Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Barron is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

One of the most popular websites in the world, Reddit, is a forum for all sorts of online conversations and presentations. The AMA (for Ask Me Anything) is a 21st- century version of the medieval quodlibetal questions, during which a game theology professor would entertain any inquiry that came from the floor. 

Though I reside in Santa Barbara, I am in Los Angeles a good deal for meetings and other events. When I’m in the city, I like to walk the downtown neighbourhood. My favourite building to look at while I’m on these strolls is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home base of the L.A. Philharmonic and the creation of Canadian Frank Gehry, probably the best-known architect in the world.

Alejandro Iñárritu’s new film The Revenant is one of the most talked about movies, and for good reason. The opening 20 minutes, which feature a frighteningly realistic Indian attack and a horrifically vivid mauling by a grizzly bear, are absolutely compelling viewing. And the remainder of the film is so involving that this viewer at least felt physically sick as he followed the sufferings of the main character.

Conservation International has sponsored a series of videos that have become YouTube sensations. They feature famous actors — Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Robert Redford and others — voicing different aspects of the natural world, from the ocean, to the rain forest, to redwood trees. The most striking is the one that presents Mother Nature herself, given voice by Julia Roberts.

Following publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and his recent speeches in Latin America, many supporters of capitalism might be forgiven for thinking His Holiness has something against them.

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their colleagues wanted to write fiction that would effectively “evangelize the imagination,” accustoming minds, especially of young people, to the Gospel. Accordingly, Tolkien’s Gandalf is a figure of Jesus the prophet and Lewis’ Aslan is a representation of Christ as both sacrificial victim and victorious king. Happily, the film versions of both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have been wildly popular all over the world.

Released before Easter, Cinderella is the most surprising Hollywood movie of the year so far.

The controversies surrounding the recent extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family have often put me in mind of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the greatest Catholic churchman of the 19th century. Newman wrote eloquently on an extraordinary range of topics, but the arguments around the Synod compel us to look at Newman’s work regarding the evolution of doctrine.