Bishop Barron's Commitment to Reaching the Unaffiliated

Survey after survey has shown that the number of the “nones,” or the religiously unaffiliated, is increasing dramatically in our country. Pope Francis memorably told us to “get out of the sacristies and into the streets” and to go “to the existential margins” to reach this group of people. Bishop Barron and Word on Fire believe that an essential method of evangelization is getting “into the streets” by appearing in non-traditional settings and engaging new audiences.

Here are some great examples of how Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is effectively reaching the “nones”:

Bishop Barron welcomes the opportunity to write for large-circulation, general-interest publications.

For Easter, Bishop Barron wrote an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he implored our secularized world to recover a fascination with the strangeness of the Resurrection. 

In late June, he penned a thought-provoking article in The New York Post on the unfortunate state of political discourse around the issue of abortion.

Following up on their stimulating first conversation in 2019, Bishop Barron met again with the psychologist and author Jordan Peterson for a second round on the influential Jordan B. Peterson Podcast this past March. The nearly 2-hour YouTube video has over 800k views.

In 2018, Bishop Barron ventured into new territory. He became the first Catholic bishop to appear on the “Ask Me Anything” forum hosted by Reddit, the fifth-most-visited website on the internet. A year later, Bishop Barron returned to Reddit to answer more unfiltered questions on the “Ask Me Anything” forum. In May, he made his third AMA appearance. In total, his AMA sessions have received over 35k comments.

“The Big Conversation” is a unique series from Unbelievable? that features video conversations between leading religious and non-religious voices, exploring science, faith, and philosophy. Season 3 premiered with a discussion on Christianity vs. atheism between Bishop Barron and the increasingly influential atheist Alex O’Connor. The conversation was a master class in civil discourse and, true to form, Bishop Barron skillfully presented the case for Christianity.

PragerU's “Book Club” series, which explores great works of literature and their impact on culture, interviewed Bishop Barron on the book of Genesis. Host Michael Knowles and Bishop Barron uncovered foundational truths about mankind and human civilization as presented in the Bible’s often misunderstood first book.

The Babylon Bee is an immensely popular satirical website with millions following its commentary on Christianity, politics, and everyday life. In April, Bishop Barron appeared on the Babylon Bee podcast where he shed Catholic light on a variety of topics, from the culture of self-invention to affirmative orthodoxy to the resurgence of Marxism.

On October 29, 2019, Bishop Barron visited The Library of Congress and spoke to a bipartisan group of senators, representatives, and Capitol Hill staffers. He discussed political life as a vocation, the relationship of the divine law to positive law, and the call of justice.

On December 16, 2018, Bishop Barron had a conversation with Ben Shapiro (from Daily Wire) for his “Sunday Special” show. They sat down for a thoughtful dialogue about God, culture, Judaism, and Christianity.

Bishop Barron’s talk at the Facebook Headquarters in September 2017 was titled “How to Have a Religious Argument.” Every day, millions of people argue about religion on social media. The comment boxes of religious and atheist sites are among the most visited and the most heated in the virtual space. In his talk, Bishop Barron paves a way forward, showing how believers and nonbelievers alike can have better religious discussions.

Bishop Barron has appeared on Dave Rubin’s “The Rubin Report” twice. The first time was in January 2017 where he discussed belief, faith, the Church, abortion, gay marriage, and the negative effects of pornography.

The second time, in December 2018, he was joined by Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. The three had a fascinating conversation about how to deal with grief and suffering, what it means to be happy, and why God matters in a secular age.

Dave Rubin also appeared on “Bishop Barron Presents” in November 2020. In his conversation with Bishop Barron, they uncovered the underlying issues fueling today’s partisan politics and the culture of contempt. Further, they discussed how to engage in constructive dialogue for the sake of the common good. 

Bishop Barron visited YouTube Headquarters and reflected on how instrumental YouTube has been to his Word on Fire ministry over the years.

With over 430,000 YouTube subscribers, Bishop Barron uses YouTube as a powerful way to proclaim Christ to the culture and draw people into the Catholic faith.

Bishop Barron appeared on Mind Pump Media, an iTunes Top 50 Health & Fitness podcast, in August 2018. They had a lively conversation around some of the “big questions” of the faith.

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