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Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Robert Barron chaired the revision of the U.S. Bishops’ teaching on the death penalty in Baltimore, Md., June 2019.Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews

October 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Robert Barron, an auxiliary bishop for Los Angeles and founder of the popular “Word on Fire” ministry, experienced a tsunami of criticism after praising pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin in an endorsement for the Jesuit’s new book about prayer.  

“Delighted to share the final cover of ‘Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone,’ to be published in Feb by Harper One Books,” said Martin in a tweet which accompanies the galley proofs for the book’s cover. 

“Thanks to Bishop Barron, Cardinal B Cupich … and others for their support,” he added.

A close inspection of the back cover reveals Bishop Barron’s personal praise for the Jesuit, long known for his dedication to normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism within the Catholic Church.  

Galley sheet back cover of Fr. James Martin’s new book, with Bishop Barron’s endorsement circled

“Fr. Martin is a winsome guide to all those who want to deepen their friendship with the Lord,” wrote Barron. 


Social media erupted with sharp backlash from orthodox Catholics decrying Barron’s support for Martin.

“Now that Barron has publicly endorsed a book on prayer by Fr. James Martin, he has absolutely no credibility for orthodox Catholics,” declared LifeSite columnist Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, an outspoken Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, author, and Church commentator, in a Facebook posting. 

“This, friends, is a moment of God-given clarity,” continued Kwasniewski. “Barron, standing atop his media empire, brandishing a new Barronized Bible, has made the mistake of thinking he’s invincible.” 

“This step clinches that he is in the charmed circle of [James] Martin, [Blase] Cupich, [Wilton] Gregory, [Theodore] McCarrick, et alia.”

“I am angry. But, more than that, I am so very sad,” wrote Fr. Richard Heilman, popular author and speaker. “It is now more clear than ever that the appeasement and compromise of our bishops to the ruling class and the purveyors of moral disintegration has been revealed to be endemic. This, while prelates do not blink an eye in castigating any holy and heroic priest who receives so much as one complaint from the Left.”

“As seen with Wilton Gregory and others, this kind of appeasement and compromise (recall he warmly invited Fr. James Martin to speak in his diocese) opens the pathway to elevation, under this pontificate,” noted Heilman.

“Bishop Barron is not your friend. See the signs and run far away,” urged Catholic author and marriage activist Leila Miller.

“I will warn people away from him regularly now. Enough is enough,” declared Miller. “The faithful have had enough, and I am done being silent. Any complicity with James Martin is complicity with darkness. 

“And to encourage people to READ any of Martin’s books, to put people on Martin’s trail, as if he were trustworthy, prayerful, ‘winsome’ — well, it’s a bridge too far (no pun intended),” she continued.  “Asking slithery, disingenuous, LGBTQ-activist Martin to teach you how to pray is like asking the devil to teach you how to pray.”

“James Martin holds heretical views that are leading young men to burn,” tweeted Austin Ruse, pro-life activist, author, and founder of C-Fam. “No one, most of all a bishop should endorse his work on any topic.”

Perhaps the most poignant — and most important — reaction came from Joseph Sciambra, a former gay porn actor who returned to the Church, despite having suffered sexual abuse from predatory homosexual priests.  

My abuser: “You were born gay; God made you that way.” 

James Martin: “God made you this way.”

[Pope] Francis: “God made you gay.” 

In less than 40 years, the script used by predator priests has moved through the hierarchy — all the way up to the Pope.

Earlier this month, LifeSiteNews reported on Bishop Barron’s murky, equivocating commentary on what he described as the “intense dilemma” Catholics face with regard to their vote.  The net result was to obscure the clear pro-life choices Catholics and other people of faith face in the presidential election which is already upon us.

“A Catholic in good conscience could never say that she will vote for Joe Biden because the Democrat is pro-choice, and by the same token, a Catholic in good conscience could never say that he will vote for Donald Trump because the Republican is for capital punishment,” asserted Barron.

“In the political calculus of a Catholic, opposition to abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment should take pride of place,” said Barron, finally allowing that “the number of those threatened by abortion and euthanasia is far greater than the number of those under threat of capital punishment.”