Robert Barron | – The Return of Paganism

Ross Douthat recently published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “The Return of Paganism” ([support us]). He argues that maybe there actually is a genuinely post-Christian future for America, one that mixes pantheism with civic religion. Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt discuss the article. A listener asks why God needed a second coming of Christ and couldn’t have accomplished everything during his first coming.

Find more episodes of the “Word on Fire Show” at [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

Comment (49)

  1. What about pope francis’s paccimomma (so?) god.
    That is pagan
    Pope francis is buddies with Jeff Sachs and George Soros. He is not a bridge builder. He is helping to destroy the USA. Oh please stop with the rhetoric. Wow.

  2. The true appeal of paganism is that it allows for exploration and individualization of one’s spiritual path. This path can even lead to reverence of the Christian God, you simply are not vilified if you venture outside of biblical laws when they do not align with your own moral compass. Finally, you also are not constantly having people tell you how to live your life or attempting to convert you.

  3. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Pretty much cuts through all this pseudo-intellectual pagan gibberish. Also, where are the memories, thoughts, feelings, and personality of a pagan 5 minutes after death? No place, I guess.

  4. paganism survived through culture. we aren't evil heretics.. but a note of wisdom from a pagan . If you don't want to be persecuted, don't persecute others. what you see in the comments is anger. If your faith of good will is instead inspiring anger then something needs to change. I turned to paganism because i never felt welcome in gods house. i was always treated as an outsider to the community in every church I went to. The pagans never did that. Instead they called me brother and inspired me. We don't worship the devil, we worship nature. Most horned gods you see represent the wilds or the changing of seasons.

  5. Paganism continues because I believe most people realize there is something greater than themselves in the universe, but cannot accept that there is a transcendent uncreated preexisting creator that believers define as GOD.

  6. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
    John 14:6 (NKJV)

    Jesus is the only way to heaven.

    Confess and repent of all your sins in prayer
    Believe Jesus died to blot out your sins and that He is your Saviour
    Believe He rose again 3 days later in the flesh by God's hand
    Be baptised fully immersed in water and be baptised in the Holy Spirit
    Repent daily
    By grace you are saved through Faith (belief)
    Live pure and stop sinning
    Follow the spiritual laws:
    Love you neighbour as yourself and love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Believe Jesus is Lord.
    Do fruitful works

  7. Catholic church was and is a pagan religion, worshipping idols and statues. They're an anti-Christ religion filled with false priests and a distorted view of the Holy Bible. This church with many others will be thrown to the Lake of Fire by Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer. There's a big place in Hell for you and your deceptions. May God have mercy on you followers of Cain!

  8. So this is basically half hour of him trying to convince you why paganism should be avoided. Lets just remind everyone that Christianity plagiarised paganism, so people could be influenced to accept it.

  9. St John tells us of Christ, the Eternal Word, that all things were made by him, through him and in him. And again St Paul says that Christ preserves and sustains the universe. Hence, we see that in the initial act of Creation, the Father, knowing all that was to happen to the Son on earth, wrote into all creation the full natural prophecy of Christ. We liken Christ the Light overcoming the darkness of sin to sunrise and darkness, or Spring to the outpouring of the fruits of Pentecost, or Christmas to the winter solstice being like Christ born into the dark world to bring light: but the opposite is true – the natural prophecy of Christ is written into nature itself but could only be decrypted when Christ came through to his resurrection and Pentecost. Hence the natural religion of paganism has this element of truth which makes all the pagan world religions and their myths pre Christ so alike to the Christ who is the Son of God. Without knowing Christ, the mysteries revealed in type in creation do not reach their fullness. It is no chance that Catholic feasts and festivals follow the Jewish typology, and that the Jewish feasts and festivals all had their counterpart in the nature religions at their origin. Creation contains full writ into it all the mysteries of Christ and which only His redemption, resurrection and bestowing the Holy Spirit unravels for us to receive the union with His divinity. In this light, paganism comes to be seen as the shadow figures in Plato's cave and Christianity is what happens when you come out of the cave and view the spiritual reality face to face. Nothing less than our Redemption and divinization in union with God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  10. I'm a Pagan High Priestess, born and raised in the religion. I have noticed the increase of people going to Paganism within the last 5 years. It is nice because more people are learning about it instead of condemning it, but it's not good either because people who are just coming into it is trying to change it so much and put rules in that completely counter acts everything the religion is about, and their forgetting about the history on which the religion is built on. You can't be Pagan if you don't know the history.

  11. The problem with Christianity is its destructive world view. It is moralistic yet contradicts itself and so anyone can justify atrocities with a clean conscience because the bible allows for it.
    Many of the worlds worst atrocities have been justified by Abrahamic faiths including Christianity. Christians subjugated, force converted, and then executed pagans. In my own line an ancestor had a son abducted, held as hostage, and died in enemy custody, all for the sake of forcing conversion to Christianity.

    Christianity has been insidious and cruel in the past, Christians may have become better in recent years but many are far from being Christ like. Even Christ himself is not the perfect kind paragon of virtue and morality. I returned to paganism because as a child the moral compass of the church failed and I was physically assaulted and humiliated before the age of reason.

    Christianity has done everything to stamp out the original European culture in favor of its own. A return to the roots has become necessary, the cancer must be excised and the corruption removed. Organized religion has brazenly turned people into sheep for its own profit. My own morality will not allow myself to become party to that.

  12. I am a germanic pagan, i'm italian and my family come from the germanic tribe of the Langbärtes, witch invaded italy in the II century. To make you better understand the most famous gods of my culture are Godan and Donar (Odin and Thor).

  13. As intelligent as this talk is, it still misses the boat (or the ark, if you prefer). The Bible once examined is just like any other sacred book: stories collected from different times and political periods and written by many hands. It would be too simple and even dangerous to think it is somehow unique. There are some really nasty passages calling for slavery, oppression and genocide–things we are still dealing with today. The things in the Bible aren't necessarily true nor can they be construed as the words of a deity; especially when there's a jealous priesthood pulling the strings as it tries to gain temporal power.

  14. I was made a roman catholic – brain washed as a child – I never asked to be and as of yet have never been able to find any good in any form of christianity -so I stay a roman catholic only out of the fear that was instilled within in me by priests and nuns . I could never love your god – if I did I would need a shrink. FEAR is what you ultimately peddle – you know the power of the devil or evil. I don't blame these people for rejecting christianity – at least they are turning to the divine and not having their children subjected to brainwashing and forced sodomy by priests. My advice to all priests is to buy a millstone and rope.

  15. Native american cultures have always acknowledged creator 1st then what is referred the necessitys of life second. Funny how this was referred to as paganism when they have alway ordered their specific prayers this way and referred these necessitys using family kinship terms.

  16. Idk about any gods but, I know of spiritualism and belief it(only cause of personal experiences), but what we think are the Pagan Gods of many different religions in Europe with various names, I think are or were actually spirits, idk if the more you belief in one the stronger it becomes but I belief that is the case, they may have a little or no effect/control on this physical world and its events but who knows. Why do I think they could be spirits? Cause of group sessions of people taking ayahuasca together and having an identical group experience where they all swear to have seen and spoken(and cried) with Gaia. So go figure what's true in this world. I do also belief there is a God, as in THE God, there has to be in order for the Universe with intelligent design to make sense and for it to exist in the first place, something must exist outside the laws of our own Universe(energy cannot be created only changed…well then how did this first batch of energy we call the Universe come from? exactly). So essentially I believe there is both, THE God and then lesser beings or lesser gods cause that's what we call them but they are in fact powerful(or used to be) spirits.

  17. Ok, so let me swallow some pride here. Perhaps the way things are going on with these lockdowns and communism, maybe Christianity community isn't so bad. I don't know what happened to humanity. You know what I am going to pray to God today, not for myself but for humanity.

  18. Paganism has historically always been the arch-rival and competitor to Christianity. The latter arose, steeped in Hellenic metaphysical traditions, and laterally (not genealogically) imbibed of the most sophisticated pagan metaphysics in late antiquity. The Christian liturgy, for example, is a cultural variant of sophisticated pagan theurgy (the latter practiced and disseminated by figures such as Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, et al.). Ritual, being centrally important as it is pertaining to worship in both traditions, it is crucial to realize the rhetorical, polemical games Christian writers such as Origen or Augustine played in one-upmanship to assert the supposed ontological uniqueness of the god of Israel and their developing ecclesiastical rites over and against the divine revelation of the gods within, say, the Chaldean Oracles, expounded by the sages. One, big supposed justification for Christianity's "uniqueness" in contrast to paganism was the insistence that the daimonia (later rendered as demons) were all evil, or at least extremely suspect in which to place one's faith, and therefore must be rejected, expressed in clear dualist rhetoric. So, the entire hierarchy of the daemons (evil or otherwise) was collapsed in favor of Christ now filling that new void. Altogether, there is nothing favorable, in my mind, inverting this traditional hierarchy by reifying daemons. It just tells me how ignorant Christians, then and now, are of the original nature of the daemonia. This move was arbitrary, at the least, and ends up being a huge and costly mistake in Christian doctrine; and, in my mind, this is a crucial point that delegitimizes the Christian enterprise. It's the rhetorical claims to uniqueness that make it stand or fall.

    But if pagans start to learn and appreciate their deep and sophisticated metaphysical lore, their comes a natural outflow of pagan apologetics, most substantially against the Christian claims of uniqueness. All of the supposed unique Christian solutions to metaphysical, ethical, theological, philosophical problems etc., had already been explicated long before the advent of Christianity. Adherents of Christianity always seem to have a surface understanding of the pagan metaphysical lore, and therefore make huge assumptions and mischaracterizations about the pagan perennial traditions. It's very frustrating, and I see it in this video as well.

  19. 28:45 "the demonic elements within a pagan framework" I disagree with the Bishop here In Norse paganism there are trolls and monsters but actually Solomon summoned a milieu of demons and most so-called grimoirs are from Judaic or Christian traditions. The Bishop is thinking of inverted Judaism or Christianity. Norse paganism doesn't even have demons. Look up ancient Judaic pottery found in Israel. Incantation bowls were used frequently to summon demons. That is where ubiquitous demons come from.

  20. It is funny because there is a lot of paganism in Roman Catholicism (Mother Mary & Baby Jesus = Fertility Godess and Son who is ressurected). I mean there are no priests with different ranks in the bible – they come from Roman paganism. Add to that the rosary and the saints. Don't forget Easter.