(LifeSiteNews) – Actor Shia LaBeouf revealed on Bishop Robert Barron’s YouTube show in an August 25 episode that he had converted to Catholicism after playing Padre Pio in a film set to be released in September.
He told the bishop of Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota that along with learning about Padre Pio, the Traditional Latin Mass was paramount in his conversion to the faith.
Among other things, he stunned the bishop by saying that the “Latin Mass affects me deeply … because it feels like they’re not selling me a car.”
“The Latin Mass affects me deeply. Deeply.”#ShiaLaBeouf‘s conversion is yet another testament to the evangelical power of the Traditional Latin Mass. Welcome home, Shia (@thecampaignbook)! pic.twitter.com/U6PAqQvCEc
— Matt Gaspers (@MattGaspers) August 25, 2022
LaBeouf had his first sustained connection with Catholicism while living at a monastery with Franciscan Capuchin friars – the order of Padre Pio – so that he could better understand how to act as the late, great mystic.
He stated in the interview that he was in a dark place psychologically and spiritually before he started filming the movie. He tried out different prayer and faith groups as a way of dealing with suicidal ideation and hopelessness.
“I had a gun on the table, I was outta here,” he told Barron. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened.”
He went on to say that it was a feeling of “shame like I had never experienced before – the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe.”
LaBeouf said he was not thinking about God but his career when he was approached about playing the role.
“I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him … away from worldly desires,” he added.
Throughout the interview, he expressed that the Catholic understanding of sin and forgiveness gave him “hope.”
LaBeouf has a past filled with scandal in his personal life, including legal battles with ex-girlfriends and having been charged with battery and petty theft.
“I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission,” he said.
Elaborating on his newfound love for the Latin Mass, he said that while “practicing Latin Mass” for the role, he “was having genuine emotional experiences.”
He explained that the quietness and the sacred nature of the old liturgy spoke to him more deeply than the new liturgy.
He said that being in a Novus Ordo (New Mass) setting was akin to being in a “rationalistic, logical word, word, word, word, plot, plot, plot, plot” setting. “It takes me out of the feeling realm,” he added.
“Latin Mass puts me squarely in the feeling realm because I can’t argue the word, because I don’t know what the word means, so I’m just left with this feeling that feels sacred and connect.”
LaBeouf’s conversion, and in particular his admiration for the Traditional Latin Mass, has sent shockwaves throughout the Catholic world, with prominent Catholic scholars and evangelists taking the time to welcome the actor into the faith.
“[W]elcome home, dear brother! And thanks for sharing your wisdom with Bishop Barron,” prominent Catholic author Scott Hahn posted to social media.
“ex ore infantium et lactantium perfecisti laudem,” added the scholar in Latin, quoting Pslam 8:2 which translates to, “From the mouth of infants and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.”
“Welcome Shia to the Catholic family,” chimed in Catholic YouTuber and author Dr. Taylor Marshall.
Welcome Shia to the Catholic family @thecampaignbook
— Dr Taylor Marshall™️ (@TaylorRMarshall) August 25, 2022