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By Eric Sammons, Crisis Magazine, November 5, 2020

Bishop Robert Barron and Father James Martin are the two most dominant figures in American Catholicism today. Bishop Barron is the affable producer of popular videos on Catholicism through his Word on Fire ministry; Father Martin is a media darling and a Vatican favorite for his outreach to gay Catholics. As just one indicator of their influence, Father Martin has almost 300,000 Twitter followers, while Bishop Barron has 175,000—both far more than any other American bishop or priest or lay Catholic commentator. For some, the fact that these two men are both extremely popular demonstrates the divide in the Church today. Father Martin represents the liberal (i.e., heretical) wing of the Church, while Bishop Barron is presented as the standard-bearer for the conservative (i.e., orthodox) wing. Yet recently these two worlds met, revealing that perhaps they are not as far apart as some want to believe.  …

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