excited by them. Also, there were many, many more encouraging comments. This was just a sampling.)

I encourage you to watch both parts of the interview. Bishop Barron did such a marvelous job. He was smart and eloquent, even when Dave pushed the discussion toward hot-button issues.

In fact, I think the interview offers a sort of masterclass in apologetics and evangelization. The answers weren’t perfect, and like any guest, I’m sure Bishop would love to go back and rephrase one or two of them (always the case with any unscripted, wide-ranging, hour-long interview.) But his responses are the best I’ve seen on several prickly issues. They’re sharp, clear, funny, and winsome, and confirm Bishop Barron’s intuitive grasp of expressing the Faith in the right way, with the right words, with the right sensitivities.

So watch, learn, and enjoy!

NOTE: All these comments were either on the original YouTube videos or in response to them on Twitter.





























    The Bishop’s genius is awesome. He is into every subject under the sun, including the Simpsons. And his clarification of the Catholic position on moral issues is much appreciated. True son of St. Thomas.

  • Ricardo Ali Fernandez

    “All is vanity and illusion.” From Together for worship July 31, 2016

    I heard the same from one of my local priest’s sermons.

    That was an insightful validating freeing moment. From there my vanities and illusions include:

    I forgive God.

    I love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind.

    In a relationship I look for a loving heart and someone who can separate time, place and person.

    I look for someone who understands the importance of health and wellbeing, financial responsibility, healthy dynamic relationships and the importance of the spiritual aspects of life.

    Life is a Choice.

    Yes, St. Thomas of Aquinas in his words of the Eucharist as both natural and supernatural are right on.

    Further, from St. Ignatius of Antioch’s letters of faith that the Catholic Church is Christ-centered, biblical, Catholic, Eucharistic, sacrificial, hierarchical, and earthly centered in Rome makes me wonder why would I make any other choice?

  • Jason Calhoun

    Thanks for your work, Brandon. I know I’m coming to this late, but I actually stumbled onto it via Michael Voris’ “Church Malignant” videos. While I was immediately put off by the witless, spittle-flecked affect of Voris’ diatribe, I saw another video that said simply, “Fr. Robert Barron is wrong”. I thought, “Huh. Who’s this Fr. Barron cat? Let me give that a tumble.” I sat through that entire video (don’t ask me how). Immediately upon its conclusion, I punched in “Robert Barron” in the YouTube search bar. I’ve been immersed in the good Bishop’s videos ever since, and have been sharing them with those around me as well. Keep up the work you do; it’s immensely valuable for people like me who are frequently asked pointed questions about our faith by those legitimately seeking answers. I sometimes struggle to put into words the exact “why” of some of the more contentious positions, but Bishop Barron and yourself are equipping me well. Thanks.

  • Braeden Connelly

    It’s not the “One of the most popular channels on YouTube”. Not even close. Maybe in the top 200 thousand channels. The most popular has over 50 millions YouTube subs and over 16 billion YouTube views.

  • Jerry Krause

    The website for Institute of Marriage research & Studies ( is full of useful information and clarification. But my favorite line is: “Calling something a marriage does not make it a marriage.”

  • douglas gray

    “Bombers sent by the US Air Command were prevented from bombing a town by a flying monk during WWII. During WWII the Allies were told about a cache of weapons that the enemy was storing in a small town called San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. Reports state that before they bombed the town they wanted the people to be able to escape with their lives, so they flew a plane over and dropped leaflets to tell the people to leave the city because a bombing raid was coming in for the weapons cache. In the town was a humble monk known as Padre Pio, the towns people came to him about the bombing and he told them not to leave, that the town would not be bombed. As the historical account goes, the bombers began their journey from Puglia to San Giovanni Rotondo and were stopped midair by a monk that was flying right in front of their planes with his arms extended out and his hands open and facing them. The allied pilots, who were from many different nationalities and faiths, kept returning to base with the news that they did not complete their mission because of a flying monk in the air kept preventing them from the bombing.

    Stationed at the base was General Nathan F. Twining and upon hearing these bizarre reports of a flying monk, he decided to lead the bombing squad himself out to see what was going on. He couldn’t believe that there was a monk that was flying in the air and that the stories they pilots were telling about their bomb bay doors refusing to open, or their bombs falling harmlessly to the ground and not exploding were true.. or even the crazier reports that planes were being turned around in midair by themselves by the flying monk preventing bombings.

    General Twining happened to be in Bari at the time he kept hearing these incredible stories, he didn’t believe the pilots and he thought that they were seeing things. He decided to launch another bombing raid, and he, himself, got into one of the bombers and they all took off for San Giovanni Rotondo to hit their target. He reported himself, that as they neared the monastery in San Giovanni Rotundo, a monk appeared in the clouds right in front of his plane and it was flying at the same speed that he was. He reported that the monk had his hands extended and immediately all the bombers bomb bay doors were opened and the bombs fell harmlessly into the open fields below. He reported that their planes turned around by themselves and they aborted the mission, returning to Bari with his own first hand incredible account.

    After the war, General Twining went to San Giovanni Rotundo and as he walked up the step to the monastery he found himself standing right in front of Padre Pio who quipped with humor “So you are the one that wanted to destroy everything”. He became good friends with Padre Pio. Here is an image of the 464th Bombing Group and other Americans meeting Padre Pio after the war ended. Padre Pio is the one with the gloves on his hands.”
    This was not the first time Padre Pio got involved in preventing war deaths. In WW 1, A general named Cardona lost a battle and was grabbing his gun to commit suicide. He had told his orderly to guard the door and not let anyone in. But then Padre Pio suddenly appeared and told him such an action would be foolish.
    Yet another soldier was physically grabbed by Padre Pio on a battlefield and shoved away from a place where a shell exploded.

  • JohnnyVoxx

    At some point the hard truths about eternal damnation must be spoken.

  • douglas gray

    I loved listening to this fine spokesman for the Catholic Church.
    I am not a member of the Catholic Church, but have done lots of research into Catholic mystical phenomena. During WW 2, on multiple bombing missions in one particular locale, numerous American Air Force crew members reported seeing a “phantom monk with bleeding hands” waving them off. They all found it so compelling, that they did not bomb that place. The phenomena was widely discussed among the flight crews.
    General Twining became concerned, as he felt he was not accomplishing the mission of taking out a German base where there was ammunition storage. So he decided to be taken up on a bombing mission and see for himself. He saw the same thing. Later, he heard that there was a Catholic mystic named Padre Pio living next to the place to be bombed. They went to visit him. The first thing Padre Pio said to him was, “So you’re the guy trying to get us all killed”. After that he became friendly.
    This was not the first time that military men had reported bilocation by Padre Pio. During WW 1, a high ranking Italian general had lost a battle in a humiliating fashion, and was planning to commit suicide. He carefully gave orders to his orderly to guard the door and not allow anyone in. As he picked up his gun, he suddenly found this Franciscan monk standing in his room. The monk said, “Such an action would be very foolish.” Then the monk disappeared. Later, some one gave the General a picture of Padre Pio, and he recognized him as the monk who had dissuaded him from taking his own life. The Padre made some comment, “Well, that was a close call, wasn’t it.?
    Padre Pio also appeared to Cardinal Midzentzy while the latter was in prison, and explicitly admitted so. He explained vaguely that bilocation was possible through expanding the consciousness.
    The instances of bilocation in his life, and in the lives of many other Catholic mystics are too numerous and too well documented to discount. In his book AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI, the Indian mystic Paramahansa Yogananda actually explains how bilocation works, as well as giving a couple of examples.
    I would encourage “atheists” to forget about the dogma, the belief systems, the “God” word, and the scandals, but rather examine the lives of the Catholic mystics, as well as those of other spiritual traditions.

  • Lazarus

    Wow Brandon, thank you for sharing this.
    We owe Bishop Barron a great thank you, but I also want to thank you personally for the good work that you do in spreading God’s word in these modern, beautiful, difficult times. You are a part of this success, so thank you. May God continue to bless you.

  • Barbara Mathews

    What a joy to watch. This is what a discourse can be. No one talked over each other, no shouting. I believe both men actually listened to each other.

    At it’s core, this is what the Catholic Church is, a place where all are welcomed. Sadly, that message has become blurred and almost erased throughout the decades.

  • Jeanne Fifer

    As a devout Catholic, I love Bishop Barron! I receive his emails on a daily basis – always food for thought and I am currently studying his series, ‘Catholicism’. Thank you for being a positive representative of our church and for enlightening ever cradle Catholics!

  • qbitman

    I took away a great example of the art of dialogue from this interview. Thanks to you both.

  • Several of us on the Escaping Atheism team made up an infographic with Bishop Barron saying negative things about Atheism and sent it and retweeted it to Dave Rubin with a dare that he bring the Bishop on, back in December. Imagine how happy to see it happened only a month later! (I’m sure we weren’t the first to ask.)

  • Sparrow Opal

    My thoughts “He’s such a nerd” XD
    But then again so am I so I approve of this.

  • Richard Li

    Hi Brandon, thank you for sharing this! And thank you as well for all the good work you have done together. Bishop Barron, the the ministry of Word on Fire is the most important thing appeared in my faith journey. For me, Bishop Barron represented the kind of religious professionals who have grasped the core spirit of Christianity. For quite a while, I had been drawn to the Catholic Church. And I have even gone through the RCIA programme. But, the more I experience Catholicism, the more I was appalled by some aspects of Catholicism, such as those highly conservative/traditional/dogmatic Catholics, and those completely unpracticing/liberal Catholics as well. The former ones always appear to be angry, and know a lot of judgment but not love and mercy. The latter are worse than the secularists who appear to have no spines. I wonder if there is a middle way? I wonder how would the good Bishop comment on the dynamics within the Catholic/Christian communities?

  • I would not try to measure the success of Bishop Baron’s interview by the number of conversions made. We are only instruments of the Holy Spirit and I wouldn’t suspect that a stone cold atheist with convert to Catholicism based on one interview. For those trying to tally the number of conversions as a result of this video, I ask you how many conversions you have made? I am a traditionally minded Catholic, but I think many of us get the impression that we can simply dish out the cold hard truth which automatically results in conversions. So I think we need to keep our expectations realistic and trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I think we need to find the middle ground when having these types of conversations. The goal is to win the souls not the arguments. If the bishop only beat him over the head with blunt truth, it most likely would not have progress toward conversion. On the other hand, if we water down the truth or make it seem that certain truths of the faith are not important such as the “pelvic issues”, then we run the risk of having people progress toward an incomplete faith without giving themselves entirely to Christ. So this is where I think we need to tread that middle ground which is not always that easy to do.

    If we analyze the positive comments that were made by the atheists, there is not much information there to tell us why they had such a positive reaction. Was it because they believe that Bishop Baron is an Orthodox staunch defender of the Catholic faith as taught for 2000 years? Maybe some of them. Or is it because they believe based on the impressions given in the interview that the bishop is affirming their views that the church is too rigid when it comes to moral issues? As I mentioned, it’s difficult to tell based on the comments that were made, but I would tend to think it’s probably the latter situation.

    As we read in the Scriptures, we should go out and preach the gospel and if they don’t accept the message we shake the dust off our feet and move to the next town. That doesn’t mean hanging around that town and compromising certain truths in order to get them to accept only a portion of the faith. We are convinced that we can convert the whole world, instead of accepting the fact that certain people will ultimately reject the Catholic faith. That doesn’t mean we have to bend over backwards to compromise truths in order to accommodate them. We should instead pray for their conversion and move onto the next town.

  • justamom

    Pray for Bishop Barron – very hard. Because he is in the public eye and he is reaching so many people, the attacks will only come harder and increase. May God protect him!

  • Maggie

    Sure, he is easy to like especially when not totally standing up for the Truths of the Catholic faith. The ‘world’ loves its own.

  • Aloysius Churchgate

    So, of all these atheists who think Bishop Barron is the best thing since sliced bread, how many of them have actually converted to Catholicism? That’s the true barometer of whether the soft “evangelism,” that so often borders on heresy, is working. Atheists may “like” him, but do they like him enough to actually change? My guess is no. I think Bishop Barron would save more souls, which is his task as a bishop, if he would focus on boldly proclaiming the full truth, without compromise, without theories like “hell is empty,” but rather the doctrine of the faith. He would save more souls if he would stop liturgical abuses (which photos of him celebrating Mass clearly show) and start celebrating Mass as the Church asks him too, and maybe, just maybe, offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form once in awhile (being a scholar, he surely knows latin!). When the atheists see that Bishop Barron is bold, that he is uncompromising, that he is willing to be a crusader – willing to die for the faith – then they will be inspired to change and convert. They won’t be converted by soft coddling dialogue. They will be converted by action!

    • “So, of all these atheists who think Bishop Barron is the best thing since sliced bread, how many of them have actually converted to Catholicism? That’s the true barometer of whether the soft “evangelism,” that so often borders on heresy, is working. Atheists may “like” him, but do they like him enough to actually change? My guess is no.”

      Thanks for the comment, Aloysius! I’m not sure what you’re basing your guess on, seeing how (I’m guessing) you have precisely zero interaction with any atheists who have enjoyed Bishop Barron’s work. So your “guess” seems to be completely without grounds.

      On the other hand, I actually work with Bishop Barron and hear almost every day from atheists who have been led to God or all the way into the Church because of Bishop Barron.

      In fact, based on the scores and scores of atheist-to-Catholic conversions I’ve seen attributed to him, I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that nobody in the world today has led more atheists to God than him–at least no other Catholic leader.

      If you disagree with that, you’ll have to provide something other than gut-feeling guesses.

      • Guest

        It’s more of an indictment on their psych than anything. Most of the people commenting here down these lines suffer from some form of anti-social personality disorder, or something similar. They enjoy being provocateurs and will go to any length to justify it; they could care less what effect it has on other people and the fact that most of the rest of the population finds it extremely offputting. The orthodoxy is there, but there’s no sympathy, consideration, or understanding.

  • Skippy

    Barron has a duty not to misrepresent Christian morality to be more popular.

  • Skippy

    You have to be careful with Bishop baron. He sometimes puts forward a personal opinion as if it is reasonable and Church teaching. Before a bishop he asserted no one ever went to hell, I also understand he also says in this interview members of the same sex marry and he does not see the law as being an immoral law that it defies anatomy, normal psycho sexual development, respect for and the appropriate expression of sexual behavior which is between one male and female within a life long marriage. The CDF is very clear in its instructions to all including bishops Barron needs to let himself be taught by the Church.

    • Guest

      It’s hard take your comment seriously when you open with something that is plainly false. Bishop Barron never once asserted that no one goes to hell. He stated it’s ok to speculate that *maybe* no one will end up in hell since we have no way of knowing if any one soul is in hell or not, and because the Church prays for all souls. I disagree with him but to assert that he said no one goes to hell is an absolute falsehood, and for you to repeat that any further would be a lie against an ordained bishop of God. He also explicitly states in the interview that gay marriage is problematic. Spreading falsehoods is not something any Catholic should do. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were misled and not lying, but going forth you have your knowledge now.

      • This is typical of those who criticize Bishop Barron for his position on hell. They misunderstand it, whether willfully or out of ignorance, despite it being widely clarified. Whenever a critic begins by saying, “Since Bishop Barron stated nobody will end up in hell…” you can safely dismiss whatever follows. It’s rooted in confusion.

  • tallorder

    As a child of a homosexual parent, who lived with that parent and their partner, let me tell you something.

    This sort of diplomatic side-stepping and tip-toeing isn’t going to convict anyone. Anyone. All this does is affirm the person in their sin AND clearly shows that the Church is afraid to speak objectively about the subject. I saw a Bishop with his tail between his legs.

    What they’re going to do is play ecumenism with Holy Matrimony. They’re going to call sodomite unions an “incomplete expression” of the Sacrament, just like they call Protestant sects “incomplete expressions” of the Church. You watch.

    • Guest

      You are so off base that it is truly disheartening. It’s disheartening and frustrating to see a representative of Catholicism say such unintelligent things. We live in a society where if the first thing you tell someone is “REPENT, SINNER, OR GOD SHALL SMITE THEE AND CAST THY SOUL INTO HELL FOR THOU HENIOUS SODOMY” then they are going to (understandably) not listen to you or take you seriously on anything. You also cement in their heads that opposition to their lifestyle is completely illogical, and they then are far less receptive when an actual smart and articulate person comes along who offers them love first and then the uncompromising morality. Your approach is a proven failure, and it’s partially why so many support gay marriage now. You need to propose the whole Catholic faith and the beauty and goodness that comes with it before you can lay out the standards that I agree cannot be compromised. May God increase your intelligence.

      • tallorder

        Oh, really?

        This sodomite walked away without any sort of understanding that he was living in a sinful situation. At all.

        I’m sure that after the interview later that night, he laid in bed next to his sodomite partner and thought, I’m going to convert and change my ways because Bishop Barron was so clear on how wrong my lifestyle is and that I will end up in hell because of it.

        My parent who was lost in the sin of sodom left the Church completely after encountering this limp-wristed pandering of clergy, trying oh so hard to be gentle instead of being straight forward. Nearly twenty years later, they have joined a damnable Protestant sect. Why?

        They didn’t walk the line of political correctness. They said clearly that the lifestyle they were living was an abomination to God and would result in their damnation.

        Barron presented himself like a leaf blowing in the wind–and the sodomite knew it.

        • Nicola M. Costello

          We must not have watched the same interview. Barron spoke the truth to him. And, you refer to a human being who is a sinner just like you as a “sodomite”. Great! Is that your lead in when you evangelize people? “Hey sodomite, let me tell you about Jesus”.

          • tallorder

            I’m calling a spade a spade. When my parent was living that life, they were a sodomite. When someone murders someone, they are a murderer.

            Obviously, you don’t address the person personally that way if you’re a pastor of souls and the intention is to warn the individual of the grave implications of their sin is–you know, the ultimate charity. Instead, Bishop Barron left the man confused at one point as to what exactly the Church does teach.

            Not only this, Barron said he wouldn’t think to work toward overthrowing the sodomite union SCOTUS decision. Come on, are you people even Catholic?

          • Guest

            Your style is a proven failure. Believe me. I’ve tried it. It chases people away from the faith, which is why this discussion is so frustrating, because you are undoubtedly chasing people away. So many people have told me that showing them love first made them so much more open and understanding to the truth, and that hearing that homosexuality was a sin first was a huge turnoff. Part of it has to do with the media’s and culture’s influence. They’ve been taught that we’re going to walk up to them and chastise them harshly for something that they can’t control. Which is a lie, we don’t consider homosexuality sinful, we consider homosexual acts sinful. When the first thing you do is moralize you validate the culture and media lie that we’re only concerned with sexualizing and keeping people down.

          • tallorder

            Ahh-the method that the Church has used since the beginning. The Church “had it wrong”. I suppose it’s time to update it’s age-old method of admonishing the sin but leaving the sinner intact. It follows then, it is time we “journey with” the sinner, without admonishing, and affirming a dual-moral code for secular, civil life.

            St. Peter Damian disagrees with you.

          • Guest

            You are an absolute moron if you think the context of the Church’s situation hasn’t changed in the last 2,000 years. That strategy worked when society itself was Christian and the Church had political power and influence. Society isn’t Christian anymore and the Church has lost it’s political power and influence, so the strategy has to change. It’s not hard. You are using a complete false dichotomy. It absolutely does not follow that we “journey with the sinner without admonishing”. It’s friendship first, then admonishment. I have seen time and again your method chase people away, and you may well have to answer for those souls on judgment day. Friendship first has worked time and again in converting souls to the whole morality of the Church. I’ve seen it. My experiences stand in direct opposition to you.

            But it’s clear that your heart is hardened and set and that you will continue to chase souls away with your inability to reason. I pray that God opens your eyes and you stop chasing people away with your pure idiocy, the complete inability to see that the Church doesn’t have the same place in society that it used to, and that it’s entirely possible to be kind and uncompromising.

      • J. Debattista

        That is pure Church of nice. Christ warned his hearers to their face that unless they repented they would all be lost. Was He being insensitive? Was the deadly reality of hell, so preponderant in the teaching of Jesus, ever mentioned by Barron? This is the same pussy footing Bergoglian mercy that puts this worldly irenic consolation before the eternal salvation of souls. The Dave Rubin brigade are incessantly proclaiming through their lifestyle, the MSM, Hollyweird, powerful lobbying and legislation that their sodomy is perfectly natural, legal and humanly fulfilling, while our Pope and prelates are defensively afraid to tell them to their face that they are going against Divine and Natural law and in serious risk of the torments of eternal damnation. Bergoglio gives much publicised audiences to homosexual and transgendered couples but never dares to publicly tell them that unless they repent they would be lost. The Church under Bergoglio has lost its Christic nerve.

        • Guest

          I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a material schismatic who refers to the Vicar of Christ as “Bergoglio”. I don’t care if this is Alexander VI or Benedict IX we’re talking about, both of whom were far more of a disgrace to the Chair of Peter. If you’re a true Catholic, you show some respect to the Chair. If you’re not, you don’t.

          I have been evangelizing gays for years. At first I tried your method of coming down hard immediately, and let me tell you, it was a catastrophic failure. Then I tried love and friendship first, and then laying out the Church’s moral arguments, and alas… they were *so* much more open to it, and so much more understanding. Some of them even started living better lives. The ones I went after first thing dismissed me without a second thought. The media and culture has set them up that way.

          So my experiences disprove everything you say, and I’m not about to abandon my proven methods for your unsympathetic and logically bankrupt approach to evangelization. I pray that you realize just how *stupid* you are being, because chasing people away from the Catholic Church – which I’ve seen plenty of you merciless schismatics do – is the most displeasing thing you could ever do to your Savior, who desires the salvation of all men.

          • J. Debattista

            I see you quite folow in the footsteps of Bergoglio in your ‘charitable’ choice of merciful epithets flung at anybody who dares disagree with you. No Pope of recent memory has used the same vulgarian accolades , including tasteful coprophagian ones, that Bergoglio and your good self seem to indulge in. I respect the Chair of Peter, not its present autocratic occupant, who shows little or no respect to those who respectfully ask him to stop being a source of confusion, division and schism in the Church. What you describe as my unsympathetic and logically bankrupt approach to evangelisation is the one used by Jesus in the Gospels, which you have signally failed to disprove or deny. Your vitriolic response seems to indicate i might have touched a raw nerve, however ‘nice’ it feels.

          • Guest

            “I see you quite folow in the footsteps of Bergoglio in your ‘charitable’ choice of merciful epithets flung at anybody who dares disagree with you.”

            What a surprise!! You do just about everything possible to make yourself obnoxious and unlikeable (criticizing Fr. Barron and complaining that he wasn’t “forceful enough” with Dave Rubin, as though he would’ve cowered in fear had he done so), then when are criticized yourself suddenly it’s us who’s uncharitable and you’re the victim. See, in this context I don’t have to talk to you in the same way I have to talk to a homosexual who experiences disordered attractions through no fault of his own, and who has no knowledge of the faith, since you do know the faith. It doesn’t take an intellectual to see how bad of a strategy leading with “GOD SHALL SMITE THEE, SODOMITE!” is. And no, Jesus’ style of evangelization is not the same as yours. He leads with “neither do I condemn you” before he completes with “go and sin no more”. He welcomed sinners and ate with them, which is basically what Fr. Barron did. He explicitly stated that homosexual acts were disordered, but your problem is that he wasn’t as big a douchebag as you would’ve been about it. Jesus had a very loving and sympathetic approach, but he was hard when necessary. Keep in mind the people he was harshest with were the orthodox (you’ll probably read this as me suggesting we therefore don’t have to be orthodox – nope, I’m not saying that at all).

            You cannot say you respect the Chair of Peter and call refuse to acknowledge it’s occupant as legitimate, which is what you do when you insult him and call him names like Bergoglio which implies he’s not on the Chair. You assume I approve of everything he does; I don’t. But when I criticize him I try to understand his perspective first and then make truthful but not hateful conclusions. I don’t feel the need to insult, mock, and ridicule him the way you do.

            Lastly, no, you certainly have not struck a nerve, though your psych wishes that so desperately. You invite my wrath because you actively chase people away from the greatest good in the universe, which is the Divine Love of the Church through which God grants His graces. Stupidity in the Church is infinitely more frustrating than stupidity outside it.

          • J. Debattista

            I am sure you converted scores of sodomites with that sweet temper of yours, oozing Bergoglian mercy. Your wrath is of Biblical proportions I see, really scary.Chill out , you risk an ictus:)

          • Guest

            Likewise I’m sure the sodomites cower in fear when you admonish to them, and run their unquestioning little selves over to the nearest RCIA.

            On the contrary:

            May God through the prayers of St. Dymphna heal you from your anti-social personality disorder.

          • J. Debattista

            Ha ha ‘social personality disorder’ . Another example of Bergoglian pop psychology? Tara!

          • Nicola M. Costello

            How many people have you converted from a homosexual lifestyle? Tell us some success stories.

        • “That is pure Church of nice.”

          You’re tipping your hand here, since this is the pet-phrase of Michael Voris. Which brings up an interesting question:

          How many atheists has Michael Voris led to God? How many homosexual men or women has Voris introduced to Christ?

          I ask because I haven’t discovered a single example.

          • J. Debattista

            Tipping? Not at all – quite deliberate and manifest in fact. The fact that it is a pet name and by Voris does not invalidate it as a good description of one major feature of the crisis oppressing the Catholic Church at present. I do not see eye to eye with Voris on a number of issues, but on this he is spot on. Again the fact that you don’t see examples does not mean there aren’t, Voris himself being a prime and clamorous one and learning from it to adopt the strategy he is using. That said, i wish to thank you for your respect of free speech, however unpalatable it may seem to some.

  • tallorder

    Atheist elation: 24.
    Conversions: 0.

    Homosexual man wasn’t told that his lifestyle was intrinsically sinful.
    GREAT Bishop, indeed. This Church of Accompaniment is accompanying souls on the journey to hell.

    • Nicola M. Costello

      You’re wrong. He affirmed the purpose and meaning of sexuality and the implications that all deviations from it are intrinsically evil. And, conversions don’t happen like the flip of a light switch. You know that.

    • Thanks for the comment, tallorder, though nobody here appreciates your tone.

      I’m curious how you know how many conversions resulted from that interview. Besides the obvious fact that it’s still too early to tell, I wonder how you have access into the spiritual and religious dimensions of all atheists who have watched that video.

      Also, Bishop Barron has been responsible for leading thousands of people to Christ, including an extraordinary number of atheists. I have the testimonies and conversion stories which people have sent us, and which I know only scratch the surface.

      Can you please tell me another Church leader today responsible for leading more atheists to God?

      You’ve relentlessly criticized Bishop Barron’s approach and say it doesn’t work. Can you share a more successful alternative? Because honestly, it seems the opposite of your criticism is true–his is clearly the best approach working today.

    • Lazarus

      Gotta love you guys. Holier than the Pope (especially this one, right?)

  • Joseph K. McCall

    As a Protestant who deeply respects Bishop Barron (he has influenced my own rhetoric concerning my faith, and I would love to meet him at some point), and being very familiar with the interviews done by David Rubin, the fact these two men were able to dialog so well isn’t surprising at all.

  • “In fact, I think the interview offers a sort of masterclass in apologetics and evangelization.”

    A masterclass, really? You have got to be kidding me.

    • BridgetOlver

      The fact that so many atheists were impressed by the interview, “pitiable” or not (I haven’t watched it yet), means God was speaking through the good Bishop. Evangelization is never a human-only event, otherwise it would never work. God is the one who brings people to himself, even using imperfect interviews.

      • Hmm, I’d have to disagree with that logic. Don’t you at least have to know *why* an atheist is impressed? Maybe they’re impressed because, finally, the mean old Catholic Church is coming around to their point of view, namely, that sodomy is not a mortal sin that leads souls to hell. (Or maybe atheists are just easier to impress. Or maybe Brandon Vogt hand picked only the impressed atheists.)

        In any event, I do agree with you that God is the efficient cause of faith, and that He can bring good out of evil, as well as imperfect interviews.

        • “Don’t you at least have to know *why* an atheist is impressed?”

          Of course. But many of the atheists said why they were impressed. They thought the Bishop gave a thoughtful, articulate, winsome defense of Christianity.

          “Maybe they’re impressed because, finally, the mean old Catholic Church is coming around to their point of view, namely, that sodomy is not a mortal sin that leads souls to hell.”

          This is perhaps true, though I didn’t see a single comment that said so. Also, it’s worth noting that the large majority of the 24 comments I posted were shared on the first interview segment, which didn’t even touch upon homosexuality or same-sex marriage. That seems to undermine your suggestion.

          “Or maybe atheists are just easier to impress.”

          Ha! I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not–forgive me if you are. But anyone who has interacted with online atheists would have to snicker at this proposal.

          “Or maybe Brandon Vogt hand picked only the impressed atheists.”

          Well, of course. That was the point of this post: to highlight comments from atheists that were impressed by Bishop Barron. That would be like criticizing ESPN for only picking the best plays for their Top Plays of the Night segment.

          It’s true that some atheists weren’t impressed. That’s expected. I never said the feedback was unanimously positive. However, what struck me (and still does) is the huge amount of admiration and respect that I’ve seen expressed by atheists.

    • “A masterclass, really? You have got to be kidding me. His Excellency’s witness was pitiable, and I pray the Holy Spirit convicts him of his failure to speak the truth in love out of human respect. I’m not saying I would have done better if I were in his shoes, but he undoubtedly crumpled.”

      “Pitiable”? “Failure”? “Crumpled”? Wow. Those are extremely harsh accusations. Can you explain why exactly you think his responses were contemptible?

      • APG

        Hey Mr. Vogt I can’t speak directly for Juris Doctor but I am in agreement with him, and I would like to take a stab at it. Now I am really trying to be charitable and not mean spirited which is really hard to tell that when reading written messages. First I want to congratulate Bishop Barron for having the courage to do the interview with this guy. Bishop Barron basically went into the lion’s den to do this interview with this liberal atheist who is in a sodomidical marriage, and he deserves credit for that. Also too I hate “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” anyone who does these type of apologetic interviews, but this really was a miss. Also Mr. Rubin contacted Bishop Barron a few months ago to ask him to come on his show so he had ample time to prepare for the interview. Bishop Barron had to know this guy’s views on “same-sex” marriage so I feel Bishop Barron had no excuse for not telling this poor soul the truth, not in a mean “Fire and Brimstone” way but with charity and complete honesty.

        Also Bishop Barron is a Bishop, so he is a direct successor to the Apostles so he has even more responsibility to preach the truth. Bishop Barron isn’t just Joe Schmo in the pew having a Facebook discussion. Here he was at a public event, and I feel he had a sacred duty for the sake of this poor man’s immortal soul to preach the truth. Now this is not my opinion only but also what the Church teaches. This is from the 2003 document from the CDF:

        “In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty”

        There was no “clear and emphatic opposition” coming from Bishop Barron’s responses. He cited (inappropriately I must say) the Aquinas principle for his justification to not oppose Obergerfell vs Hodges. Then mentioned he would oppose “same-sex” marriage through “personal witness and education”. Immediately after that he didn’t take the time to do just that. It seemed self-contradictory to me. Here he was with the perfect opportunity to witness to this poor man personally as well as educate him. Bishop Barron could have spoke out how he personally as a priest for many years has lived as a celibate male. He then should have informed this man with the most sincere charity the reality of his sinful lifestyle, and the eternal consequences. He could have educated this man about the dangers we face as a society and a nation for legalizing “same-sex” marriage, and how sodomy goes gravely contrary to the Natural Law.

        Further more what struck me was him citing St. Thomas. I wonder why Bishop Barron didn’t cite St. Thomas’s motto “Lex iniusta non est lex” (An unjust law is not a law). St. Thomas’s motto itself shows us clearly that “same-sex” marriage can never be a real law. It is a clear usurpation whereby mere men tried to re-write the Natural Law given to us by God.

        • Nicola M. Costello

          What do you mean he didn’t witness to Rubin? Barron affirmed every single sexual teaching of the Gospel and explained why, namely, that the nature of sexuality is for intimacy and procreation. He said it plainly. Rubin heard it. Also, Barron explicitly said gay marriage has “a negative impact on the wider society”. He said it at the 14 minute mark of the second part of the interview. So, I don’t agree that he didn’t witness the truth to Rubin. Maybe you wanted him to be more forceful about it, but he prudentially chose his approach based on the audience he was speaking to. That’s part of evangelization.

        • Parrish

          Bishop Barron is a carrier Fransisbishop. He also espouses universalist views about heaven and hell.

          • Thomas J. McIntyre

            don’t you mean career and Francis?

          • Parrish

            Right, old fingers.

        • Thanks for the comment, APG, and for the charitable tone!

          “There was no “clear and emphatic opposition” coming from Bishop Barron’s responses.”

          Really? The overwhelming majority of viewers seem to disagree–as do I. Both during the interview *and* afterward, in his most recent article and his comments on Facebook, he stressed as clear as possible, “I oppose same-sex marriage.” I honestly don’t know how he could be any clearer, and I’m stunned that you could possibly think his response was unclear. I can only assume willful misinterpretation.

          He opposes the Obergefell decision but thinks the best way to ultimately reverse it is not through legal crusades, which would prove temporary and turn more people off to the Gospel, but primarily through education and witness.

          “Then mentioned he would oppose “same-sex” marriage through “personal witness and education”. Immediately after that he didn’t take the time to do just that. It seemed self-contradictory to me.”

          He’s done this plenty elsewhere. He’s produced numerous videos and articles and homilies on marriage–more than all but a few priests and teachers. Are you aware of those?

          It seems you’re saying, “Unless he offers a vigorous catechesis on marriage in THAT particular interview or THAT particular Facebook post, he’s failed to educate people about marriage!” But that’s clearly false.

          “Here he was with the perfect opportunity to witness to this poor man personally as well as educate him.”

          This was the first time they had ever spoken to each other! Do you really suggest the best approach for a first encounter with a homosexual man is to condemn him and “educate” him the dangers of sodomy and same-sex marriage? You’d have zero effect and likely do more damage than good–he’d tune you out and never hear anything else you have to say about the Gospel. This strategy is a proven failure.

          • Mike

            the issue is ultimately a cultural one; the fact that it was a 5-4 ruling should make ppl feel hopeful about the long term prospects of restoring marriage but it shouldn’t make give anyone a false sense of the state of affairs either. the culture is totally confused and not about to admit that children deserve/need both moms and dads anytime soon.

    • Nicola M. Costello

      He spoke the truth in love. He clearly articulated sound morals on life, sexuality, and family.

  • “In other words, the anti-Bishop Barron.” Judging by what was said in the interview, or rather not said, maybe they’re not so different after all.

  • David

    Mr. Vogt,

    It seems you delete comments you disagree with and that don’t support your narrative. You just lost my vote as someone concerned with the truth and to rely on as a reliable source. You only make matters worse than if you keep the comments.

    • No, David, I’ve removed comments that didn’t meet the basic requirements of charity and sincere dialogue. You’ll notice there are (undeleted) comments here from people who disagree with Bishop Barron (or me).

      I have no problem with disagreement and debate–I welcome it! But it must be charitably expressed. Don’t you think that’s fair?

      • johnnysc

        “Don’t you think that’s fair?”

        Not really. You set your version of charitable. That is what liberals do…..they equate disagreement with being uncharitable. Why were the comments on the Word On Fire website removed? I saw no ugliness in those comments just disagreement and disappointment in some of Bishop Barron’s responses.

        • So you don’t think charitable discussion is fair? If that’s really what you believe, I’m very sad for your sake and I have little hope we’ll have a fruitful dialogue.

          • johnnysc

            That’s not what I am saying. What is not fair is you equating disagreement with being uncharitable. As I said I did not see any snarky or nasty remarks in the comments on the Word On Fire article. Only disagreement and disappointment yet all the comments were removed.

          • “What is not fair is you equating disagreement with being uncharitable.”

            I agree that would be unfair. But it’s exactly the opposite of what I believe. The fact that you and I are disagreeing about this very point, and yet doin so charitably, seems to undermine your accusation.

            I think it is possible (and common) to disagree charitably. Charity includes respect, good-will, and a desire to seek truth rather than inflict scorn.

            “As I said I did not see any snarky or nasty remarks in the comments on the Word On Fire article. Only disagreement and disappointment yet all the comments were removed.”

            First, there were in fact several snarky and nasty comments.

            But second, we didn’t only remove disagreeable comments from the post at Word on Fire. We just turned off the comment box completely. The reason was we didn’t have time to moderate the comment box thread. Instead, we typically encourage people to comment on WOF content via social media, on Bishop Barron’s page or Word on Fire’s page where the discussion remains wide open.

          • Guest

            Why would anyone be disappointed with him? Because he wasn’t shaking his finger and moralizing enough? His answers were perfect. Some of you people have to realize that the manner in which you deliver moral truths to someone is of the utmost importance, and almost no one – especially someone like Dave Rubin who is not well-versed in Catholicism but is sincerely trying to learn more, and happens to be gay – is going to respond to some form of evangelizing down the lines of “REPENT, SINNER, OF THY HENIOUS SODOMY OR GOD SHALL SMITE THEE.” Newsflash; that doesn’t work. As far as I can tell Fr. Barron is a lot smarter than anyone complaining about his interview. May God increase their intelligence.

        • kiannafleur

          “You set your version of charitable. That is what liberals do…..”

          Brandon didn’t delete this comment, but it isn’t charitable. It’s an ad hominem attack — you insulted everyone you think of as “liberal”.

          By the way, I’m currently being generally derided as an extremist radical right wing conservative, whereas I have also been derided as an extremist radical left wing liberal. I can assure you that such labeling is intended as an uncharitable insult that shuts down discussion of all disagreement.

  • Guest

    The Rubin Report is *exactly* the kind of public exposure smart Catholics need. There’s so few Catholics on youtube, and the few that are there are nobodies with low amounts of views. A powerful influence like the Rubin Report is perfect. Kudos to Dave Rubin for bringing him on.

  • Guest

    The Rubin Report is *exactly* the kind of public exposure smart Catholics need. There’s so few Catholics on youtube, and the few that are there are nobodies with low amounts of views. A powerful influence like the Rubin Report is perfect. Kudos to Dave Rubin for bringing him on.

  • Thomas J. McIntyre

    Hopefully the seeds planted with this interview gain much fruit. Engagement is great, but how many of these atheists and other “nones” will continue to show “respect” (which is better than many of their attitudes to be sure) without ever converting to the Catholic Faith, outside of which there is no salvation?

    Then again, what a person believes doesn’t really matter, if we have a “reasonable hope that all men are saved,” does it?

  • Matt

    How many Catholics were impressed?

    • Judging the by the comments I’ve seen, easily hundreds but probably thousands.

    • Judging the by the comments I’ve seen, easily hundreds but probably thousands.

      • Matt

        Good to hear. I imagine that the number would have been still higher had exchanges like the following not taken place. :

        Rubin: I sense that your heart and your spiritual sense-self maybe aren’t quite matched up [regarding gay marriage]…that you can’t fully say to me, well, it’s okay.

        Bishop Barron: Yeah, that’s probably right, the way you just put it there is probably right. I wouldn’t want to fully just say, that’s great, off you go. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that.”

        What exactly does it mean that his heart and his spiritual sense aren’t “matched up” on this issue? Can Bishop Barron partially say that gay marriage is okay? Is the only kind of person who would actively oppose gay marriage the type who would be seen riding in a crusader’s tank? It is confusing to say the least, and I think we deserve some answers.

        • Matt: Thanks for the comment!

          Unfortunately, as a few other blogs have done, you’ve misquoted the exchange. You’ve chopped off at least half of Rubin’s original question, which was awkward and actually contained at least 2-3 different questions. Here’s the full transcript:

          Is this one of the things where, I sense that your heart and your spiritual sense-self, maybe aren’t quite matched up, because I don’t sense judgment from you sitting here, I really don’t and I don’t sense that you want – that you would try to legislate to reverse the decision but I also sense that you can’t fully say to me well it’s okay.

          It’s impossible to answer that with a simple “yes” or “no” because there are multiple questions packed in there.

          Bishop Barron has clarified that when he said “Yeah, that’s probably right..”, it was not in regards to his heart and “spiritual” sense being at odds. As he later clarified, they are not. They are completely united.

          He was saying “Yeah, that’s probably right” to the proposal that he doesn’t think the best way to overturn Obergefell is through legal crusades.

          To answer your other questions:

          – No, Bishop Barron does not “partially say” that gay marriage is okay. I don’t know why you would think that. In fact, he has repeatedly and explicitly said it is not OK–even in that very interview!

          – No, it’s not true that the only kind of person who opposes gay marriage would “be seen riding in a crusader’s tank.” First, you’re taking a metaphorical term (“crusade”) literally, either intentionally or because you fail to understand metaphor. Second, as Bishop Barron has stated, he himself does oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage and thinks it should be overturned. He opposes it. He just disagrees with some people on how best to overturn it.

          I’m sorry you’re confused about the exchange, but judging from the hundreds of comments I’ve read, I believe you’re in the minority.

          And I think especially after Bishop Barron’s own clarification, his position is clear and sensible.

          • Matt

            I appreciate his clarification, though I do not see it posted to Word on Fire’s website or this. Do you have a link to this? I don’t doubt what you say, but I am interested in tracing it back. I do appreciate that the in-person interview format is not the best for highlighting a person’s most carefully chosen and coherent words on a subject. I don’t blame Bishop Barron for every misstatement, especially in answering multi-part questions.

            You are correct that Bishop Barron states in this interview that he believes it was the wrong decision by the court, and I appreciate his clarity on that point. However he goes on to say that he wouldn’t want to press it much further. I wonder, why not? If he means that he wouldn’t press it legally, why shouldn’t it be? Gay marriage was established legally, why should it not be disestablished legally? Every time the United States passes a morally objectionable law in the un-elected and unaccountable courts, why must Catholics resign themselves to trying to win every heart and mind without thinking to fight back legally? A question of tactics, yes, but an important one.

            On the subject, I am neither taking a metaphorical term literally nor failing to understand the rhetorical device of metaphor (if I were, it would be a regrettable lapse as I am no longer a child). Rather, I find the metaphor of a “Crusader’s tank” revealing, as it would seem that Bishop Barron is suggesting that an attempt by Catholics to bring American law into conformity with God’s law is comparable to a religious invasion into a sphere inappropriate to its influence, which the governance of our country is not.

            Bishop Barron speaks of God’s plan for sexuality as being the “fully integrated, properly expressed form of sexuality” and even as an “ideal”. He describes the grave sin of homosexual behavior as being an “imperfection” and a “failure fully to integrate”. I know he’s choosing his words on the fly, as you must in a live interview. And yes, he’s looking a man in the eye who is a participant in a gay “marriage” so I appreciate the extent to which he was honest. And yet, Brandon, the whole thing just falls flat. He’s not saying anything outright false. He’s just using big, neutral-sounding words to tell the truth in a way that’s extremely limp. What does “failure fully to integrate” even mean, really? What does it mean to average Joe Schmoe’s like me? It’s artful dodging at its worst.

            Tone is such a subjective thing, and yet more than a minority of Catholics who have viewed this interview have come away seeing a tone that was conciliatory toward those in homosexual sin to the point of neglecting the duty to call them to repentance. Their presence in this very comment thread is evidence enough of that. I’m afraid that I am not in the minority in thinking this. Even if I were, this is of no concern to me whatsoever. Thank you for responses to my questions, Brandon.

          • Nicola M. Costello

            Bishop Barron expressly said sexuality was for intimacy and procreation. He’s speaking to an audience of atheists and gay activists. What more do you want? How do you witness to people in social situations?

          • Thomas J. McIntyre

            I don’t know…he could go the root of Scripture and imitate John the Baptist and Our Lord Himself.

            But then he would have to accept the possibility of sharing their fate…

          • Nicola M. Costello

            He went into enemy territory and preached the Gospel. When’s the last time YOU did that?

          • Thomas J. McIntyre

            I would hardly call that preaching the Gospel. When Our Lord and his cousin preached the Gospel, the first was “REPENT!” followed by “And believe the Gospel. The Kingdom of God is at hand.” Nowhere in that interview was there anything remotely resembling a call to repentance for Rubin or his listeners.

            I have not recently gone into enemy territory and preached the Gospel. Bad on me, I need to work on that…but neither have I consecrated bread and wine into Body and Blood of Our Lord or given a penitent absolution for sins. I am a humble husband and father, not a successor of the Apostles.

            Moreover, I do not have the worldwide reach that Bishop Barron through his media apostolate and on this very interview. He could ACTUALLY preach the Gospel and have it heard by thousands. Instead, he soft pedals it…

          • Nicola M. Costello

            Thomas, neither am I a priest or bishop with those attending responsibilities. I’m just a baptized layman. My point is that it’s easy to be the sideline critic. Even if you don’t agree with how Bishop Barron shared the Gospel in this interview, give credit where it’s due. He is out there engaging with people totally blinded by secular humanism, sexual immorality, and atheism who have animus for the Church.

          • Sally Wilkins

            The Baptiser said “Repent and Believe the Gospel” in response to people who asked “What must we do?” The Bridegroom said “Let the one without sin cast the first stone,” and “Come down out of that tree, I am going to dine at your house today,” and “if you knew with whom you spoke, you would ask for living water.” Only AFTER engaging with people did He say then “Go and sin no more.” The only exceptions were the self-righteous who were sure they had no need of repentance. You cannot engage people in conversation if you begin by condemning them.

          • jddimi

            When the Adulterous woman was brought before Jesus, he asked “who will cast the first stone?” The people left one by one with the oldest leaving first. When no one was left, Jesus asked the woman, “Is there no one left to condemn you?” The woman said “NO” and Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, but go and sin no more!” Bishop Baron did exactly as Jesus did, the guy clearly knows that Bishop Baron is against Gay marriage and sexual intimacy, but the Bishop is not condemning him right there, but is telling him that he is not Okay with it and wouldn’t be able to be okay with it either. But he does not need to get in a battle over it right there. He did the respectable thing.

          • Thomas J. McIntyre

            Nowhere in Scripture does it say the oldest left first

          • jddimi

            Ignatius Press – RSV-CE Second Edition by Lighthouse Catholic Media – it’s a free bible app
            John 8:8-10 8 And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go , and do not sin again.”

          • Matt

            It doesn’t matter what I want. What was needed was clarity.

          • Matt

            What I want doesn’t matter. What we NEED is a bishop with some fight in him, some courage and willingness to call that poor man in front of him to repentance.

          • ctullius

            You can soften a heart or turn it to stone. Turn it to stone and you may condemn a person to a burden heavier than that under which they already suffer. John the Baptist, Jesus said, was greatest among all men born of women. But when he shouted repentance at Herod & his wife, she went from adulteress to colluding murderess. Not, I think, what John the Baptist intended.

          • Conservative Catholic

            “as Bishop Barron has stated, he himself does oppose the
            legalization of same-sex marriage and thinks it should be overturned. He
            decisively opposes it. He just might disagree with people on the best way to overturn it.”
            Kinda like “I personally am against _____________(fill in the blank: abortion, assisted suicide, same sex marriage…) but I defend your right to decide.”
            And yes, that is partially saying it is okay.
            SMH. I believe Bishop Barron has gone the way of many others. (Father Carapi, Cardinal Dolan, et al.) Fame tends to be their downfall.

          • “Kinda like “I personally am against _____________(fill in the blank: abortion, assisted suicide, same sex marriage…) but I defend your right to decide.””

            No, it’s not like that at all. That’s a bad comparison.

            The person who typically says, “I’m personally against abortion but I defend your right to decide” doesn’t think the law (e.g., Roe v. Wade) should be changed, for whatever reason.

            Bishop Barron is personally against same-sex marriage and thinks the law (e.g., Obergefell) should change.

            Do you see the difference?

        • Andrew

          Bishop Barron specifically stated afterwards that he probably would have worded that answer differently if he had a do-over… But you’re nitpicking… It’s pretty obvious to me what he meant – that he knows and believes that living a homosexual lifestyle is wrong, but his heart is full of compassion and love for those who do and he wouldn’t want to beat them over the head with it… Is it really that confusing?

          • Well said, Andrew. That was precisely my impression and, I think, the impression of most viewers.

          • Matt

            That is not confusing, no, and if that is the sense in which Bishop Barron intended his words to be taken, then I am in agreement with him. I will grant him the wish for a do-over on that answer, of course, as we should always grant a person some grace for the answers which they have given in a live interview. I’m grateful that a camera is not in my face recording my answers to difficult questions. I am also not nitpicking, in my own humble opinion, I am merely seeking clarification, and I am grateful to Bishop Barron and Mr. Vogt having provided some of that.

  • BXVI

    Some of the posts here are really ridiculous. Anyone who follows Bishop Barron knows that he believes and teaches exactly what the Catechism does about sexual sin. And he did not say anything in this interview that contradicts Church teaching. Just because he does not think it would be prudent for him to agitate for a political reversal of gay “marriage” right now does not make him unorthodox.

    In fact, I would venture to say that Bishop Barron is the most effective orthodox evangelist for the Catholic faith on the entire planet right now. If anything, Bishop Barron would be considered not just orthodox but also more on the “conservative” end of the spectrum.

    Get a grip, people. This man generates a huge amount of evangelistic content. He says one or two things that don’t come out the way you’d like to hear them and you’re ready to declare him a heretic. Quit trying to portray him as the equivalent of Cardinal Cupich or Fr. James Martin. He’s just not; he’s the protégé of Cardinal Francis George, for gosh sakes.

    • “In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.” St. John Paul II (the “great”) (on behalf of Cdl. Ratzinger as CDF Prefect)

    • Skippy

      An unjust law must be reversed. Let members of the same sex if they desire make their own financial arrangements and promises. The State however acts immorally if it legislates for fake marriage. The CDF makes it plain it is duty of everyone to oppose and obstruct such an immoral law. Barron is bound by that and cannot have an opinion that contradicts the CDF.

      • “An unjust law must be reversed.”

        And he agrees! Why would you think he doesn’t? He has repeatedly clarified that he opposes same-sex marriage, morally and legally. He just may disagree with some on how best to oppose it and get it reversed.

        • Mike

          watching the 2 parts now on way to/from work. as always a pleasure listening to ft barron. on ssm i agree with him that the church will always oppose but must apply prudence ie wisdom to the task. the church should minimize damage, protect dissenters and esp children and then do what it can to persuade gen culture that basic building block of society should be sexually diverse institution ie one with BOTH male and female.

          btw you are still one impressive person brandon – a tour de force of apologetics. but if i could make 1 suggest. eleonore stump has a lecture on youtube on similarities btw god of philosophers and god of bible which is very interesting and leans on aquina’s thoughts on holy spirit quite a bit it seems to me. could you do a series of articles on how the 2 conceptions are not only compatible but actually the same thing? otherwise are there any books you could recommend on the subject?

          • Thanks for the kind words, Mike! I actually just bought Stump’s book. It arrived last week–a very thin little volume, more of a lecture transcript than a full book. Can’t wait to dig in!

            As for a rec, check out Robert Sokolowski’s “The God of Faith and Reason” or Edward Feser’s book on Aquinas. Both take you from the God of the philosophers to the Christian God.

          • Mike

            thx i have feser’s but will add Sokolowki’s for good measure.

            her lecture is really good but you have to pay attention which is probably why she decided to put it in print. she relies on aquina’s reflections on the holy spirit which she suggests show that there is no contradiction between the god of philo and the one that is so colorfully described in the bible. it’s alittle too technical to me but fascinating nonetheless.

            keep up the good work!

    • mr. producer

      Yes, everything’s fine here. Move along now, nothing to see. And Pope Francis is just misunderstood, too. Bad translations, don’t you know.

  • Matthew

    Disappointed in Bishop Barron’s showing here. His total capitulation on the matter of gay marriage was disheartening to hear. As another commenter has already noted when atheists are told things that they like to hear why wouldn’t they agree? Was this evangelization or preaching to the choir? It is curious that Bishop Barron’s criticism regarding the movie “Silence” would be exactly on point for my criticism of him. Why would atheists not like a Christian who does not want his faith to effect public policy?

  • David

    It doesn’t seem to occur to Vogt that the reason they might be impressed, which actually comes across in some of comments cited, is because he didn’t offer any great defense of Catholic teaching or even state it for that matter, especially on the marriage issue. His approach is exactly what we need to avoid- watering things down or keeping silent in hope that we will win the esteem of some and we can say, Oh look, the popular culture isn’t so hostile, they actually listened to one of our guys, they didn’t call him intolerant and homophobic. We are in such a sad states of affairs today that the least hint of orthodoxy or at least absence of denial of Church teaching is applauded, when this should be the bare minimum and not cause to rejoice. It was kind of clear Barron was hesitant to voice the Catholic teaching forcefully and didn’t even want to answer on some of the issues. I don’t see that this approach accomplishes anything positive in the long run.

  • Ator1313

    Shocked that the Bishop sounds the call to retreat in the face of homosexual marriage. Bishop Barron seems to be enjoying his popularity to much to take the unpopular stand that God made marriage between one man and one woman.

    Satan must enjoy hearing a Bishop say he isn’t up to the fight for marriage and against homosexual marriage.

    Saint Bernardine of Siena spoke about homosexuality, much differently than Bishop Barrons call to retreat.

    “No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy…. Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin.”

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Troubling, very troubling and dangerous for Bishop Barron to say he is to comfortable to fight against homosexual marriage. Sodomy destroys live and souls and can send people to hell and to hear Bishop Barron say he will not fight against a mortal sin is like saying the fight against slavery, human trafficking, poverty, or abortion are to difficult…….Sure, many of these atheist may not like him if he took a moral stand against the destruction of marriage but Jesus never told us it would be comfortable.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Troubling, very troubling and dangerous for Bishop Barron to say he is to comfortable to fight against homosexual marriage. Sodomy destroys live and souls and can send people to hell and to hear Bishop Barron say he will not fight against a mortal sin is like saying the fight against slavery, human trafficking, poverty, or abortion are to difficult…….Sure, many of these atheist may not like him if he took a moral stand against the destruction of marriage but Jesus never told us it would be comfortable.

    • JTLiuzza

      Barron is a very dangerous man and I think typical of FrancisChurch. Worldly, ambitious priests get the nod. Orthodox, actually Catholic prelates get the axe. Barron saw how fast the ghoulish looking Cupich went from obscurity to the red hat. I think he covets one of his own. Prescription? Be as heterodox as imaginable and do it publicly.

      Barron is a “hell is empty” bishop. I think that was why he was made bishop to begin with. He championed a sufficiently heterodox, erroneous, universalist, lutheranesque (a favorite of Bergoglio) and danger to souls idea. Instant elevation to bishop.

      And when you’re convinced that hell is empty, then mortal sin becomes irrelevant. So it stands to reason Barron doesn’t give a hoot about making a mockery of the Sacrament of Matrimony or anything else. We’re all going to heaven, don’t you know? So, as luther said, “sin and sin boldly!”

      • Semper Incipit

        Canon 1373 much?

    • Semper Incipit

      Actually, in context, he is correct. He can do nothing legally to overturn the ruling–which was the question, despite your attempt at manipulating the facts–and so rightly doesn’t direct his efforts towards things that won’t produce fruit. What you want is for us to till a barren field in some self-righteous crusade. His Excellency offers a different tack i.e. returning the approach to talking about the Gospel, not American jurisprudence. The former transforms, the latter doesn’t.

    • BXVI

      Bishop Barron believes and teaches exactly what the Catechism does about homosexuality. He did not say anything different in this interview. No, he did not sit there and scream “You are going hell unless you change you sodomite!” Is that what you would have preferred?

  • Teresa

    Brandon thank you so much for sharing this – the interview would most likely have stayed off my radar otherwise.
    My eyes filled with tears on reading that one comment: “if the church was even half as good as this I would actually go”.
    I pray that commenter – and others – will someday discover that the Church (the true Church and not what some believe it to be) is all that and so, so much more.
    My gratitude and prayers for Bishop Barron for his ministry.

    • bibiel

      The Church is half more good as this bishop. The Church hid pedophiles. This guy would hide serial murderers.

  • samton909

    All this shows is that many of those who considered themselves atheists never really knew what they were talking about. They were propagandized by Hitchens, Dawkins et al, The first time they come up against a bright believer, their whole non belief system crumbles.

    Unfortunately, our sick society has produced a lot of people who think they are atheists, but just don’t know any better.

    • Jayman412

      Society can not produce atheists, it is a free choice and personal decision to be or not be, this or that. Certainly people in our society can and do make an impression upon certain members, who are in a vulnerable state, or who are looking. You need to consider the SOURCE in such matters. They need to be unbiased and objective. Two difficult traits for any source or speaker, author, or leader.

      • bibiel

        We are all born atheists, so I don’t know why you are saying that society cannot produce atheists. All that needs to be done is to give birth to a child and you have an atheist.

    • bibiel

      I know what I am talking about. I was forced to attend Catholic religion classes for 13 years of my life. It is pure evil!

      • JohnnyVoxx

        Actually, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • A part of me wishes we could clone the good Bishop… how many more might we reach with the good news…

    • Veritas


    • bibiel

      Yeah, we need more men like him! Men, who would force 16 year old brutally raped girl to give birth to her rapist’s child. Men, who would let go of serial murderer and not report him to the police! Have you lost your mind?

      • Lazarus

        Have you watched the videos? Why do those events that you complain of stand out for you?

      • SFG

        Imagine that you found out you were in fact the product of a violent rape, and that your grandparents wanted your 16yr old mother to abort you, but she was not able to because of some law. Would you beleive that your life had less value than your close friend who was intentionally conceived? Would you have retrospectively desired that your mother who was raped had not been prevented from aborting you?

        On the issue of the Serial Murderer, the reason for the seal of the confession is so that penitents can go know with absolute assurance that whatever they say in the confessional to the priest, cannot be repeated. Otherwise, confession will not work. The seal of the confessional is the ultimate privacy issue! If you don’t support it, then you don’t support the right to privacy. Think about the 5th amendment and that absolute right a person has not to incriminate themselves. It’s along those lines.

      • Charlene

        My Mother was brutally rape – she was 19 years old. It was the first time she ever had intercourse. It has effected her for the last 54 years. I am so glad that abortion was not legal in 1963 – because I was the product of that rape. She gave me up for adoption. My children live because she gave birth to me.

© 2019 Brandon Vogt