‘Word on Fire’ founder Bishop Robert Barron is now bishop-elect of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota

(For Immediate Release June 2, 2022) 

On Thursday, June 2, 2022, at noon Rome time, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Robert Barron the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (Minnesota). Bishop Barron was ordained a priest in 1986 in the Archdiocese of Chicago and appointed to the theological faculty of Mundelein Seminary in 1992. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was twice a scholar in residence at the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican.

He served as the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary University of St. Mary of the Lake from 2012 until 2015. On July 21, 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was ordained bishop on September 8, 2015.

‘Word on Fire’ has made recent headlines with a scandal. As reported by NCR, ‘Frustrated by poor communication and a workplace culture they say has been warped by secrecy and hypermasculinity, at least a half-dozen Word on Fire employees in recent months have resigned from the Catholic outlet founded by Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron.’

We hope that Bishop Barron will usher in a new era of transparency and openness for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. In particular, the current list of credibly accused priests seems thin. We urge the bishop-elect to make it a priority to see this list is accurate and to include nuns, religious order priests, and brothers; along with seminarians and laity who have had allegations found to be credibly accused.

When Barron takes the helm, he can immediately prove his dedication to transparency and prevention by updating list of accused priests, particularly by including with each entry when the diocese learned about the allegations, and what actions were taken in response.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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