“These victims of violent sexual assault need to be reached out to; they should be the focus of our attention.” — Bishop Robert Barron

Just back from Ireland after a priest’s conference, busy Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron took time to sit down and conduct a video interview with Word on Fire Content Director Brandon Vogt. They had a pretty frank exchange about the McCarrick Mess, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, the Vigano uproar and more.

Being Bishop Barron, he doesn’t mince his words; he outright identifies a “diabolical masterpiece” at work in the midst of all of this. Further, that the actions detailed in the Grand Jury report contain a “demonic element”. He also decries the euphemistic language that contributed to the obfuscation and cover-ups, and is still being used, today. “We shouldn’t play word games” he said regarding the crimes committed. “We should say what they are…Lives were shattered and broken by these acts…if we don’t understand that by now, we are deaf, dumb, and stupid.”

On causation, Barron says there are “Multiple causes…clericalism is one of the causes. A terrible abuse of privilege and power,” but he also quotes John Richard Neuhaus, who said, “there are three causes, and they are infidelity, infidelity, and infidelity.”

Barron cites Lack of faithfulness, homosexuality and other elements that contributed to this chaos and need to be acknowledged and examined. There is concern for victims, concerns for the work of the Church and Evangelization: “What is the most effective way to undo that work?…Choose your forum, we’re undermined in every way by this.”

He hits all of the relevant questions that are being discussed by Catholics — mass resignation of all U.S. Bishops, practical action, the need to petition the Vatican for a forensic investigation regarding the McCarrick issue, spiritual warfare, the validity of lay voices, today’s statement by the USCCB on the McCarrick story, the need to look into the claims of Cardinal Vigano, penitence and more. “What’s the truth? Let’s find out.” Only in this way, he says, can we become free.

And he talks about the Lord Jesus, and how Christ’s winnowing fan is cleansing his church, purifying it through the indignation of the Catholic people, the laity, and the clergy. “Engage with [Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life]…what is repugnant to the Truth is repugnant to Him. What is congruent with the Truth is congruent with Him.” The closer we get to the truth, the closer we get to the Lord and how he operates within His Church. He also brings some fascinating Mariology into the mix.

Check it out, here. It’s about 20 minutes, and well worth your time.