Pope Francis appoints Father Robert Barron as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

ROME – This morning, Pope Francis formally announced Father Robert Barron's appointment as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Bishop-Elect Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, host of the award-winning CATHOLICISM film series, and since 2012 has served as the Rector/President of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago, IL.

His website, WordOnFire.org, reaches millions of people each year. His regular YouTube videos have been viewed over 13 million times. Next to Pope Francis, he is the most-followed Catholic leader on social media.

Bishop-Elect Barron's statement is below:

It was with enormous surprise that I received word of my appointment as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, but it is with a humble and joyful heart that I accept it. The Church of Los Angeles—the most populous in the United States—is energetic, diverse, and creative. Over the years, I’ve visited many times, including multiple trips to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim; most recently, I was in the Archdiocese for a lecture at Thomas Aquinas College. So though I can’t claim to know it well, I have been able to taste and see some of its richness.
continue at Word On Fire

What that means for Mundelein - of whom Abp. Cupich will appoint a new president - will be very telling.

Update: Pope Francis named three auxiliaries to Los Angeles


Anonymous said...

Is it too cynical of me to suggest that the only beneficent way for Archbishop Cupich to regain control of Mundelein Seminary was for Father Barron to be given an episcopal assignment? There would have been no other way to justify his removal from Mundelein. American Catholics would have turned on Archbishop Cupich. I say this not to take anything away from Father Barron.

Badger Catholic said...

Yes, I have the same suspicion. Obviously Cupich would want him out and get someone in line with his theology. This would be the best strategy from their perspective, especially because as an auxiliary he has no real control now as well, as opposed to his own diocese where he would certainly attract many vocations. It would appear the advisers for US appointments have had no problem implementing their overhaul of the US episcopacy.

Anonymous said...

Even Rocco Palmo, required penance for all Catholics, hints at the difficulty of immediately understanding the appointment:

"Yet even as the calculus behind his Western move remains a mystery, its seismic impact on two of the nation's three largest dioceses is immediate: in LA, the bishop-elect heads to the most influential seat of pop culture on earth, his "rock star" talents for communication (and, indeed, fund-raising) on-hand to shore up a sometimes restive Anglo minority in the trenches, while in the 2.3 million-member Chicago church, the leadership of Mundelein – long regarded as the "crown jewel" of American seminaries, currently the US' third-largest formation house – now falls vacant for Archbishop Blase Cupich to fill just nine months into his tenure, a pick with implications across the Midwest."

Terry Nelson said...

I'm very happy with the appointment - he is a great priest and will make an excellent bishop.

Badger Catholic said...

Agreed, he would make a great bishop, I hope he is not "muzzled" so to speak. He had quite a bit of liberty in his current roles.

Anonymous said...

This closely parallels the career progression of Fulton Sheen, and appointing him auxiliary bishop in NYC didn't affect his influence.