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Bishop Robert Barron slammed a recent article in The Atlantic as “offensive” on Wednesday, warning that America’s new woke religion is resurrecting anti-Catholic bigotry.
Bishop Barron, a Catholic theologian and author, commented on the “colossally stupid article that appeared in The Atlantic magazine that associated the rosary with some of these really militant extreme groups on the right” on his popular YouTube channel. The Atlantic piece, by Daniel Panneton, suggested that Catholic prayer beads known as rosaries had become an “extremist symbol” and warned that Catholics are a “growing contingent of Christian nationalism.”
While the Bishop acknowledged that “there are some weirdos on the extreme right who associate their rosaries with their rifles and all this,” ultimately, the article went too far. “What was so offensive in the article is just the insinuation that somehow the rosary as Catholics pray it is caught up in some sort of, you know, mindless militancy,” he said.
Bishop Barron noted that in the article, “they use the imagery and language of spiritual warfare, but we know what that means. Spiritual warfare has got nothing to do with, you know, guns and knives — it has to do with prayer and fasting and almsgiving and using spiritual weapons against dark powers both visible and invisible.”
Reid Johnson prays with rosary beads in Baton Rouge, La., on Jan. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) ( )
The Bishop warned again that religion is something that transcends conventional politics, suggesting that Catholic prayer via rosaries has “got nothing to do with right-wing or, for that matter, left-wing militant extremism, so I mean, the whole premise of the article is just ridiculous.”
Bishop Barron pivoted to a much bigger concern about American culture as a whole, the fact that age-old anti-Catholic biases have returned from the religion of woke ideology. He explained, “Behind all this obvious silliness is an old problem in American culture, it’s deep in the American cultural DNA — I’m talking about anti-Catholicism.”
He recalled how in past centuries “often under the guise of, you know, ‘protecting American values’ or ‘protecting American nationalism,’ whatever it is, a deep antipathy toward the Catholic Church was on display.”
The west front of Washington’s National Cathedral is photographed from the damaged main tower after an earthquake on Aug. 24, 2011. (REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo)
Bishop Barron illustrated how while America has changed religiously, that age-old bigotry remains. “Today what I find interesting is now under the guise of woke-ism, we’re now again resurrecting this old, tired anti-Catholicism,” he said.
He warned followers to be aware of this problem, saying, “I would urge all my followers to be sensitive to this problem, which is, as I say, is deep in the American culture of anti-Catholicism.”
Bishop Barron ultimately wished the writers of The Atlantic well, urging followers to pray for them by saying, “And maybe I recommend, too, is [sic] get our your rosaries and say a prayer for the author and for the editors of The Atlantic.”
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Roman Catholic Church, waves to a crowd at Saint Peter’s Square. (REUTERS/Max Rossi)
He did suggest there is a silver lining to the ordeal, however: “One really good thing I’ve discovered in the wake of this article — evidently rosaries are flying off the shelves, so that’s good, so get out your rosary and pray for these people. God bless you.”
Alexander Hall is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected]