It was with great joy and excitement that Catholics throughout the Santa Barbara/Ventura area learned that Pope Francis had appointed three new auxiliary bishops to serve in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. It was equally welcome news that one of these new Bishops would be the world renowned and respected Fr. Robert Barron and that he was assigned to serve in our pastoral region. We were therefore appalled to see that the Independent‘s article used this occasion to dredge up and revisit scandals of the past that have nothing to do with this exciting and welcome news.
What was written contained several errors and omissions. Such as … Bishop Barron was rector of Mundelein Seminary as well as a visiting professor at Notre Dame University. He replaces Msgr. Michael Jennett, our episcopal vicar, who is now retiring. The Ordination Mass was concelebrated by 500 priests and 45 bishops from around the world, not “co-celebrated.” Worst of all, this article ended with a vile innuendo that “those who track priests for their roll in scandals know nothing about Barron.” With a brief amount of research, it can be seen that through his books, articles, magnificent “Word on Fire” DVDs, television, radio, and Internet connections, newly elected Bishop Robert Barron is known throughout the world for his brilliance, his holiness, and his humility in proclaiming the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. Sadly Nick Welsh’s reporting of this event hits a new low in journalism.