Bishop Robert J. Baker

Birthday: 4 June 1944
Education:

Bachelor’s in Philosophy – Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH
Masters’ Degree in Divinity – Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH
Licentiate of Sacred Theology – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Doctorate of Sacred Theology – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

Ordination: 21 March 1970
Episcopate: 29 September 1999
Twitter dmealer@bhmdiocese.org

Bishop Robert J. Baker on the Issues

Viganò testimony

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Amoris Laetitia

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Pro-life leadership

Actively engages in pro-life leadership
  • Bishop Baker participated in the 2018 March for Life in Washington D.C. (Diocese of Birmingham)
  • Bishop Baker celebrated a Mass for Life and participated in the Birmingham March for Life in January 2018. (Diocese of Birmingham)
  • Bishop Baker endorsed the 2017 40 Days for Life campaign and had a Novena of Masses said. Baker encouraged priests in his diocese to say mass for the closure of a Tuscaloosa abortion center. (Diocese of Birmingham)
  • Bishop Baker celebrated a Mass for Life and participated in the Birmingham March for Life in January 2017. (Diocese of Birmingham)
  • Bishop Baker held a Respect Life Mass in 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Paul on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. During his sermon, Baker said “The protection of life, of human life, of all human life, is a major government responsibility.” (ABC)

Homosexuality

Upholds Church teaching on homosexuality
  • During the 2018 sex abuse scandal, many priests and bishops – including Pope Francis – blamed the crisis on “clericalism.” Baker issued a public statement linking it to homosexuality. “We are forced today to face the tragic revelation of scores of accusations of predominately homosexual behavior and abuse,” Baker said that this “spiritual suicide” has to stop and that prayer, penance, sacrificial virtue and the sacraments are the only way anyone has chance against “the great evils of our time.” Baker also encouraged Catholics to do at least one hour of Eucharistic Adoration. (LifeSiteNews)
  • At the 2015 annual Bishops meeting, Baker spoke in favor of promoting conscience protections for civil servants opposed to same-sex “marriage.” Baker told his brother bishops “I hope we will not back away from that advocacy.” (Church Militant)

Abortion politics

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  • In 2004, while serving as bishop of Charleston, Bishop Baker co-authored a statement with the Archbishop of Atlanta and the bishop of Charlotte, North Carolina said that politicians who support abortion should be denied Holy Communion. The letter also said pro-abortion politicians must publicly renounce their views and seek permission from the bishops in order to receive Communion. (LifeNews)

Contraception

Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • In 2008, Bishop Baker added his imprimatur to a book titled “A Study Guide to Humanae Vitae,” which was released by Priests for Life. The forward of the book was written by pro-life priest Fr. Frank Pavone, and featured essays by Jim and Joy Pinto and Dr. Alveda King, neice of Dr. Martin Luther King. Baker recommended the book to his diocese. (Diocese of Birmingham)

“LGBT” ideology

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Liturgy

Promotes reverent liturgy
  • In 2013, Bishop Baker elevated a Latin Mass community to the status of “parish” after five years of continual growth. Baker dedicated the church building himself on March 10 during a traditional ceremony. (Una Voce Northern Alabama)
  • In 2011, Bishop Baker was praised by pro-Latin Mass Catholics for helping reconcile to the Church members of a formerly schismatic Latin Mass monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Bishop Baker sought help from the Chicago-based Canons Regular of St. John Cantius to assist the regularization process. (National Catholic Register)
  • In 2011, Bishop Baker administered the Sacrament of Confirmation in the traditional Latin Rite to 14 young adults and one adult at a Traditional Latin Mass parish in Huntsville, Alabama. This was the first time since Vatican II traditional confirmations took place in the Diocese of Birmingham. (Una Voce)
  • Bishop Baker emphatically praised Pope Benedict’s decision to free the Latin Mass with his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in 2007. In a letter to his diocese, Baker said there is “no rupture” between the “ordinary” and “Extraordinary” form of the mass. Both “should be respected and faithfully followed.” (Diocese of Charleston)
  • In February of 2000, the Bishop of Birmingham banned the televising of ad orientem masses on EWTN. Soon after Bishop Baker was assigned to the Diocese of Birmingham in 2007, he lifted the ban on airing ad orientem masses. (New Liturgical Movement)
  • While serving as the Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina in the early 2000s, Bishop Baker granted two priests in his diocese an indult to say the Tridentine Mass and welcomed the Fraternal Society of St. Peter, a pro-Latin Mass group of priests, to celebrate monthly mass in his diocese. (The Catholic Miscellany)

Marriage and Family Life

Upholds Church teaching on marriage and family life
  • In 2012, Bishop Baker began requiring chastity education to all candidates for confirmation. He sent a letter to priests in his diocese informing them that he also recommends Family Honor, an organization that teaches Theology of the Body in what he called a “family-centered approach.” (Family Honor)
  • In 2005, Bishop Baker wrote a lengthy pastoral letter explaining Theology of the Body, rejecting contraception and defending long-standing Church teaching on sexuality, celibacy, and married life. (EWTN)
  • When he was Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, Baker promoted a program called Family Honor, an apostolate originated by laity in his diocese that teaches a Christian perspective on sexuality and family life. Family Honor encourages parental involvement in sex education to young adults, among other pro-family initiatives. (Catholic Culture)

Education

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  • In 2009, Bishop Baker called Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Obama to speak at graduation a “tragedy” and a “public act of disobedience” to U.S. bishops. He said it doesn’t makse sense for Notre Dame to teach students fundamental moral principles and then give an honor to a public official who “supports and promotes the values contrary to those principles.” (EWTN)