The sexual abuse scandal has gripped the Catholic Church for the past thirty years, and continues to wreak havoc even today. It's been a diabolical masterpiece, one that has compromised the work of the Church in every way and has left countless lives in ruin. Many Catholics are understandably asking, “Why should I stay? Why not abandon this sinking ship before it drags me or my children under?"
In this stirring manifesto, Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, explains why this is not the time to leave, but the time to stay and fight. Reading the current crisis through the lenses of Scripture and Church history, Bishop Barron shows that we have faced such egregious scandals before; that the spiritual treasures of the Church were preserved by holy men and women who recommitted themselves to fighting evil; and that there is a clear path forward for us today.
For Catholics questioning their faith, searching desperately for encouragement and hope, this book will offer reasons to stay and fight for the Body of Christ.
He is a #1 Amazon bestselling author and has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He is a religion correspondent for NBC and has also appeared on FOX News, CNN, and EWTN.
Bishop Barron is the second-most followed Catholic leader in the world on social media, behind only the Pope. He has over 35 million YouTube views and 1.5 million followers on Facebook. In 2018, he became the first Catholic bishop ever to host a Reddit #AMA.
Bishop Barron has been invited to speak about religion at the headquarters of Facebook, Google, and Amazon. He has also appeared on The Rubin Report and The Ben Shapiro Show.
His most recent project is the Word on Fire Institute, a new hub for spiritual and intellectual formation, training members of the Word on Fire movement to proclaim Christ in the culture.
Why did Bishop Barron write this book?
A recent Gallup poll has revealed that 37% of Catholics are considering leaving the Church due to the sexual abuse crisis. That’s disheartening, but this new book can help.
As Bishop Barron writes in the preface, “I have written this book for my fellow Catholics who feel, understandably, demoralized, scandalized, angry beyond words, and ready to quit. What I finally urge my brothers and sisters in the Church to do is to stay and fight—and to do so on behalf of themselves and their families, but especially on behalf of those who have suffered so grievously at the hands of wicked men. Of course, I’m also happy if those outside the Church find some illumination in these chapters as well. . . . My prayer is that these reflections might encourage Catholics who are attempting to navigate today in very choppy waters.”
Is this book an official Catholic Church text?
No. Bishop Barron is not speaking in the name of his brother bishops, or the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or the Vatican. He has no authority to do so. He is speaking in his own name, as a Catholic, a priest, and a bishop.
What's the goal with this book?
Bishop Barron wrote this book to encourage Catholics in the pew who are demoralized about the sexual abuse crisis to not leave the Church, but to stay and fight for reform, especially on behalf of the victims.
We hope to distribute copies to as many Catholics as possible, mainly through parishes, which is why we're offering the book for just one dollar per copy (with free shipping).
When does the book debut?
Individuals and parishes can begin pre-ordering the book on Monday, May 13, 2019. Pre-orders will begin shipping in July 2019 and the book will be released to the public on July 22, 2019.
The print book is only available to residents of the United States. International readers will be able to order a digital copy through Amazon's Kindle store.
Does the book really cost only $1 per copy?
Yes! Thanks to donors who helped offset the cost, the printed book is available to parishes for just one dollar per copy (with free shipping). Individuals can claim a free single copy if they cover the shipping/handling. We wanted to keep the cost as low as possible in order to distribute it to as many Catholics as possible.
Are you trying to profit from the sexual abuse crisis?
No. This is not a money-making initiative. All profits from the book are going to trusted charities that support the victims of sexual abuse.
An interactive timeline, highlighting key dates, figures, and events during the sexual abuse crisis
Extra articles and videos from Bishop Barron about the abuse crisis
Parish launch resources, including sample bulletin and video announcements
FAQ guide for pastors and parish staff to help them discuss the crisis with parishioners
We have also partnered with Flocknote, the leading email and texting tool for Catholic parishes, to create a five-part video series for parishes to use when they distribute the book. See below for more information.
How does the Flocknote email/texting course work?
To help parishes better engage parishioners with this book, Word on Fire has partnered with Flocknote, the leading email and texting tool for Catholics, to produce a free five-part video series to go along with the book.
The series contains prewritten emails, text messages, and discussion questions that are designed to help parishioners read through the book as a community and discuss it privately through a dedicated, parish-only discussion forum.
Think of it like a turn-key, parish-wide book study—all done through Flocknote, in just a couple clicks.
The five-part course is available free inside the Flocknote Library for all active Flocknote parish users.
Is Bishop Barron available for interviews about the book?
Due to his responsibilities as bishop and his work at Word on Fire, Bishop Barron is unable to accept the large majority of interview requests. However, please submit your request here: https://www.wordonfire.org/interview-request
Whom can I contact with questions?
For questions about the book and its content, please email Brandon Vogt, the Content Director at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. His email is [email protected]
For sales-related questions, or to place a book order, please email [email protected]