It’s a big day in Hollywood, as one of the Church’s top media personalities comes to the media hub of the world.
From my Pax Culturati blog at Patheos:
It’s such an obviously awesome and appropriate move that one can hardly believe that the Vatican actually did it.
Father Robert Barron, founder of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, producer of top-quality video content such as the groundbreaking documentary “Catholicism,” for which he was also host, is coming to Hollywood.
Pope Francis has named Barron — along with Monsignor Joseph V. Brennan and Monsignor David G. O’Connell — as auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Bishop-Elect Barron will be leaving his post as rector of Mundelein Seminary in Chicago to come to the media hub of the world, and apparently he didn’t see it coming.
“It was a complete surprise,” he told The Tidings, the newspaper of the L.A. Archdiocese, adding, “I want to be present to the people of the Archdiocese.”
That means his duty to his new flock won’t take second place to his TV and speaking duties, but it’s hard to imagine that his media outreach won’t become part of his regular duties.
It does appear that Pope Francis, while he usually has his eye on other parts of the world, has at least one ear attuned to the needs of American Catholics. With Bishop Fulton Sheen far in the past, and EWTN’s Mother Angelica no longer an active force on TV, the Church has been lacking an effective, polished and powerful media personality. The appointment of Bishop-Elect Barron to the L.A. Archdiocese could be a fantastic tool for the New Evangelization.
As one L.A. Catholic friend of mine remarked on hearing the news, “So stoked!”
I second that emotion.
Click here to read the rest (with reactions and statements).
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will hold a press conference today at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) to discuss the news. It can be watched via a livestream broadcast here.
Image: Courtesy WordonFire.org