Sunday, October 23, 2016


Clarity of thinking in the Catholic prophetic tradition is witnesses by so few in our order of bishops yet there are shinning lights! ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT is one of them:
At Notre Dame, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said that “a smaller, lighter Church” of fewer but holier believers is preferable to one that promotes inclusion at the expense of orthodoxy, and suggested that many prominent Catholics are so weak in their faith that they ought to leave the Church.


In a stark prognosis for contemporary Catholicism, a leader of the conservative wing of the U.S. hierarchy has said that “a smaller, lighter Church” of fewer but holier believers is preferable to one that promotes inclusion at the expense of orthodoxy.
In a speech delivered Oct. 19 at the University of Notre Dame, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput also suggested that many prominent Catholics are so weak in their faith that they ought to leave the Church.
Chaput singled out Democrats such as Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine for special criticism, linking them to the concept of a “silent apostasy” coined by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and saying Catholics who do not champion the truth of Church teaching are “cowards.”
“Obviously we need to do everything we can to bring tepid Catholics back to active life in the Church,” Chaput told a symposium for bishopsand their staff members at the South Bend, Ind. campus.
“But we should never be afraid of a smaller, lighter Church if her members are also more faithful, more zealous, more missionary and more committed to holiness.
“Losing people who are members of the Church in name only is an imaginary loss,” he continued. “It may in fact be more honest for those who leave and healthier for those who stay. We should be focused on commitment, not numbers or institutional throw-weight.”
Chaput’s ideas channeled a lively and long-standing debate in Church circles - intensified by Pope Francis’s open-arms approach to ministry - about whether Catholicism should be a smaller and more tradition-minded community, or a larger and more inclusive Church of imperfect believers at various stages in their spiritual pilgrimages.
In the context of the coming presidential vote, Chaput’s speech was also the latest in a series of pronouncements by conservative bishops and Catholic activists who have blasted Democrats as Election Day draws closer.
For many observers, a chief focus of the current campaign has been the crass and increasingly threatening language of Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has bragged about demeaning and groping women. In the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Trump also reiterated that he believes the Nov. 8 election has been “rigged” and that he might contest any result that did not favor him.
But the U.S. bishops have been virtually silent on those topics, while some have continued to highlight the centrality of opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
In his talk at Notre Dame, Chaput, who is known for his conservative political views and his firm stances on doctrine, said both candidates were obviously flawed - though he did express admiration for Trump’s “gift for twisting the knife in America’s leadership elite and their spirit of entitlement, embodied in the person of Hillary Clinton.”
Chaput’s main focus, however, was on the wider threat posed by what he said was a secularizing culture and a progressive political agenda that “bleaches out strong religious convictions in the name of liberal tolerance.”
Too many Catholics are guilty of cooperating with that process, he said, transferring “our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new ‘Church’ of our ambitions and appetites.”
He named Biden, Kaine and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as prime examples of this phenomenon, as well as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic and Republican appointee whose deciding vote in the landmark 2015 gay marriage case made him anathema to many social conservatives.
The politics of the U.S. hierarchy are in flux largely because Francis, who was elected in 2013, has begun naming and promoting bishops who embrace his outgoing approach to ministry and evangelization.
That trend away from the “culture warrior” bishops who came to dominate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over the past three decades was evident in the men Francis chose this month as his first American picks to be cardinals.
The three - the archbishops of Chicago and Indianapolis and the former bishop of Dallas - are known for their moderate tone and pastoral style while hard-liners like Chaput, who in a previous era might have been a strong candidate for a red hat, were passed over.
But Chaput, 72, and other conservatives in the U.S. hierarchy have been speaking out with greater frequency about the election. They tend to lament Trump’s obvious faults while singling out the Democratic ticket for special criticism and noting that opposition to legal abortion - which is part of the Republican platform and a Trump campaign promise - overrides every other policy consideration.
For example, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., last week devoted a column to criticizing Kaine’s faith and his position in support of abortion rights, calling him an “orthodox” Democrat and a “cafeteria Catholic” who is “picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient.”
The WikiLeaks dump of Democratic emails this month provided another opening because they included a few exchanges among Clinton advisers complaining about conservative Catholics misusing the faith for their own agendas and discussing how they could promote a “Catholic Spring” to move the Church in a more progressive direction.
Conservative activists and the Trump campaign jumped on the emails as evidence of an endemic anti-Catholicism among Democrats and demanded that Clinton fire the advisers and apologize.
Leaders of the USCCB also criticized the Clinton campaign for interfering “in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain.”
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who hosted Clinton and Trump at the Al Smith charity dinner on Thursday, called the email exchanges from 2011 and 2012 “extraordinarily patronizing and insulting to Catholics.” He said Clinton would have apologized in minutes if those things had been said about Jews or Muslims.
Other Catholics pointed out that the participants in the back-and-forth were mainly Catholics themselves and they dismissed the exchanges as the sort of internal Church arguments that Catholics engage in publicly all the time. They also said the comments were not as harsh as remarks Trump himself has made about Francis.
Chaput has blasted the emails as “contemptuously anti-Catholic” and he criticized the Democrats for them again in his talk this week.
But his central theme was how Catholics should respond to this cultural shift.
He said that despite his “long list of concerns with the content of Islam” he admired  Muslim women who proudly wear the hijab and said Catholics could learn from that as they seek to “recover their own sense of distinction from the surrounding secular meltdown.”
He also praised Francis’s emphasis on “accompaniment” as the way to draw people to the Church and keep them there.
But he said that term has also been misused and too often means “accompanying someone over a cliff” by not insisting on the need to follow Church teachings.
The same, he said, goes for the term “inclusive.”
“If ‘inclusive’ means including people who do not believe what the Catholic faith teaches and will not reform their lives according to what the Church holds to be true, then inclusion is a form of lying,” he said.
“And it’s not just lying but an act of betrayal and violence against the rights of those who do believe and do seek to live according to God’s Word.”


Anonymous said...

Well Father, it's nice to see that at least SOMEONE in the clerical state in this diocese appreciates Archbishop Chaput. You see, I happen to know a relative of the archbishop who lives in this diocese and shares his last name. And when one of your brother priests met this fellow for the first time (a few years ago), the first thing out of his mouth was a statement to the effect "If you're related to Bishop Chaput in Denver, I don't like him and I don't like his politics." ONE OF YOUR FELLOW PRIESTS! I guess tolerance only applies to those who hate the Church.

Besides the sheer tactlessness of such a statement to a person one is just meeting, it certainly reveals a lot about the mindset of some priests. Then again, why be surprised? This is the same priest who kept a Barack Obama poster prominently displayed in his office.

I look forward to the day when the Church has a solid core of leaders who don't despise what the church teaches. For now, it's refreshing just to know there are at least a few priests like you.

Anonymous said...

"God, I thank you that I’m not like other people! I’m not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven’t committed adultery. I’m not even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my entire income. I am, therefore, among those you favor, those you count as your own, those who believe you can be bought with good deeds."

Those prophesying a smaller, holier, less cowardly Church always count themselves among the 'good guys.' Dangerous, that.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Maybe so but outright apostasy seems more dangerous.

johnnyc said...

"Other Catholics pointed out that the participants in the back-and-forth were mainly 'catholics' themselves"

Fixed that.

Liberal 'catholics' are themselves anti Catholic. It goes back to the 'spirit' of Vatican II crowd. Like protestants they want to separate Jesus from His Church. Very convenient for dissenters who say they are against this church teaching or that church teaching when the teaching is in fact a teaching of Jesus.

George said...


The scripture passage you quote (from today's Mass readings), has to do with those of Jesus's time who obeyed the Law to the letter out of a prideful, supercilious attitude and not out of love of God and neighbor. This is the kind of superior attitude that over time built up in the Jewish religious community, and resulted in a de-facto religious caste system which, in their attitudes and minds, demarcated groups such as the Pharisees as being above others. Keep in mind that the tax-collector was despised not so much for sinful behavior as for the fact he worked for the pagan Roman government.This passage speaks to the virtue of humility evidenced in the tax collector, as much as anything. It does not exempt anyone from obeying God's law and in extenuating circumstances, with prayer and humility, at least making a sincere effort to do so. There are those today who justify their apostasy and sinful behavior by making judgements and casting aspersions against faithful Catholics as being or having an attitude "holier than thou". This is not how Catholics who are truly such are, anymore than it was true of the tax collector. The correct spiritual attitude for the Pharisee would have been to offer prayers for the tax collector. This should be our attitude toward others as well. We should do what we can to help others become good, faithful Christians and not anything that would enable or encourage sinful behavior.

Mark Thomas said...

Among conservative Catholics, Archbishop Chaput is viewed as a staunch traditionalist. Given his reputation in that regard, the following has for years amazed me in regard to Archbishop Chaput:

June 30, 2010 A.D.

Archbishop Chaput:

"In this regard, the Novus Ordo, the new order of the Mass promulgated after the council, has been a great blessing to the Church. Our liturgy gives us the zeal for the evangelization and sanctification of our world.

"The vernacular has opened up the liturgy’s content in new ways. It has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission.

"By the way, for the record, I’m also very grateful that the Holy Father has allowed wider use of the older Tridentine form not because I personally prefer it, in fact I find the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated, a much richer expression of worship; but because we need access to all of the Church’s heritage of prayer and faith."

1. The Novus Ordo has been a "great blessing to the Church."

2. The Novus Ordo has provided us with "zeal" to evangelize the world.

3. The vernacular "has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission."

4. As compared to the Traditional Roman Mass, the Novus Ordo, when "properly celebrated," is "a much richer expression of worship..."

Does Archbishop Chaput hold fast to his above claims from 2010 A.D.? If he does, then Archbishop Chaput will ensure that the Church will continue to collapse in one way after another.

Based upon his 2010 A.D. article in First Things, Archbishop Chaput does not realize that the revival of the TLM is required should the (Latin) Church wish to overcome Her crisis of Faith.

Again, I am surprised that as he is a "traditionalist," Archbishop Chaput does not appreciate the need to place the TLM at the center of the (Latin) Church's program of liturgical/spiritual restoration.

I hope that Archbishop Chaput has moved beyond his 2010 A.D. comments related to the supposed strength of the Novus Ordo — in particular, that as compared to the TLM, the Novus Ordo, "properly celebrated," is "a much richer expression of worship; but because we need access to all of the Church’s heritage of prayer and faith."

Archbishop Chaput's very positive assessment of the Novus Ordo suggested that he was in denial in regard to the primary cause of the Latin Church's post-Vatican II liturgical/spiritual collapse.


Mark Thomas

Rood Screen said...

Mark Thomas,

Which "conservative Catholic" says Chaput is a "staunch traditionalist", or are you just making that up?

TJM said...

"Father" Kavanaugh, must be devastated since his intrinsically evil political party was called out.

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

The business world is in many respects far more perceptive than the Church and knows quickly when a product has bombed and needs to be shelved, e.g the Edsel and New Coke. Now there is plenty of evidence that the Novus Ordo has failed, but the pope and bishops, contumacious fellows that they are, simply cannot admit their error.

Anonymous said...

"Among conservative Catholics, Archbishop Chaput is viewed as a staunch traditionalist."

He is not known as such among traditional Catholics. The fact that he looks so good compared to most of his fellow bishops may say as much about them as about him.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the archbishop's comments will fall on deaf ears in the Philadelphia area...Clinton has a large lead there even in the formerly very Republican suburbs surrounding the city. The Philadelphia area in the last 30 years has simply become part of the secular and increasingly Godless Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington. But he may have a point---we may be too focused on size and not on commitment; better to have maybe 30 million solid devout souls than 70 million lackluster ones. I told my pastor last week I'd just assume have the second coming before November 8 given the awful choices, but he said don't count on that happening then....

gob said...

I've been Googling the Gospels for the part about a smaller.lighter Church with fewer but holier believers....So far I've come up with nothing.

This blog is sounding more and more like a Trump rally. When you're a star...or holier than the others, you can do anything you can grab them....(you fill in the rest).

It's time for Church tax exempt status to go away.

I am a Catholic. I voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden....twice. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton...I will be receiving communion...

I solicit your self-righteous, judgmental, holier (than thou) remarks.

Anonymous said...

"...better to have maybe 30 million solid devout souls than 70 million lackluster ones..."

Why is this "better?"

Jusadbellum said...

Speaking of the SELF righteous gop, tell me why Trump voters are evil and stupid again without being....judgmental.

See, the liberal "progressives" are the most judgmental folk on the planet. Quick to presume anyone who disagrees with Obama must be racist. quick to presume anyone who disagrees with Hillary is a sexist. That believing in borders and a rule of law is ipso facto to 'hate' minorities and to be xenophobic to boot.

They presume any disagreement with the LGBTQ to be motivated by nothing but murderous hate.

They presume disagreement about the claims of man-made global "climate change" must be fed by a lack of scientific erudition or a hate for "progress".

They presume that all their policies and all their minions salted throughout all levels of government and the private sector MUST be presumed awesome until exhaustively proven otherwise and even then must be taken at their word about 'good intentions' while it's always safe to presume non-liberal "progressives" have nothing but meanspirited intentions.

That's how PC culture works: it's a weaponized self-righteousness. It's what propels the phenomenon of "cry-bullies".

I think you are misguided in your political party and policy preferences. I don't presume to know if you're evil.

Mark Thomas said...

Henry, Archbishop Chaput may not be viewed as "traditional" among
"traditional" Catholics. However, he is viewed as traditional by many conservative Catholics who, in turn, consider themselves traditional. (I use the description "traditional" Catholic. However, I am not sure that I know what that means.)

Henry, my main concern with Archbishop Chaput is that unless he's distanced himself from his 2010 A.D. remarks in question, he is in denial (in my opinion...he would disagree) as to the main problem related to the collapse or the Latin Church. That is, he does not recognize the urgent need to turn to the TLM to restore liturgical and spiritual sanity to the Latin Church.

As long as Archbishop Chaput and our bishops continue to proclaim the Novus Ordo, as compared to the TLM, as superior in "expression of worship," then the Latin Church will continue to collapse.

Novus Ordo = shrinking Church.


Mark Thomas

gob said...

Jusad....You da man... If you're talking to me, your rant far exceeded my expectations. It's a comfort to know that there are some folks on whom one can always count. But...maybe you were talking to Anonymous...or to all of the liberals of the world....Anyway....thanks.

gob said...

Who's next?

Gene said...

Gob, I doubt anyone really cares what you do.

Gene said...

Chaput likes Muslim women in hijabs. He's a kiss up.

Anonymous 2 said...

And, once again, Gene demonstrates that he does not understand what real conservatism is.