He wouldn’t listen to it coming from me, but someone needs to tell Bishop Robert Barron that Satan isn’t running around abusing kids. And not just because the Roman Catholic Church has so thoroughly cornered the practice lo these many decades.

Robert Barron is auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Los Angeles. I establish this up front because why the fuck would you have ever heard of this guy, right?

Actually according to his site bio Robert Barron is quite busy: “Bishop Barron is an Amazon bestselling author and is a religion correspondent for NBC and has also appeared on FOX News, and CNN. Bishop Barron has been invited to speak about religion at the headquarters of both Facebook and Google.”

Amazing that he’s managed to get around so much while only being allowed diagonal moves. As for me, I’ve been escorted off the premises at at least some of those same places, so I can’t help but feel we’re peers on a limited wavelength.

My good vibes don’t radiate as far as Barron’s actual religious work though. In an upcoming book with the miraculously tone-deaf title Letter To a Suffering ChurchBarron concludes that the Roman Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal must be the work of a literal devil. I note that Satan appears nowhere in the related charging documents, but maybe it was an oversight.


bishop Robert Barron satanism

“Hey Jesus, you done reading that indictment yet?”


“When I was going through the seminary, it was fashionable to conceive of the devil as a sort of colorful literary device,” Barron writes, accidentally leaking a rare case of the Vatican getting its theology right.

“But the storm of wickedness that has compromised the church is just too ingenious to have been the result of merely human contrivance,” he continues. “In the ordinary run of history, bad things happen, but this scandal is just too exquisitely designed.”

The devil must have done it, because Barron doesn’t trust his church to properly engineer a child sex scandal.

I happen to think he’s selling himself short. I’m confident that the diocese are all very competent to “exquisitely design” a child fucking network without supernatural assistance. Maybe if he had more faith in the establishment they’d finally bump him up from auxiliary status.

Barron’s book aims to convince wavering Catholics that they should stick with the church in spite of the child fucking. Which is an ambitious power play, because if you convince them to put up with this then there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do next.

His pitch video for the book notes that in March, a Gallup poll asked American Catholics, “As a result of the recent news about sexual abuse by priests, have you questioned whether you would remain in the Catholic church, or not?”

(I guess by “recent news” they mean for nearly 20 years now?)

In the responses, 37 percent said yes. Which means that more than 60 percent feel that the fucking of thousands of children does not brook so much as a onetime soul search.

That should probably give Robert Barron et al an overweening degree of confidence that they’re going to get away with this yet again.

But he seems worried anyway, judging from the pleading tone of his sales materials. “I’m a lifelong Catholic, priest for 33 years, and a bishop for four years,” he assures potential readers. To which I say, “Sir, have you been advised that you have a right not to be forced to incriminate yourself? Do you want a lawyer present?”


bishop Robert Barron satanism

Pictured: The devil on Barron’s shoulder DESPERATELY trying to talk him out of this.


For the record, Barron says the book proceeds will go to charities helping abuse victims. Of course, Satanic Bay Area raised money for priest abuse victims last year, and we did it without having to actually abuse the kids ourselves first.

Rather than disassociate from child fuckers, Barron insists that if you’re upset you should evangelize and attend mass regularly. In the end Barron concludes that wavering Catholics should “stay for the sake of those who have suffered so grievously.” 

Imagine if in response to Pearl Harbor we’d declared war on Nanking and you’ll apparently have learned how to think like a bishop.

I have not actually read Barron’s book. He has very rudely not advanced me a critic’s galley of it, despite the fact that he’s unlikely to find a bigger critic anywhere. This is all just preview material, much of it promoted by other Catholics online in what they somehow think is a helpful effort.

Barron keeps the devil talk out that stuff, but his accomplice Monseigneur Charles Pope (guess that aspirational surname hasn’t quite paid off yet) stooged him off via excerpts in the National Catholic Register.

“This is not merely some fight against resistant bishops,” non-Pope Pope writes. ‘It is really a fight against Satan and his cunning attack on the church.”

So, to review: When the church fucks children, don’t fight the church. Fight “Satan” instead.

You know, I’m starting to lose faith in those reforms they’re promising in June.

I never was a Catholic myself. With every year that goes by that’s seeming more and more a lucky break. And since Satan has very graciously kept his hands off the kids for thousands of year now, I don’t know what it’s like confronting this degree of institutional betrayal.

Which I guess means I really do have at least one thing in common with the Robert Barron types. Because it sure doesn’t seem like he’s ever really confronted it either.


bishop Robert Barron satanism

“I can’t help but feel this aggression is misdirected.”