Bishop Barron

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by padraig, May 11, 2022.

  1. padraig

    padraig Powers

    From the same guy who that informed you hell did not exist and if it did it is probably empty....

    ..I like his dog, though.:):)

    Isn't it funny how these people wind up neck deep in filthy sexual scandals?


    While the Catholic Left and Right are often at odds with one another, there are at least two areas of agreement among members of both camps. The first is outrage at the Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse cases. The second is criticism of Bishop Robert Barron and his Word on Fire ministry.

    A recent article from Chris Damian suggests that these two areas might be linked.

    Before I delve any further into the discussion of alleged sexual misconduct committed by a Word on Fire employee, I must acknowledge that while I believe there is some truth to the testimonies provided to Mr. Damian, it is still too early to make any conclusive and definitive statements.

    In addition, it is necessary to disclose all of the available information related to this situation—including Word on Fire’s initial press release, issued two days after Damian’s article. Following that statement, Word on Fire published a supplemental release with a detailed response to the information conveyed by Damian.

    Separately, J.D. Flynn offered an astute clarification in The Pillar that Word on Fire is not a canonical entity, and therefore the alleged sexual misconduct and response from the organization is not likely to result in an ecclesiastical investigation.

    In his article, Damian presented a possible reason for the sudden dismissal of Joseph Gloor, Word on Fire’s Senior Director of Production and highest paid employee, from the organization, along with the removal of any Word on Fire online content associated with him: he was accused by four women of “some kind of inappropriate or abusive sexual behavior.”

    Note first that Word on Fire initially made no public comment about Gloor’s dismissal or the organization’s scrubbing of his digital footprint, which apparently occurred late last year. While it’s not required to announce every employee’s departure, it’s unsettling that Word on Fire seemed to hope that one of their most prominent employees could be quietly dismissed and removed from the public eye without anyone noticing—particularly considering the alleged reason for his departure.

    Once the story came out, Word on Fire’s initial press release indicated that there were allegations made about an employee that “surrounded events in the employee’s personal life, not the Word on Fire workplace, and did not involve any other Word on Fire employees.” The organization attested to immediately putting the employee on leave once the allegations were made, hiring a third-party investigator, and then terminating Gloor’s employment. For confidentiality purposes, the dismissed employee was not named.

    In its follow-up statement, Word on Fire identified the terminated employee as Gloor and claimed Damian’s article and follow-up posts “defamed Bishop Robert Barron and attempted to smear Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.”

    Curiously, Word on Fire’s press statements made no mention of removing Gloor from its online media.

    In his article, Damian shared excerpts from a transcript he received from a Word on Fire employee of an October 2021 staff meeting. Note that the information from this transcript appears to contradict some of the disclosures made in Word on Fire’s initial press release. Further, Word on Fire’s supplemental statement named Will Sipling as the person who provided Damian with the transcript and noted that Sipling recorded the staff meeting without the knowledge and consent of those present.

    This meeting transcript revealed that four women accused Gloor of unwelcome sexual activity. According to the transcript, Word on Fire did not take any action against Gloor until its leadership believed one of these women made her allegation public on Facebook (NB: Damian learned following the publication of his article that the woman did not share her story on Facebook, as believed by Word on Fire’s leadership according to the transcript, but in a private group chat), prompting Word on Fire to remove Gloor from the company and its online presence.

    One of the main conflicting claims among the respective accounts is whether the employee under investigation was terminated following the conclusion of the investigation or abruptly after it was believed that one of the women had shared her allegations online. The meeting transcript indicates the latter, whereas Word on Fire’s initial press release did not reference any allegation that was shared by the women who came forward as influencing the organization’s decision.

    We do not know which of these two accounts is true, but what we do know is that Word on Fire’s initial statement was not released until after Chris Damian disseminated his article.

    If patterns do hold, then it would appear consistent that Word on Fire might have taken action after information about allegations against one of its employees became disseminated, as opposed to being independent from this.

    While there is still much to be investigated with these allegations against Gloor, along with Word on Fire’s actions, this storyline, if it is accurate, resembles the reaction of Church leaders in the face of sexual misconduct allegations—protecting their own image and not the image of God present in the ones claiming harm.
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
  2. padraig

    padraig Powers

    Speaking of which, what has been Bishop Barron’s stance on the clergy abuse crisis?

    Word on Fire’s initial press release claims, “Word on Fire and Bishop Barron have been leading voices for accountability in the Church. The organization has zero tolerance for abuse or harassment of any kind.”

    Barron joined others in denouncing McCarrick’s sordid acts as well as the “tragic incompetence of so many who were charged with investigating” McCarrick.

    In 2019, Barron penned Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis. This short book calls on Catholics to stay and fight amid the ugliness of the Church’s poor response to the sexual abuse scandal, but it does little to address the victims of abuse or take a hardline stance against the abusers.

    The book reads like much of Barron’s material—theoretical and in the clouds. He is a bit too tempered in an area that should evoke in every believer seething indignation toward the bad actors and tender compassion toward the victims, as Christ demonstrated multiple times in the Gospels. Barron’s book is more pro forma than protective of minors and vulnerable adults.

    A clergy-abuse survivor offered the following assessment of Letter to a Suffering Church: “I think many victims and Catholics in general might have picked up this letter…and been sorely disappointed.”

    If Barron and Word on Fire truly had a zero-tolerance policy for abuse or harassment, and if those who claimed harm were put first, there would be no apparent need to share this information or the meeting transcript through Chris Damian’s article.

    Moreover, it is telling that Word on Fire’s initial press statement needs to self-promote Barron and his organization’s “leading” stance for accountability in the Church. If this were evident, it would not need to be stated. Just as a humble person would never declare oneself to be humble, a true advocate for clergy-abuse victims testifies by actions more than words.

    And it is hard to lend credibility to this claim when victims of clergy abuse did not find Barron’s book on the subject to offer solace, nor when there is a possible pattern of his organization being reactive to allegations as opposed to being proactive. Word on Fire’s initial statement was hollow in offering sympathy for those alleging harm.

    The ministry’s supplemental statement was also void of tangible sympathy for those who came forward, even when it states Word on Fire acted “out of compassionate concern for the victims.” These words needed to be included because the sentiment is not evident. Moreover, Word on Fire appears to be prioritizing its stance as being the victim and recipient of attacks over and above the women who came forward to report Gloor.

    In the first paragraph of the release, Word on Fire states, “Since the publication of Damian’s posts, Word on Fire staff and their families have received threats.” While, if true, such threats are to be condemned, the mention and placement of these alleged threats presents Word on Fire as the true victim here rather than any women who were harassed by a Word on Fire employee.

    Perhaps Barron and Word on Fire believe themselves to be leading voices for accountability within the Church, but these recently reported events have not suggested that they are leading with the same level of accountability for their own ministry.

    According to the transcript, regarding the women who reported unwanted advances from Gloor, Barron allegedly responded, “People do make things up sometimes.”

    If Barron truly stated that, then this further suggests Barron’s lack of care for those reporting sexual abuse and misconduct. This, too, resembles how the Church has historically regarded the victims of abuse—with distrust and lacking in care for them.

    Juxtaposing this alleged quote regarding the women who came forward against Gloor, Barron is reported to view Gloor as the “lost sheep of Matthew 18,” thereby possibly expressing more sympathy for the accused than the ones reporting harm. This, too, is a rehashed tactic from the clergy-abuse playbook.

    Based on the reported transcript, on the advice of legal counsel Barron showed no direct outreach to the women who came forward to report against Gloor.

    While adhering to legal advice is prudent in some respects, Barron chose the words of lawyers over the words of Christ, who named those who harm people under the guise of His Name as deserving to have a millstone tied around their necks (cf. Matthew 18:6).

    Again, this is how Church leaders dealt with the crisis—hiding behind legalese.
  3. padraig

    padraig Powers

  4. AED

    AED Powers

    Well there goes another "rock star" priest/bishop. Sad. Disappointing. Distressing but....not surprising. Prayer today for Bishop Barron.
    djmoforegon likes this.
  5. padraig

    padraig Powers

    They've invested too much money and effort in Bishop Barron to drop him. He's the Main Poster boy for the Catholic Establishment Church. Their own made up version of Fulton Sheen and Liberal answer to Mother Angelica.

    My guess is they'll act like nothing's wrong and hope like crazy the whole thing will just somehow go away.

    It's what they do best, sweep things under the carpet and hope like crazy it's all covered up.
  6. AED

    AED Powers

  7. Ananchal

    Ananchal Vigilans

    I agree.

    His dog is adorable :)

    I’ve never been a fan of Word on Fire... we’ll be charitable and leave it at that :rolleyes:
    Mary's child and padraig like this.
  8. padraig

    padraig Powers

    The saddest thing of all is that in the role he is playing he would have been regarded by those who choose him as the best of the best...and those who selected him would have been regarded in their turn as the best of the best...
  9. Mario

    Mario Powers

    A sad situation. Fr. Barron has the reputation of being the best at engaging the culture and teaching the Faith at the same time. His position on Hell disturbs me, but much of his instruction is solid. His interview with Ben Shapiro is what disappointed me the most because he refused to invite Ben to become Catholic. Jesus is not an option; He is the answer! So I generally ignore the Bishop now.

    Lord Jesus, use this situation to draw the Bishop into repentance and a deeper conversion.
  10. padraig

    padraig Powers

    The Hospitals were I work. I would not say they are very strict. We havee have pretty standard Human Resources procedures. But I have to say if I was under investigation or a cloud for anything such as Bishop[ Barron is involved in I would be at the very least suspended or out the door for good as quickly as you could say, 'Alleulia' , and that would go for the highest levels of Management.

    In Bishops Barron case. Is anyone investigating? Will anyone ever investigate? Will there ever be procedures brought against him? If these go to court who pays the huge legal bills or financial reparations?

    Do Bishop Barron's actions have any consequences to himself personally? Will he be held responsible personally for any of this?

    Will he be permitted to instruct the Faithful still as a senior Shepherd?

    Will he even act the least bit embarrassed?
    Mary's child, Mario and AED like this.
  11. KyleHancock

    KyleHancock Principalities

    I read the article in Pillar Catholic and to be completely honest, I think this was handled the way it would've been handled at the publicly traded company where I work. The employee was suspended and strict confidentiality was maintained during the process. The board of directors decided to fire the employee. I can't pretend to know the workplace culture there but I'm not sure I see this as scandal here.
  12. Katfalls

    Katfalls Powers

    I learned years ago that no matter what you do or how well you do it, someone will criticize it.
    Mario and HeavenlyHosts like this.
  13. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    :coffee::D;) Truth !!!
    AED likes this.

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