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Bishop Barron at his first synod: Social Media is a miracle of God's Providence


In the Synod on Youth, Bishop Barron had a very special role to play, that of “relatore,” or essentially a secretary, for one of four English-speaking groups. Out of his 10,000 words, he sifted through and presented a report, or “relazio” to the synod.

The main theme he's shared during the synod is the importance of intellectual formation for youth. He esp highlighted the need to reach out to the “nones,” those without any religious affiliation. 

MSGR. ROBERT BARRON
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
“In my work, it's been very clear that a lot of those who are unaffiliated have lots of questions about religion. They need clarification, they need answers. They want answers, you know? The Church that teaches, that engages in apologetics, that makes a case for Christianity. I think that's very important.” 

He says teaching, especially through social media has been his main way of trying to reach out to young people. His media ministry, “Word on Fire” is one example. 

MSGR. ROBERT BARRON
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
“I think truly, it's a miracle of God's Providence that we have these tools, precisely at this moment, when so many are leaving the Church. They're not going to come to our programs. They're not going to come to us. We have to find them. The best way to do it, I think, are the social media, where we can move as it were into the world of the 'nones.'”

He says the synod has discussed many negatives of social media. Yet, he's made a point to present the potential for new evangelization. He has seen that the youth willingly embrace it, while some bishops have been a bit more hesitant.

MSGR. ROBERT BARRON
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
“I think this synod is more important than the previous two synods. It's about the future of our Church. It's about the next generation. It's about how do we pass on the faith. So the presence of young people in the room was very good and this issue – I can't think of anything more important in the life of the Church.” 

Bishop Barron explained that many older bishops said having youth present brought a completely new vibe to the synod meetings. However, as it was his first synod, Bishop Barron doesn't know any difference and says he appreciated their enthusiasm, despite the exhausting days.