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The Rev. Robert Barron takes to TV, blogs, YouTube as a new-media Catholic priest

The Rev. Robert Barron takes to TV, blogs, YouTube as a new-media Catholic priest

9/27/2010
September 27, 2010--  The Rev. Robert Barron, a Chicago-based Roman Catholic priest, has made himself a new-media messenger for the church, bringing a Catholic perspective to topics from “Avatar” to atheism to the use of steroids in baseball.
 
September 27, 2010-- The Rev. Robert Barron, a Chicago-based Roman Catholic priest, has made himself a new-media messenger for the church, bringing a Catholic perspective to topics from “Avatar” to atheism to the use of steroids in baseball.

The author of 10 books, he has posted more than 180 cultural commentaries on YouTube and delivers a weekly homily on Relevant Radio (WNTD-AM/950 in Chicago). He contributes guest blogs to CNN.com and ABC.com, adding pithy, pointed commentary to hot topics. He has filmed a 10-part documentary, “The Catholicism Project,” which he hopes will air on public television next year.

On Sunday, he will begin presenting a half-hour television show, “Word on Fire with Father Barron,” on WGN America. It's paid programming, the airwaves' equivalent of vanity publishing; his messages, from earlier DVDs, will air nationwide for 13 weeks (at 8:30 a.m. Sundays in Chicago). The airtime will be paid for by private donors; he declines to reveal the cost.

“My job is to bring the Catholic perspective to bear,” says the Rev. Barron, 50. Catholicism, he says, “has been underrepresented in the conversation.”

What a conversation it is. The church's sex-abuse scandal remains a global news story. Religion is an incendiary topic, from the ethics of stem-cell research to questions on the very existence of God, fueled by sophisticated “new atheists” such as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, whose anti- creationist “The Grand Design” is a non-fiction best seller.

The Rev. Barron is founder of Word on Fire Catholic Charities, a non-profit he launched in 2000 that supports his evangelistic endeavors and pays his salary, which he declines to reveal. (Word on Fire received 501[c]3 status in 2009; its IRS Form 990 is not yet available.) He is also a professor at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, where he teaches three courses a year.

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Media inquiries, contact Nanette Noffsinger at nanetten(at)aol(dot)com or 615-776-4230.

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