Tuesday, July 21, 2015

You can't pray the Fatima prayer without at least kind of agreeing with Fr. Barron

I'm sure you've heard by now: Fr. Robert Barron has been elected auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles by Pope Francis. And I'm doubly sure you've heard by now: HE BELIEVES IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE REASONABLE HOPE THAT ALL PEOPLE WILL BE SAVED!!!111oneoneone

People are freaking. out. all over social media, putting quotes around 'Fr.' and making passive jokes about the eventually-dead Bishop-Elect being surprised to end up in hell (what the eff). Wild accusations have been thrown around by people I can only assume have never a day in their life read or listened to anything from Bishop-Elect Barron -- accusations like that he doesn't believe in hell, that he said all people go to heaven, that he's a heretic. I could go on. And on. And on. (Especially about the respect priests deserve simply for the fact of being a priest!)

But, while I could spill more ink in defense of Bishop-Elect Barron than has already been spilt, I'll instead refer you here to let him speak for himself.

I have something else to say.

I would like to turn your attention now to the Fatima prayer, given to us by Our Lady of Fatima. This is the prayer Mary urged us to pray at the end of each decade of the Rosary, and it goes as follows:

O, my Jesus,
Forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of hell,
And lead all souls to heaven,
Especially those in most need
Of Thy mercy.

"And lead all souls to heaven." Unless we want to accuse Mary of being a heretic, of not believing in hell, or believing all souls will certainly go to heaven, maybe it's time we back off of Bishop-Elect Barron. In fact, I dare say it isn't possible to pray the Fatima prayer with any sincerity if one does not at least HOPE that all people will be saved! This is not the same as claiming to know all people will be saved, nor is it the same as denying the existence of hell. It is grounded in Christian hope and zeal for souls. Nothing else.

As for the concern that a "reasonable hope that all people will be saved" will diminish evangelization efforts, I think the opposite is true. If someone truly HOPES (note: not claims to know) that all souls can be saved, you can bet that person is going to want to do their part. It is, in fact, this hope of mine which urges me to pray for the souls who have left this world who were nothing short of dastardly, such as Josef Mengele and Margaret Sanger. It is due to this HOPE that I am compelled to pray for their souls rather than rest in the false comfort of presuming that they are "among the many who are damned." Has anyone ever considered the danger of presuming most people will go to hell? What happens to evanglization, then, if we believe our efforts will by and large fail and that only a small portion of humanity will ultimately repent and believe in the Gospel?

Stop mischaracterizing a priest (who will soon be a bishop). Stop taking him out of context. Stop disrespecting him. You don't have to agree with him about hope to at very least give him the benefit of studying for yourself in an unbiased fashion what he teaches about the hope of salvation for all people.

Pray for him as he approaches his new assignment. And, pray with him that Jesus will "lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of [His] mercy."

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt that the Fatima Prayer was beautiful for that exact hope.