Be Not Afraid – Still
What He Said.
Pope John Paul the Great made it his watchwords, and Archbishop Chaput says it again. Sometimes you have to speak out.
Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput delivered a speech on Saturday reflecting on the significance of the November 2008 election. Warning that media “narratives” should not obscure truth, he blamed the indifference and complacency of many U.S. Catholics for the country’s failures on abortion, poverty and immigration issues.
He also advised Catholics to “master the language of popular culture” and to refuse to be afraid, saying “fear is the disease of our age.”
He did not stop there, and what Chaput said next is withering.
Noting that there was no question about President Barack Obama’s views on abortion “rights,” embryonic stem cell research and other “problematic issues,” he commented:
“Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points in a slightly different direction when considering the reasons that the Church speaks with such little moral authority today.
The leadership of the Catholic Church has abdicated its role in instruction and faith formation, which one can see in church life on a daily basis. In part, they willingly surrendered both in exchange for broader appeal, and in significant part undermined it with the shameful role church leaders played in covering up for pedophiles within their ranks. In order to have enough moral authority to instruct, the priests and bishops have to live their lives in a moral fashion.
He very well may be right, but Chaput is making a broader point (one I’m sure that the Capt’n understands implicitly). If the Church is not educating properly (and if the parents aren’t making sure that their children are being educated properly), then the vacuum will be filled by the popular culture. That’s not what I call a good thing.