Robert Barron | – Bishop Barron on Canceling Padre Serra

Friends, the entire effort to erase the memory of St. Junípero Serra is from a historical standpoint ridiculous and from a moral standpoint more than a little frightening. When we see mobs of people tearing down and desecrating statues of a great Catholic saint, how can we not see the ugly specter of anti-Catholicism raising its head?

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Word on Fire St. Junipero Serra FAQ page: [support us]
Bishop Barron’s article “Canceling Padre Serra”: [support us]
Bishop Barron on Why St. Junípero Serra Matters Today: [support us]
Bishop Barron on the Canonization of Junípero Serra: [support us]

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About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at WordOnFire.org.

Comment (47)

  1. 29% the population in Ventura is Catholic. That is the largest group, by far, than any other religion in that County. Laity, please start a petition to get the statue back up soon. You can have your signatures overnight. Its your Constitutional right to freedom of speech and religion that is being attacked by Marxist. Don't be complicit and do what's important. You have rights too!

  2. This issue is much, MUCH bigger than a mere narrow prejudice against Catholics. This is a widespread hatred for ANYTHING belonging to the history and traditions of Western Europe and North America. The desecration of statues (and in particular, the toppling of Padre Serra) are just the most outward manifestation of this new hatred. When I say "new", however, I'm talking about a hatred that reaches as far back as the early 1970's. Our culture is in the midst of a self-immolation. The present generation cannot tell the difference between an Anglican, a Protestant, and a Catholic. It cannot distinguish between the Locke and the Rousseau traditions in the Enlightenment. It is barely even aware of what the Enlightenment was. It has been starved of any knowledge of itself and its history, and instead has been fed a cocktail of radical moralisms, with a chaser of deep self-hatred and political absolutisms, and it is now convulsing in public, with the goal of burning it all down, whether it's George Washington or Frederick Douglas or Padre Serra or Babe Ruth. They don't care, and they don't have any idea what they would replace it with. They simply want the pain of meaninglessness and self-hatred to stop, and they think they can make it stop by committing cultural suicide.

  3. Thank you Bishop Barron. Junipero Serra is a personal hero of mine. I have read about his travels through California and Mexico and can't imagine how he did it with a lame leg. I get more and more frustrated with people who know nothing about history tearing down statues and monuments to men and women they know nothing about.

  4. Dear Bishop Barron, when you are a brave bishop and defend the one true faith, and defend TRUTH which is the same as defending our Lord, we will stand on your side on every level, we will support you each and every time you are on the side of truth, no matter how hard and difficult this may be. We understand the pressure that is on your shoulders but I know our Lord WILL give you the strength and courage to defend him. Even though I know from a Thomistic point of view, it is not correct to publicly shame you for the times you haven't acted more strongly to defend our Lord, I hope that those actions that may have seen as an attack you can see them as our Lord being righteously angry and wanting to guide you to him through his mercy (which sometimes can feel rough), Saint Padre Pio many times saw our Lord with a Sword in his hand angry looking at him, so if our Lord out of mercy could be "harsh" to such Holy man, we shouldn't expect less.

    Much love and please keep defending truth, no matter how much it could cost you. (the reward is much bigger)

  5. Congratulations on this show, Your Excellency! You use some pretty strong words to defend Serra – and Catholic missionary work in general – and to criticise the behaviour of this riotous mob. You could have added, though, that their actions are, of course, also (1) totally illegal and (2) extremely harmful to the democracy the mob pretends to represent. You should have called for the defence of all Christian statues by the (mostly liberal, Democrat) mayors, who have mostly chosen not to interfere or have given in to the mob, and by the Pope, who is shamefully silent about all the wreckage done to his Church.

  6. This is what happens with weak, soft, limp wristed leadership from the Bishops and the Pope. Thanks for saying something Bishop Barron, but we need MUCH more! The devil and these marxists groups (BLM and Antifa) will not stop!

  7. Anti-Catholicism is comparable to racism in this country. In a "post-christian" society, there's a fundamental animosity towards Christianity, and a suspicion namely towards Catholicism. St. Junipero is merely an excuse for society's prejudice towards Christianity. St. Junipero Serra will be society's remedy- He is an advocate for the marginalized, He's a "uniter" of peoples. He promulgates that Christ is the answer. Neither ideology nor legislation will suffice. Christ eliminates prejudices and suspicions and compensates with charity. Until we learn to love God in our neighbor, society's tension will build. If only we could put our phones down awhile to realize…instead of aimlessly joining the bandwagon for the sake of an illusory purpose of "tolerance" and "acceptance". Society's psyche is so marred, it seems to be insane. St. Junipero Serra, ora pro nobis. Amen

  8. It is my understanding that Sam Adams, a great leader of the American Revolution, said the last straw for declaring independence was the Quebec Act of 1774.

    He feared it far greater than the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and Massachusetts Act, arguably all other regulations levied against the Colonists, combined.

    While it was right and proper to contest the prohibition of colonists setting west of the Appalachians, it was also a catalyst for the continued stamp of approval for anti-Catholicism in American heredity.

    The Act allowed the French Catholics of Quebec great freedoms, to practice their faith and continue to grow in America.

    Being from Massachusetts, a colony started in religious expression of Puritanism against the Anglican Crown for seeing it too Catholic, it was alarming to Sam Adams (and most New Englanders) that the religion that England broke from (and prohibited). . . and the French, who were considered a hostile culture. . . was given more recognition than kinsmen who shared British values and Protestant ethos in being united against Rome.

    PS: should I find Sam Adams' quote on the Quebec Act, I will post it in a reply.

    If you find it, please post it in response to this comment. Thank you.

  9. I believe believe Bishop Baron is overlooking the intense hatred Marxists have always displayed towards religious people in general. They're against all religious people because we stand against theft and murder. That is the core of Marxism and they have always oppressed Christians. Their evil hatred of the righteous is manifesting today as anti-Catholic but tomorrow it will be a different group of Christians until all are crushed under their brutal feet.

  10. I know of all of these things as a person engaged in the world I live in, unlike many. My father told me as a teenager, the third K in the KKK was for Katholics, the other two were slurs for African Americans and Jewish Americans. Anyway, Latin America should be well aware of what the Masons are after….many martyrs know as well.

  11. Many of the underlying sentiments of legitimate 'protesters' are noble; respect for all people, end to brutality etc. It is clear, however, that there are many elements in society who simply wish to use this moment as an opportunity to destroy ANYTHING that they see as a threat, or to seek personal gain for themselves. That type of behaviour is not based on reason and will only lead to destruction and suffering.

  12. I literally laughed out loud at that first statement. You Christians and your persecution complexes. I take it that Catholics were also enslaved, murdered, marched off to tiny reservations, and backstabbed by the federal government like African & native Americans? Oh right! They weren’t. Get a fucking life. And by the way, no one is trying to erase the memory of Fr. Serra. We just don't want to openly celebrate a man who enslaved the native populations, beat those who tried to escape, and forced an alien belief system on them without their consent.

  13. Bishop Barron, I have been waiting for you to defend the statue's. Than you for sharing. I hope you and other priest, leaders of the Faith, and laity will continue to pray and defend, educate, and defend our religion.

  14. Thank God for bishops like Robert Barron. We as Catholics, and Cristians should make our voices herd too. Calling and emailing our representatives at the local level will let them know that the mobs are a minority.

  15. Clearly the people who are taking down statues or memories of saints ARE definitely against Catholics. The gov’t leaders in CA are mostly godless and for sure deceived by evil. They are left radicals.
    Remember all the places with more riots and violence are left leaning.
    This does not surprise me. Where God is put first and honored these things are rare.
    Good grief….pray to Jesus….people! It is not logical to think these anti God people will listen to anything sensible!
    They are emotional and unreasonable.

  16. Thank you Bishop Barron I am very proud to have been born and raised in Ventura. Both my parents were very active in the church and me being baptized in the Mission at San Buenaventura make me proud and thankful to Father Serra.

  17. Thanks Bishop Barron. I totally agree. Our age is judgemental. One can’t judge those several hundred years ago as if they are alive today. Of course, we all agree slavery was and is wrong.Many people throughout the ages understand that institutions including the Catholic Church usurped power for the self aggrandizement of some popes. That does does not mean that all all Catholics intent on evangelization had evil intentions. Most missionaries, such as St. Francis Xavier and Father Serra sincerely believed that a believers soul would go to heaven.

  18. The devil is truly threatened by Catholicism and this is shown in this mobs that are taking place. Satan only targets those that he knows are stronger than him and can defeat him. Catholicism is part of Christ's army, which is why it is so heavily opposed by the world. If catholicism teaches false teachings and its weak, then why are they looking to destroy it so much. We need to pray for the world as Catholics, we are being called to stand up and fight. This is a sign from God that we need to seek his kingdom in everything we do.

  19. Really? The deepest bias in the history of American people? How disrespectful of you “father”. Prejudice against other minorities like african-americans doesn’t count? What about against latinos or indigenous people? Not big enough for you? How can you possibly claim to say Catholics suffer the biggest biased in American history? This guy has lost all credibility.

  20. We need a champion like you Bp Barron to defend us from misguided people straw manning and using the woke/cancel culture to disparage the works of saints and Catholics. The cancel culture is now working to tear down the image of Saint Patrick as a barbarian who committed genocide in Ireland!

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