John L. Allen Jr.: Pope’s marching orders for bishops: ‘Be apostles of mercy’

(Crux) Most American Catholics probably know Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles best from his 10-part television series “Catholicism,” which aired on PBS stations around the country, offering a tour de force presentation of Catholic faith, culture and history. It’s a fruit of his influential “Word on Fire” media ministry.

As of September, however, he’s known to the people of Santa Barbara, California, as their shepherd, head of their pastoral region in the name of the Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gomez. As such, Barron is out there regularly visiting parishes, saying Masses, meeting with people who want to bend his ear, and doing all the other things bishops typically do.

Last month, Barron was called to Rome for a training program for newly appointed bishops around the world colloquially known as “baby bishops” school.

He went largely in his new role as a local prelate, though it turned out his reputation as an evangelist and deft media commentator preceded him – Pope Francis himself, of all people, referred to Barron as “the great preacher … who makes the airwaves tremble!”

On Monday, Barron spoke to “The Crux of the Matter” on the Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129, about his experience of baby bishops’ school saying that it brought home the stunningly global nature of the Catholic Church.

What marching orders did he get from the pope? [More]