NCR commentator Madison Chastain dives into the hour-and-a-half conversation between actor Shia LaBeouf and Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, in which LaBeouf repeatedly expresses gratitude for the men who accompanied him and "masculinized" his Catholicism conversion journey.
LaBeouf also says, before his conversion, he did not initially feel compelled to have a relationship with Jesus because he only knew the "soft, fragile, all-loving, all-listening but no ferocity … meek" Jesus (Barron immediately offers the word "feminized"), and it was only when LaBeouf encountered what he considered to be "masculine" — "cape, dipped in blood, sword" — that Jesus felt "appealing."
"We should be concerned about anyone who finds the Gospel most compelling in its violence or who is put off by the femininity of Jesus," Chastain writes. "If we are to understand Jesus as the savior of all, we must embrace his full divinity that has no gender, and we must confidently identify the goodness of both the masculine and feminine in the incarnation."
Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, says he would welcome a conversation with LaBeouf about his interest in the traditional Latin Mass.