CEBU City, Jan. 23, 2015 – One of the most awaited speakers slated for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, has nothing but good things to say about the intense faith of Pinoys.
“There’s something about the Philippines..It’s one of the most vibrant Catholic countries in the world,” said Bishop Robert Barron in a podcast interview with Word on Fire where he expounded on why he looks forward to his first ever trip to the Philippines.
Referring to his own Irish Catholic lineage, the prelate went on to say: “I would say this as a proud Irish American, I’d compare [the Philippines] to the church in Ireland maybe 70 years ago. Now, the Church in Ireland is really struggling. But go back maybe 70 years you have this almost 100% vibrantly Catholic place…The Philippines is like that today, so it’ll be exciting.”
According to Barron, he expects hundreds of thousands “if not millions of people” at the IEC.
Even Word on Fire content director Brandon Vogt shared in the same podcast how he was “flabbergasted” to learn that “of the roughly 720,000 people who follow [Bishop Barron] on Facebook, 250,000 live in the Philippines” with 117,000 of them or 15-16% of the followers living in Quezon City.
The prelate, the popular Word on Fire host, expressed amazement over the figures as well, saying he “[didn’t quite know what to make of it.”
“It’s a testament to the surprisingly, overwhelmingly vibrant quality of Catholic life in this great country (Philippines)….It’s the number 3 Catholic country in the world. After Brazil and Mexico, here comes the Philippines…and that’s exciting stuff,” he added.
Barron is recognized as the founder of Word on Fire, a global media ministry dedicated to the new evangelization since 2000. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCP News)