The Main Problem with Bishop Barron’s “Reasonable Hope”

It is a dogma taught by several different Ecumenical Councils that some human souls go to Hell:

Bishop Robert Barron on Hell: May we reasonably hope that all will be saved?

Bishop Robert Barron versus the Magisterium on Hell

The assertion that “we may reasonably hope” that “perhaps” all human persons are saved and will end up in Heaven is heresy. Just as it is heresy to say that perhaps Jesus is not the Son of God, or that we may reasonably hope that adultery is not a grave sin, so also it is heresy to say “perhaps” in contradiction to any dogma. Bishop Barron’s position is heresy.

But there is also a practical problem with Barron’s theological position.

When the average middle class person-in-the-pews hears that “perhaps” dictators, terrorists, murderers, and serial rapists go to Heaven, he thinks to himself, “Well, if they’re a maybe, I’m a definitely. I’m certainly going to Heaven.” And then he doesn’t repent and go to confession after an act of malice, or adultery, or grave theft from his employer, or malicious lie against a friend, or other grave sin. When Bishop Barron preaches that perhaps the very worst of humanity goes to Heaven, the take-away is that you don’t need to repent from your ordinary everyday actual mortal sins, you don’t need confession, you don’t need repentance. Because if Hitler is a maybe, you have nothing to worry about.

So even if Bishop Barron were to correct himself, and admit that the worst of the worst go to Hell, he’d still be harming the path of salvation of millions of souls by his come-on that says ordinary actual mortal sins are nothing to worry about. It’s only the severest and most unusual of grave sins that count, and then only maybe.

So the heresy of Bishop Barron is accompanied by a worse error in his shepherding of souls. He is shepherding them toward Hell, not Heaven, with his claim that maybe everyone goes to Heaven. For he implies that you don’t need to worry about committing adultery in your heart, or murder in your mind. And thus he contradicts Christ:

{5:20} For I say to you, that unless your justice has surpassed that of the scribes and the Pharisees you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
{5:21} You have heard that it was said to the ancients: ‘You shall not murder; whoever will have murdered shall be liable to judgment.’
{5:22} But I say to you, that anyone who becomes angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment. But whoever will have called his brother, ‘Idiot,’ shall be liable to the council. Then, whoever will have called him, ‘Worthless,’ shall be liable to the fires of Hell.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian
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3 Responses to The Main Problem with Bishop Barron’s “Reasonable Hope”

  1. Matt Z. says:

    About 16 years ago I went to a lenten parish retreat where the speaker was Fr.Robert Barron. He gave a wonderful talk about Christ the Center of your life that really brought about a big conversion in me. I have liked Fr. ever since so when I kept hearing that he believes all men are saved I took the benefit of the doubt and thought he meant that God wants all people living right now to be saved. But after watching the video, you are right Ron, Bishop Barron really thinks that there is a hope that all people, including all those that have died may be saved. This is a grave error.

    • Ron Conte says:

      He has other grave errors. He doesn’t think Adam and Eve were real persons. He doesn’t believe the traditional teaching on original sin. Your conversion was from the grace of God, it was only occasioned by Fr. Barron’s talk.

  2. [Matthew]
    {13:47} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea, which gathers together all kinds of fish.
    {13:48} When it has been filled, drawing it out and sitting beside the shore, they selected the good into vessels, but the bad they threw away.
    {13:49} So shall it be at the consummation of the age. The Angels shall go forth and separate the bad from the midst of the just.
    {13:50} And they shall cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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