Robert Barron | – Non-Catholic Q&A w/ Bishop Barron (August 2020)

In today’s episode of “The Word on Fire Show,” Bishop Barron answers questions from several non-Catholics, including:

– How to foster unity between Protestants and Catholics?
– Why focus on Mary and the saints instead of the Trinity?
– I’m converting to Catholicism, but how will that affect my wife?
– Why doesn’t the Church canonize non-Catholics?
– How to recognize genuine spiritual movements of the soul?
– What is apostolic succession?
– Why must bread and wine be used in the Eucharist?

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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

Comment (45)

  1. I’m in the same boat as Justin, currently converting (technically reverting by Catholic ways as I was baptized as a baby), and my wife has big issues with the Church. We were married as Protestants 15 years ago and then fell into atheism and non-belief. One thing I have found comforting during this trying yet exciting time is 1 Corinthians 7:14 which says, “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy.”

  2. Bishop Barron, I have a suggestion about your pectoral cross. I hope you don't find this blasphemous or anything, but I think I have a solution for your problem: the Bolo Tie Cross. I'm sure you've seen bolo ties before; the cross would be the vertically adjustable element, so it wouldn't be in the way, or swing around like a pendulum, or become an "abdominal cross." I'd be glad to make one for you, if you're interested.

  3. That last question is real close to one that I have. Bishop Barron, please could you cover "Communion under one kind" (bread only, no wine, for the laity), as is widely practiced in the Catholic Church?

    Protestantism has nothing like that, and to many of us lifelong "Evangelical" Protestants, it's very strange and a stumbling block when we first learn of it. Jesus said "blood AND body"/"bread AND wine" — and I just don't know how to get around that.

    Over the past several months I've now learned to appreciate and respect the concept of the "deposit of faith" in the magisterium. In accordance with that, I know that the Catholic Church does nothing flippantly, that there's got to be a good explanation, as there has been for everything else I used to criticize (I've come a LONG way — I wouldn't countenance Catholicism for even 2 seconds for most of my 55+ years, and now I'm here, months now, eagerly looking in, hopeful!). But I still find this one practice troubling and in need of clarification. It's my one real remaining hesitation. Thank you!

  4. I subscribe to the thought that there are no religions in heaven.
    I'm Baptist by conversion, but have studied and attended many Christian religions. (Currently Lutheran) I find most religions differ in mission statements created by themselves, that are not in the bible.
    Thank you.

  5. Your pectoral cross explanation was a 'no brainer' for me–but why not start a movement SHORTEN THE CHAIN! It could hang back pectorialy! Start a trend among the Bishops! Bet they could make them with a clip in the back–or tab rather like a military metal….LOL

  6. Another analogy regarding asking Mary and Saints to intercede: Anyone who is in the service industry understands – if a parent and children come to you, if you talk to the children, and ask their thoughts, and ask them questions, what does the parent do? They are not jealous that you are asking the child's input. In fact, they are beaming and excited that you spend so much time asking their child about their interest. If that is true of us early humans who love imperfectly, then it seems how much more would our Heavenly Father beam with great joy at others asking His adopted children for their help? As I learned this in my work, I have often thought of the communion of saints! Fwiw.


    “The Holy Mass which is My Calvary way of your redemption is what the enemy is turning to a mere service…

    My agony is great when I see many of My Priests who leave My Sacred Body and Blood to the non-consecrated priests to serve My people…. My agony is great when I see people receiving the Holy Communion in the hand…*

    My agony is great when I see My Holy Temple being defiled: driving out the glory of God. Son, disastrous abomination has filled the Church, sitting up in the Holy Place…

    My agony is great when I see the plan of the evil man destroying My Church with the ordination of women as priests. My agony is great for seeing the enemy filling the hearts of My Priests with the desire from hell to marry…

    My agony is great when I see a large number of My people who belong to the cult, son, even among those who consecrate themselves to Me…

    My agony is great when I see the millions of souls who depart daily and nearly all go to Hell because of sins of the flesh. My son, I suffer more greatly for the flow of blood of unborn babies that increases everyday. Their blood disturbs heaven more than the blood of Abel.”

    Jesus Christ, 12th November 1999, in a lengthy appeal expiating on the sins that he is agonizing over in our times

    *Concerning the issue of Communion in the hand, Pope John Paul II states:

    “How eloquently the rite of anointing of the Priests’ hands in our Latin ordination tells a special grace and power of the Holy Spirit is necessary precisely for Priest’s hands! To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained.” (Domincae Canae, February 24, 1980)

    “It is not permitted that the faithful should themselves pick up the consecrated bread and the sacred chalice, still less that they should hand them from one to another.” (Inaestambile Donum, Holy Thursday, 3rd April 1980)


    “Children, you must obey the Church not the evil one. Anyone who comes to destroy the Church is against the Church. The Church is My Body. I plead with you not to quarrel with My clergies. Rather, pray for them. I am the one who chose them and put them in their positions.”

    Jesus Christ, 5th January 2000


    “My Mother has come many times to you to warn you about the hour. She saw the coming destructions that are coming upon you. She wept for you. She wept bloody tears for you; yet you cannot understand the hour. I in turn, sweated blood in great agony for you. I also wept a stream of tears and blood for love of you. Still you cannot understand the times.”

    Jesus Christ, 7th April 2000


    “Suffering under obedience gains much grace. Those who understand among them will enjoy their suffering and their persecution. Because in suffering of the Holy Cross is true happiness. If they understand and pray for more suffering and persecution, they will hasten the Glorious Reign. As their suffering increases, the hour of peace approaches.”

    St. Francis of Assisi in conversation with other saints, 15th July 2000


    “Your name is written in the Book of Life. I will remove millions of years from your Purgatory days in any truth that comes out of your mouth. In the same way, millions of years are added to your Purgatory days for every lie that comes out of your mouth. Children, I appeal to you: receive from me the Royal Cross of Truth.”

    Jesus Christ, 24th July 2000


    “Even if the days fall in the hour of the great confusion, you are called to come. Even if the days fall in the hour of forsakenness, you are called to come. Even if it is your sorrowful days, I call you all to come. Children, pray that you will come. Get everything ready before the days come. The hour is already at hand.”
    Jesus Christ, 7th August 2000


    “At the loss of My dear ones, Joseph and my beloved Jesus, Satan tempted Me to despair. I conquered not by human energy, or by violence, or by shouting but by the Fire of Purity and by the Power of Humility. I am the Woman who crushed the head of Satan.”

    Our Blessed Mother, 28th June 2001


    “Children, I say, there is no valuable thing in that place of pleasure and enjoyment. There is no valuable thing in that easy way of life. All the precious treasures; I mean, the treasures of Heaven, are hidden in the thorny way of life. See, I chose the Calvary way, the way of sorrow, the bloody way, full of pains and agony, for your salvation. There is no other way of salvation I found, than the painful way of salvation. Children, do not reject the Calvary way. Though the way is painful, the end is full of happiness.”
    Jesus Christ, 12th September 2001, during a five days reparation programme in the month of September.

  8. I was raised Protestant, but 3 years ago I set out to learn about Roman Catholicism. I set out to learn, not just to disprove Catholicism and think on why every article of faith was wrong. I am now a convert to Catholicism and I realize it is the Church our Lord established. These questions are the ones I was glad to hear the answers to over my faith journey, which ultimately led me home.

  9. I am a little confused about something you said Bishop. I can understand asking a person to pray for you or for some other reason. I can even understand asking a person who no longer is alive in a corporeal sense. Alive but not as someone still wrapped in their mortal coils.

    Asking someone to intercede on your behalf, to pray for you on your behalf is quite a bit different than praying to a person other than God. If time permits, would you explain the difference to me?

  10. Bishop Barron, I loved your explanation about this non-sense on the pectoral cross. If you have the opportunity, please check the Wikipedia article on Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. There is a picture of him with his pectoral cross stuck between the buttons of his pocketless cassok. I doubt any traditionalist would dare question his orthodoxy.

  11. Re the last question on bread and wine in the eucharist, I understood that in an extreme situation other forms are a acceptable. Eg if we were huddled with a priest in a nuclear fallout shelter facing death by nuclear holocaust, and all we had was coca cola and crisps, the priest could consecrate those things as the sacrament.

  12. I get the cross tucking of the Bishop. I wear a crucifix over my blouse, and as I am working in a grocery store warehouse, it gets caught onto plastic crates, and then I have to pry it lose…so I end up tucking it under my blouse or in between buttons. I love wearing it , though this happens.

  13. Just thought of something regards to Mary from Maryland's question regarding Catholics, the saints and prayer. Protestants hold the sacred Scriptures in such high esteem, and rightly so. Well, in the Book of Hebrews, in chapter 11, the author spends an entire chapter regaling us with the story of that "great cloud of witnesses" down through salvation history from Abel to Abraham to Moses, etcetera so the veneration of the saints isn't even "unbiblical". In addition, I was reminded of the story of Jesus recounting the story of Abraham and Dives / the rich man. Jesus recounts the story in such a way that Abraham is obviously alive, and the rich man is petitioning that Abraham bring him a drink of water to cool his thirst. Is that not the invocation of the saints on our behalf? There must be other examples of this in the NT.

  14. Following the third question, doesn't it say in one of St. Paul's letters that if one spouse is a follower of Christ and the other isn't that the other will be saved for the follower's sake or something? I would assume that's dependent on how the other spouse lives, since Paul calls on the follower to lead by example.

  15. How does "God delights in us praying through intermediaries" square with "The Lord your God is a jealous God?" I am a fan of the Bishop but you gloss over so much. Being you start by rationalizing through the extremely generic Catholic view of faith, it's so hard to take you seriously. And let's make no mistake, there is only a sense of togetherness between the two sides of the Christian isle because there is an effort by Word of Fire to bring unwitting Protestants to the Catholic side. I do think we agree on some important areas and need to band together on social issues but at the end of the day, remember we are approaching God from different perspectives.