Harsh News And Word Salads

How often did he say it in two hours? Aaarrrggghhhhh!!!!

Bishop Barron has commented on the comments to an interview he gave to a famous blogger-live interviewer.

Two hours of the stuff. I will pass, thank you.

The words of the Bishop are as follows:

Without a doubt, the most common negative reaction was that I was speaking “gobbledygook,” or tossing an unimpressive “word salad,” or “using lots of words to say nothing at all.” Much of this critique was focused on my opening exchange with the interviewer. Lex asked me very simply, “Who is God?” I responded, not sentimentally or piously, but rather in the technical language of philosophy. I said that God is ipsum esse subsistens (the sheer act of being itself), in contradistinction to anything other than God, in which essence and existence are distinguished. I went on to clarify the meaning of these terms in the manner of Thomas Aquinas, attempting to be as precise and technically correct as possible. To be sure, there are many ways to talk about God, but I chose, with Lex’s audience in mind, to use a more intellectual approach.

Good Lord! And then they say we are in a crisis! With Bishops like this one, we would be in a crisis if the entire population had an unquenchable thirst for the religious phenomenon (which is, most clearly, not the case)!

Yeah, pal. People who are listening to a Bishop talking about God are certainly yearning for your “intellectual approach”. Grand. So smart.

If you ask me “Who is God?” I do not answer with St Thomas Aquinas. I know that my audience, and everybody come to that, is not interested in philosophical definitions; they are interested in the crux of the matter, that is: the Four Last Things. My answer would be along the lines of:

“God is the Omnipotent being who made you, me, everybody, and everything else. He is the One who has given to you rules about how to live this life. He is, also, the One who will reward you forever if you have made a serious effort to please Him (we’ll discuss this in the next two hours), and will punish you forever if you haven’t, or if you have worked against Him, denied Him, despised Him, or worshipped a false god. He, and His judgment of you, are the only assured things in your life, and by far the most important ones. Nothing is as important as Him. Mind my words today, because one day, without fail, you will be reminded of them!”.

The following answers would have been along the same lines: there is a reality that atheists are trying to ignore, but that will catch up with them with absolute certainty. It will not count in their favour that they did not believe, or that they believed a false god. Mock Christ now, pay the price later, and so on. Yep, it goes for the Muslims, to likely 99%, too. Yep, the same applies to Jews. Yep, let us not even talk about Hindus at alia. Yep, it’s harsh. Focus your mind now, then.

Two hours of that, and I assure you the term “word salad” will not appear anywhere.

I don’t know if St Thomas Aquinas would have agreed with this answer. What I am sure of is that no one of my listeners would have accused me of saying gobbledygook, or producing word salads. In fact, I can assure you that, whenever I touch the issue with non-believers and infidels, I give them such a spoonful of my medicine that “gobbledygook” is the last thing they think of it!

Caveat for the “don’t get me wrong”-types out there: I lost friends, and I am proud of it. I have been laughed at in my face. I have been belittled, mocked, and insulted. Still: I don’t think I have ever been considered one who “uses a lot of words to say nothing at all”. Newsflash: it’s because I don’t.

But why does the Bishop answer in that way? For the same reason for which he goes on with his word salad for two, surely interminable, hours: the desire not to be the guy with the harsh news.

The modern, V II Bishop is affable, accultured, always appropriate. He will (try to) impress you with his Aquinas. He will bloviate for two hours in such a humorous, intelligent way. But at the end, no one will go to sleep, that night, thinking “I hate that guy’s self-assured, judgmental, hom-mof-fobeek attitude; but boy, I’d like to have his certainties! What if he is, in fact, right?”

There is a reason why bishops are called “shepherds” instead of “philosophy professors”.

Someone should inform Bishop Barron about his job description; because he seems, to me, rather confused.

Posted on August 19, 2022, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. sixlittlerabbits

    Bishop Barron is a drip. Poor choice as a successor of the Apostles. He seems to believe the garbage he spouts.

  2. Bishop Barron is the same who, two years ago, cited to Vatican II for the proposition that it is the laity and not the bishops who bear the primary responsibility for dealing with the destruction of Catholic monuments by rioters. His response to his critics on this issue indicated a purely worldly view of what bishops are for, and a total lack of awareness of the fact that we are in a spiritual war, which Christ particularly and especially suited bishops to fight. Bishop Barron also completely blew an opportunity to tell Ben Shapiro, in answer to the latter’s question, that he must receive Baptism in order to be saved. Further proof that the Vatican II revolution has got nothing for us.

    But above all, there is this: if you really love God, do you treat Him and talk about Him as if He were an intellectual problem to be solved?

  3. “I said that God is ipsum esse subsistens (the sheer act of being itself), in contradistinction to anything other than God, in which essence and existence are distinguished.”
    This is interesting, I actually find that response to be intriguing, much like the “I Am Who Am” that God spoke to Moses. God IS. This is fascinating to contemplate, a being who is so outside of time and space He is just Himself in the most incomprehensible way that cannot even be described like most beings or things.

    • The answer was not bad, or wrong, in a philosophy class. Aquinas is, certainly, fascinating.
      The problem is the utter uselessness (and convenience) of the Bishop’s clever words in, actually, doing his job.

  4. I have not listened to bishop Barron, but I would prefer a rational explanation along the lines of Aquinas and Augustine than your answer for 5-year-olds any day. Moreover, I am not surprised at all that people consider religion as fantasy, when they as highly educated adults in say natural and technical sciences are given oversimplified answers like ‘it is a guy with a beard on a cloud who will reward you if you are good, and punish you if you are bad’. Nothing on the concept of reality, on the physical realm and passions, on the spiritual realm with intellect and will, on the natural order, on the supernatural order, on what happens when such philosophical background is abandoned illustrated by the main problems of today and so on. I do not know what Barron talked about, but I do know that your answer is completely inadequate. 😉

    • My answer is, however, not only the one that 99% of the people would really listen to, but the one that is most relevant to them in their daily life.
      The fact that the Bishop himself notices how many among the **educated** audience have made the same criticism is, again, clear evidence of where the facts lie.
      As to the 5 years old, I really wish more people had the common sense of the five years old. They would learn what is important to them, and stay away from hell more easily.

  5. Roseanna Hatke

    God is The Supreme Being and Creator of all things, visible and invisible.
    We were created by God to know Him, love Him and Serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
    Simple enough for a 5 year old or even Bishop Barron.

  6. God is the Super Being who created everything and everyone. He created us for His Glory and our Happiness and we can not be happy unless we are in the presence of His Glory for all of eternity in Heaven

    To help us make it to Heaven,God created His Catholic Church to dispense His Sacraments so we can be saved and sanctified.

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