Robert Barron | – Bishop Barron on the “McCarrick Report”

In this bonus “Word on Fire Show” episode, Bishop Barron discusses the long-awaited “McCarrick Report,” which the Holy See just released on Tuesday, November 10. This long and exhaustive report, spanning over 450 pages, shares the results of a two-year investigation into former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, exploring how he rose through the ranks of the Catholic hierarchy despite years of sexual abuse and cover up. Bishop Barron shares his thoughts, impressions, and offers a way forward through this awful crisis.

Bishop Barron resources on sexual abuse crisis: [support us]

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 (46)

  1. Bishop McCarrick's betrayal of the Catholic Church pales in comparison to that of white Mexican priest, Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, Mexico. This so-called priest, mentioned in this video, was a real demon; his sexual abuses against young men was only one of his many crimes. Bishop Barron's opening words that these kinds of crimes within the Church are the devil's masterpiece are dead-on.

  2. I offer my constant belief that we must place our trust in Christ. Humans are sinners and we should be aware that Christ alone will not disappoint us. I admire the constancy of the many priests who now are subjects of doubt.

  3. Bishop Barron is such a phony! He knows how weak this report was and how the cover-up is deeply ensconced in church leadership. He also throws shade on the true , traditional Catholics like Tim Gordon. Shame on him and his bogus "Word on Fire" campaign.

  4. Bishop I hope this comment captures your attention. I have witnessed first hand sexual abuse of Jesuit seminarians in Africa, I know countless priests who have fathered and abandoned children in Africa, I know countless priests who openly have both male and female sexual partners, I know priests that have sexual relations with nuns and sisters, I know priest that have participated in abortions etc. The Church is literally a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. The Church's cover up of the clergy's moral, spiritual, and sexual decay is the seed, the ground and catalyst that enables the clergy to abuse minors, men, and women with great impunity.

  5. Bishop Barron,
    Until you and others with cameras and microphones, boldly call out the RCC "leadership", from the Pope down, you're part of this problem and it will not go away.

    Even now, there seems to be more of a willingness to talk negatively about Vigano (a whistleblower) than McCarrick (a molester)!

    The ROT in the RCC goes all the way to the top, to the Pope, himself.

  6. It is not the video I object to it, but I keep hearing misinformation and I do believe most people within the church definitely knew about it. How could Pope Francis not know this before he was elected Pope! To completely say he did the right thing. Maybe he did, but it should have been dealt with many years ago. It is easy to put the blame it on a dead Pope exclusively! If it wasn’t for Vigano, we would not be near this and a lot was left out of what he did in China! You are right Bishop Baron, but the things that to many in the Vatican knew was covered up for so many years. It saddens me greatly! I know McCarrick , but as Catholic woman I keep remembering how priests were idolized and they encouraged it, they expected it. I am trying to stay within the church. I pray for McCarrick every day, I pray he will “remember” and ask for his Lord and Savior to bring him to heaven. He died for our sins!

  7. There is a serious problem with the culture of the Catholic church, and specifically with the culture that has been established, perpetuated, and protected by church authorities. Culture changes very slowly. I hope the Catholic church will do what is necessary to change its culture as quickly as possible. What might be of help is to look at how NASA acted after the Challenger disaster and how Boeing is dealing with the 737 Max tragedy. These disasters happen because of systems in place that allow them to occur or even facilitate such terrible results. Priest, bishops, cardinals and so on are….people. And people are very susceptible to both gross negligence and malicious intent. The Catholic church must not be allowed to internally police itself. True repentance will only come about with humility, transparency, and honesty. It is said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's". This applies not only to money, but also to the consideration of God's justice and the justice of humans. Money and power are dangerous, especially in a closed culture. The scope of the scandal is so vast that it is hard to grasp: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/settlements/

  8. When the interviewer mentioned the First Lady who started writing letters I got confused on what kind of retribution she was worried about. I’m not trying to say she was not courageous, which obviously she was, but I honestly didn’t know the church could hurt you. Could someone help me understand?

  9. There is a serious problem with the culture of the Catholic church, and specifically with the culture that has been established, perpetuated, and protected by church authorities. Culture changes very slowly. I hope the Catholic church will do what is necessary to change its culture as quickly as possible. What might be of help is to look at how NASA acted after the Challenger disaster and how Boeing is dealing with the 737 Max tragedy. These disasters happen because of systems in place that allow them to occur or even facilitate such terrible results. Priest, bishops, cardinals and so on are….people. And people are very susceptible to both gross negligence and malicious intent. The Catholic church must not be allowed to internally police itself. True repentance will only come about with humility, transparency, and honesty. It is said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's". This applies not only to money, but also to the consideration of God's justice and the justice of humans. Money and power are dangerous, especially in a closed culture. The scope of the scandal is so vast that it is hard to grasp: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/settlements/

  10. What is even worse is the lying in the McCarrick Report about Archbishop Vigano, falsely stating that he did not give his testimony. He was not allowed to testify. McCarrick's worst crimes were left out, and his friends in the Curia protected him and advanced his interests. This problem only continues.

  11. Thankyou Brandon and Bishop Barron for acknowledging the "grim" reality of the report, the "demonstrable" evidence of sexual abuse being overcome and the "hope" Catholics like me should focus on – a Church that can be a leading force for good in our world.

  12. As a retired military officer & having read the report, a big part of the problem in letting him go on for so long was a very confusing chain of command – for example Cardinal Wuerl said 'I'm his successor, not his supervisor'. There (were) are all kinds of players – USCCB, the US Cardinals, the Papal Nuncio, and at the Vatican the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Popes themselves. It is kind of like an octopus where the Pope is at the center, but there are a bunch of arms, and each arm thought another arm was dealing (or had dealt) with Mr. McCarrick.

  13. this sends chills down my spine. we have greatly sinned as the living members of the church for allowing this to happen and we must do everything in our power to insure that it can never happen again.

  14. Thank you Fr Barron for speaking on this topic. I hope for justice to be rendered to this fallen cardinal and those who turned a blind eye. They deserve to be brought to civil justice and I am quite sure that they will be.

  15. I wonder if the Bishop ever looks at the "big picture" or what good could come out of this disaster. If evil is sometimes allowed to prevent a greater evil or to act as a mirror to show us something about ourselves then what good could come out of this?

    For example, the Bishop comments about the people who tried to "blow the whistle" but were ignored. This has been studied in other fields and is why those fields created reporting systems so a record of reports is made and ignoring those reports has a consequence. Those reporting systems work. I once questioned a submariner about whether reporting systems on submarines worked and he told me about an incident where a seaman made a safety report and an admiral arrived on the dock to investigate the next day. That is a responsive reporting system. Fields without effective reporting systems like religion, policing, and medicine, don't respond and problems fester for decades.

    Then there is the issue about all the people other than those that got actual letters of complaint, but "knew" about the abuse but kept silent. People in fields know about problems and almost never speak up creating a "culture of coverup" discussed at ~8'. This happens in many fields as people in authority abuse authority and people under authority keep silent even when they are right. It is the nature of "authoritarianism" that is rising now as it was prior to the two 20th Century world wars.

    There is evidence of a "doomsday variable" that is accumulating in society linked to authoritarianism that may be the driver of group violence and interstate war. Thus, the authoritarianism this scandal reveals and the other signals like resistance to masks in the pandemic may be alerting mankind to the "doomsday variable" that we either resist or pay the price in living through a third world war. To resist you have to at least be willing to open books and articles outside of your field that many people cannot do because they are under control by the DD variable and won't read without permission from some authority. The DD variable can be resisted with simple awareness and authoritarianism has been overcome in some fields with training. So we know it is reversible with conscious action. Without that action it controls, and people in authority will resist feedback as even the Bishop does when he blocks people that comment in ways that challenge his view of the world. The real enemy is the DD variable, not people who challenge people's views of the world.

    Thus, this crisis is warning us that "something is wrong" just as the out of control pandemic is warning us that "something is wrong". We can heed the warnings and investigate, or pay the price.

  16. Look at all of the bishops that were "made" by McCarrick: They all knew what was going on. Most of them worked in the seminary under McCarrick. Several of these bishops went to the house in Sea Girt, NJ. Fr. Boniface Ramsey knew all about McCarrick as early as 1992, when I was in the seminary.

  17. This sort of thing is nothing new: it has been going on for centuries. What is new is that it's finally being found out. When a young person is sexually abused it is far worse than crucifixion. Christ had it easy compared to them.

    This isn't a crisis! How can a good thing be described as a crisis? A great evil has finally been found out. The only crisis has been for the perpetual victims of this sort of thing. A crisis that has been ongoing for hundreds of years. For them this is the opposite of a crisis. Nor is it a particularly great event when an institution supposedly devoted to the truth finally decides to be truthful. This is no time for patting yourselves on the back.

  18. Please include in your discussions all the many new particular protocols that are in place in the Church to prevent abuse now. I know that each diocese has an Office of Safe Environments and many checks, policies, and trainings for staff and volunteers. There is also a training for children. This is taken very seriously. It would be very beneficial if you would give a podcast outlining all the other specific steps that the Church is making in all realms of its hierarchy, clergy and laypeople to provide safety and transparency: it will enkindle hope for a brighter future!

  19. I was listening to you your grace very prayerfully and intently. I sobbed like a baby because of your humility and your sincerity. I am a priest. You inspired me to suffer more for God. I am enlightened by your clarity. You are full of the Holy Spirit your grace. Salamat po!

  20. You’re eminence with all due respect you complain and show concern about this “rad trad Catholicism” emerging but will you at least look at yourself and asses the possibility that you are wrong? I’m not going to wail in on you like other people are on the comments section but shouldn’t you at least contemplate that there must be a reason that people are venting out their frustrations on you? You refuse to talk with Doctor Taylor Marshall just because of his book but if you are a Shepard of truth you’d be open to it regardless of its source. If you really are a thomist as you claim to be you’d refute them with logic and fact as opposed to ostracising them

  21. The Church needs to start admitting straight married men with children to the priesthood, as a matter of urgency. It's the only way the institutional church will regain her credibility.
    Saint Peter, the first Pope, was married.

  22. Priests need to pray and do pennants for themselves, and for their flock, and if need be, suffer, in order to redeem those who are on the lost path. We must pray for the faithful priests, but if a priest is lost, we should leave that priest to God, because he has the sin of losing his soul, and to stay close to such vermin as a faithful, one risks his or her soul to that vermin's demise!

  23. O Holy Spirit, illuminate the hearts of our Catholic Priests to the brilliance of Your Divine Truth. St. Joseph, St. Peter, please bring our prayers to the Holy Triune God to protect our Catholic Church.

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