Chaput scolds American Catholics and the church

posted at 12:21 pm on March 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Archbishop Charles Chaput has become one of the most outspoken advocates for American Catholics in the last few years, but now he trains his rhetorical and teaching skills on the church itself and its members.  Chaput decries the state of Catholic education that has allowed people to fundamentally misunderstand their own faith, and scolds the church for allowing itself to become more concerned with membership than truth.  The consequences of the failure can be seen all around us, Chaput says:

Having been asked to examine what November 2008 and its aftermath can teach Catholics about American culture, the state of American Catholicism and the kind of Pauline discipleship necessary today, Archbishop Chaput said:

“November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture.”

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.”

Offering a sober evaluation of the state of American Catholicism, he added:

“We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to ‘personally oppose’ some homicidal evil — but then allowing it to be legal at the same time.”

Commenting on society’s attitude towards Catholic beliefs, Archbishop Chaput said, “we have to make ourselves stupid to believe some of the things American Catholics are now expected to accept.”

“There’s nothing more empty-headed in a pluralist democracy than telling citizens to keep quiet about their beliefs. A healthy democracy requires exactly the opposite.”

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.  One cannot lecture about protecting innocent life while keeping child molesters from justice and tacitly allowing them to continue preying on the innocents in the parishes.  Even if the percentage of priests molesting children was very small, the acts of church leaders in decades past to shuffle them around to keep them from accountability destroyed their credibility to lead the flock.

Now that we have moved past that (with the probable exception of Roger Cardinal Mahoney in Los Angeles), the church needs to start teaching the faith.  Chaput nails this; the church literally “made itself stupid” by not teaching what it means to be Catholic, our values, our doctrine, and our identity.  The Catechism’s ubiquity may have convinced church leaders that teaching was no longer necessary, but the wide ranging misunderstandings of the faith even within the lay ministries disprove that beyond all doubt.  Even in my own parish, one RCIA instructor told the class that all souls will eventually go to heaven, an ancient heresy long opposed by the Catholic Church as well as most Christian denominations.  Is it any wonder that American Catholics can conclude after that instruction that they can “balance out” social justice issues as Chaput describes, if the weak level of instruction offered at a parish includes such heresies?

Would better instruction in faith reduce the numbers in the parishes?  Probably, but the mission of the Catholic Church (or any other Christian sect) is not to win beauty contests.  It’s to teach timeless truths in a manner that merits confidence, demonstrates wisdom and moral clarity, and lift the souls of those who believe into eternal life.  Chaput rightly puts the failure of the American Catholic church on church leadership itself.  Hopefully, he can inspire the laity to demand better of church leaders, and inspire better leaders from within the ranks of the priesthood.  (via The Anchoress)

Addendum: In another example of the laity pressing for better consistency from the leaders, Creative Minority Report has an interview with a pro-life leader at the University of Notre Dame, who has started a movement to demand that ND withdraw its invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at its law-school commencement:

In an exclusive interview with CMR, Mary K. Daly, the President of Notre Dame’s Right to Life group, said that the school administration’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver the Commencement Address is a “slap in the face” to many Catholics and has many students questioning whether they can “in good conscience” attend their own college graduation.” …

CMR: Do you folks have any plans to protest?

Notre Dame Right to Life as a student group, though we do not at this time have concrete plans of response, I can assure you that there will be a response. The leadership committee of Right to Life, together with the leadership from all of the other conservative, Catholic-minded campus groups, will be meeting this Tuesday to discuss an organized response.


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Comments

Perhaps if the Catholics started believing less in their “Sky God” and spent more time trying to track down their reptilian ancestors, things would be better.

Just doing my part to get the thread to 700.

*runs like hell; zigzagging, bobbing and weaving*

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Too many American Catholics are cafeteria or Chinese menu believers and the Church has been reluctant to deal with it.

katiejane on March 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM

and scolds the church Republican Party for allowing itself to become more concerned with membership than truth. The consequences of the failure can be seen all around us

the church Republican Party needs to start teaching the faith

misslizzi on March 22, 2009 at 12:29 PM

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,

Justice of the poor, the homeless, or immigrants? Please. Sounds like leftist liberal orthodoxy to me. Catholic politics are left of center. There is a good reason they vote democrat election after election.

keep the change on March 22, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Notre Dame and a good many other Catholic universities are becoming little more than citadels for social liberalism. A major clean-out (Vatican-stipulated) is in order.

As for the feared drop-off in the pews and weekly collections if Catholic doctrine is faithfully propounded from the pulpit, my favorite business axiom comes to mind.
“Better to lose a sale than a customer; Better to lose a customer than a principle.”

whitetop on March 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Archbishop Chaput is a true teacher. The first duty of a bishop.

Mason on March 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

The plain fact is, that a LOT of those Catholics are really atheists who just don’t want to admit that they are agnostics or atheists. Its not just catholics either. If America was REALLY as “christian” as all of the polls tell us it is, it would be a completely different country. A majority of Christians I would guess, identify themselves as Christians because their parents did, not because they hold any true belief in the scripture.

thphilli on March 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Anything short of shutting the campus of ND down, will be a failure.

artist on March 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Am not Catholic, but if I were, I would be truly surprised that an old and what was once a staunchly Catholic college would select this man as their commencement speaker. What on earth set them on this controversial road? On the other hand the Catholic teachings of the 50’s were somewhat divisive. I can recall children in my small village who were not allowed to play with non-Catholics. I would hate to see a return to this.

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Anything short of shutting the campus of ND down, will be a failure.

artist on March 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

On the positive side, it’s a less-reported fact that on the very same day, Obama will be forced to share the stage with this woman:

[T]he university has announced Mary Ann Glendon — the Harvard Law star, pro-life force, Vatican A-lister and, until January, former President Bush’s ambassador to the Holy See — as its 2009 recipient of the Stateside church’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Laetare Medal.

It’ll be an awkward moment for the messiah.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I should cite the source of the quote I gave in the 12:45 post:

http://deacbench.blogspot.com/2009/03/and-now-other-shoe.html

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM

I have to laugh at the first comment by Bishop. Snarks like that are the reason we’re in trouble…no seriousness, just snide comments and lazy thinking.

Richard Romano on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Makes me hope that they put this graduation on all the news stations. And…I wonder if o knows this?

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

It’ll be an awkward moment for the messiah.
jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Especially since Glendon will give her recipient speech with only a few note cards for reference, while Ogabe will stutter and stumble his way through his rant while staring at a bank of telepromters.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Catholics say……”I’m stunned, I tell you stunned”.
Obama by AIG bonuses….”I’m stunned, I tell you stunned.”
gun owners feel betrayed by Obama. “They are stunned.”

Democrats by broken promises of Obama……”I’m stunned, I tell you stunned.”

Jews by betrayal of Obama….”I’m stunned, I tell you stunned.”

Obama told you everyday of the campaign what he thought of all of you

nondhimmie on March 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Especially since Glendon will give her recipient speech with only a few note cards for reference, while Ogabe will stutter and stumble his way through his rant while staring at a bank of telepromters.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Absolutely, TOTUS in overdrive vs. woman of class and grace speaking from the heart.

Truly though, in Nortre Dame’s defense, you can put two speakers side by side, and the contrast itself emerges as the message.

Just saying, maybe there’s a silver lining.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:53 PM

I have to laugh at the first comment by Bishop. Snarks like that are the reason we’re in trouble…no seriousness, just snide comments and lazy thinking.
Richard Romano on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Did you actually laugh or was that remark just a snide comment?

Don’t get your panties in a twist, Romano, we can’t all be torturing ourselves over the fate of the Catholic church, especially since some of us (me: jumping up and down, waving my arms) aren’t dedicated believers.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

As a lapsed Catholic I grew tired of being told by priests that I needed to be a certain way socially (liberal) when it clearly was at odds with critical values of the Church.
But it’s not surprising when the Church basically blew both it’s feet off by buying into a philosophical liberal debasement- euchumenism.

jjshaka on March 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM

especially since some of us (me: jumping up and down, waving my arms) aren’t dedicated believers.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM

since you’re not a believer, why would a thread about a Catholic ArchBishop be something you’d waste your time on?

katiejane on March 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Makes me hope that they put this graduation on all the news stations. And…I wonder if o knows this?

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM

The announcement came out after Obama accepted.

I wonder if there’s more to this than meets the eye.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Chaput rightly puts the failure of the American Catholic church on church leadership itself.

Exactly right. Great post Ed.

The Council of American Bishops (including Latin American Bishops) have failed in leadership. Their insane stand on illegal immigration is a prime example. The catechism says obey the law of the land. Illegal immigration is just that, illegal and should not be supported by any clergy. Period.

Zorro on March 22, 2009 at 1:00 PM

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.

And if the church really cared about their members faith, they wouldn’t be shoving this social justice crap, which is really code for socialism down their throats 24/7. Same for immigrants which is code for opening the door to more illegal latino immigrants in the US. Legal immigrants do just fine here. And considering the billions we spend on illegals plus the aid we give to their countries, he’s a jerk.

Blake on March 22, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Hooray for Archbishop Chaput!! My own archbishop, Wilton Gregory, was so giddy at the election of Obama that he was quoted as saying that now we might even see a black pope (even though we have already had black popes.) And he wonders why I no longer contribute to his Lenten Appeal.

BitterClinger on March 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM

since you’re not a believer, why would a thread about a Catholic ArchBishop be something you’d waste your time on?
katiejane on March 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I said “dedicated believer”; never said I wasn’t a casual believer. I have my doubts from time to time just as I have episodes of wonder which seem like miracles of God’s work to me(the birth of my children for instance).

But this type of thread is interesting to me, since Catholics really do seem to be voting for people, at least in Ogabe’s case, who are so anathema to their faith.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Chaput rightly puts the failure of the American Catholic church on church leadership itself.

Somewhat in our defense — I was someone who could have and should have gotten more active in defending my Church in the 1970s — but you have to know what it was like in the 60s and 70s. There was a sense of inevitability, a sense that everything was falling apart, and you could scream all you wanted, but your were buried under a giant tidal wave of change. Pope John Paul II came along and did what needed to be done, but you can’t turn an ocean liner with a hard crank of the wheel. It took some time.

I give a lot of credit to Jerry Falwell and the Christian Coalition for having the guts we didn’t have, the guts to confront secular culture head on. They opened up the beach head and now there are a lot of us rushing back in to help. But they were the first here in America. They deserve our profound gratitude.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Change a few words around, and you have how I also feel about the Republican Party, and their lack of coherent philosophy…

People today take positions without giving any thought as to WHY they take that position, and get away with it because we have been trained NOT to judge others… not to speak out… not to shame them…

They take positions without trying to figure out how it interacts with their OTHER positions… they have no base philosophy to help guide their thinking…

Everyone says they want to be free… but then most seem to say its OK for the Government to tell you what to do… as long as the government Agrees with them…

I also like the idea that when looking at a philosophy, its about being right, or wrong… not how popular it is… that you don’t dilute your messege to get more buttts in the seats… that if the messege is right… than those butts will come anyway…

Romeo13 on March 22, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Interesting. NOT ONE RoastBeefer catholic here in L.A. or on this post has called for the removal of Roger Mahoney for running a CHILD SEX RING and a PEST NEST for Illegal Aliens. The catholic church is a joke!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 1:12 PM

My own archbishop, Wilton Gregory, was so giddy at the election of Obama that he was quoted as saying that now we might even see a black pope (even though we have already had black popes.)

BitterClinger on March 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM

We’ll see it again in our lifetime. But the hopey changers aren’t gonna be all too pleased; this won’t be some Jeremiah Wright or Desmond Tutu. A Catholic black pope is gonna shake some things up that have needed to be shaken up for a long time.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Interesting. NOT ONE RoastBeefer catholic here democrat in L.A. or on this post has called for the removal of Roger Mahoney Barney Frank (D) for running a CHILD SEX male prostitution RING and a PEST NEST for Illegal Aliens. The catholic church Democrat Party is a joke!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 1:12 PM

There you go.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Cafeteria Catholics are routinely praised and honored in the MSM because of their adherence to political correctness and liberal cultural values. Yet, devout Catholics, and especially if they are leaders of the Church, like Archbishop Chaput and Pope Benedict, are scorned and ridiculed by liberals, and even some conservatives who’s distaste for Papists seems to blind them to a natural alliance based on many shared values.

The Archbishop’s criticism is desperately needed in far too many parishes in the United States and Western Europe. And, the following quote from the Archbishop should be read from the pulpit of every Catholic parish where Cafeterianism and complacency have taken root:

When Catholics start leading their daily lives without a hunger for something higher than their own ambitions or appetites, or with the idea that they can create their own truth and then baptize it with an appeal to personal conscience, they become, in practice, agnostics in their personal lives, and Sophists in their public lives. In fact, people who openly reject God or dismiss Christianity as obsolete are sometimes far more honest and far less discouraging than Catholics who claim to be faithful to the Church but directly reject her guidance by their words and actions.

Please continue speaking out clearly and forcefully, Archbishop Chaput. Thank you.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

It’s good to see some balance. Unfortunately the Laetare medal has been tarnished by its award to Martin Sheen, and Sister Helen Prejean’s memory has served largely as a facilitator of Sean Penn and the unspeakable Susan Sarandon.

warbaby on March 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Awesome and spot-on, Ed.

JohnJ on March 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM

What “poor formation”? Ed, I assume that you (as I did) attended public schools, and went to religious instruction once a week. As I remember, we had our Catechisms and our Bibles, and about half of the teachers were really good as grade schoolers, and the proportion went up substantially as we approached Confirmation. Every Sunday, on a three year cycle, we get the entire Bible read to us, as well as commentary on what it all means, focused through the life of our Lord.

Have things changed for our children? It didn’t for mine…

As the Church teaches, the final lens in Christian sight is your own informed conscience, which should guide your words and acts and thoughts. Sadly, most Catholics, after they get out of school, fail to keep informed, and, worse, lose what knowledge they had as they “get compassion” for things which should not have compassion, such as a “woman’s right to choose”. The Anchoress put this up yesterday. Sister Blazena, under interrogation by the Communists in 1952:

Then he said that…”Can you say that you’ve always been obedient to the rules?” It was then that I felt that something was invading my conscience — a feeling of guilt, a feeling of sadness, because who can say about themselves that they have always behaved beyond reproach? I instinctively looked up at him, and saw his terrible, penetrating gaze. I felt that something had broken into me, then I immediately scowled back and said “That is not your business!” At that moment, I felt that he had lost his influence over me. It was, nonetheless, a startling experience. I understood how they were able to creep into peoples’ consciousness’. That was how they were able to impose whatever they wanted in order to impose a feeling of guilt, even though the person was innocent.

You’ll note that Archbishop Chaput says things that are uncomfortable for many conservatives here (especially on the topic of immigration), just as his words on abortion should be uncomfortable for every liberal. Our task as Catholics is to winnow our acts just as the Carmelites were forced to.

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 1:25 PM

I also like the idea that when looking at a philosophy, its about being right, or wrong… not how popular it is… that you don’t dilute your messege to get more buttts in the seats… that if the messege is right… than those butts will come anyway…

Romeo13 on March 22, 2009 at 1:11 PM

For some the Church is more about a relationship with the divine than positions on legislation or Constitutional law. Chaput points to the apostolic work of Paul, but Paul doesn’t make Roman or Greek abortion practices a focal point of his mission.

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 1:27 PM

YES! Atta go, Archbishop Chaput.
Randy

williars on March 22, 2009 at 1:28 PM

November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture.

November showed that we are basically an enlightened liberal democracy and not a theocracy. OK, where’s the criticism?

radiofreevillage on March 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

It’s good to see some balance. Unfortunately the Laetare medal has been tarnished by its award to Martin Sheen, and Sister Helen Prejean’s memory has served largely as a facilitator of Sean Penn and the unspeakable Susan Sarandon.

warbaby on March 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM

That’s interesting. The real-life victim in Penn’s Dead Man Walking movie is unbelievable. She spoke on forgiveness at my church about eight years ago. Leave it to Hollywood to canonize the wrong people in that movie. There’s a Frontline episode on it that’s pretty well done.

BuckeyeSam on March 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

What does Chaput say about America’s right to control it’s borders?

lizzee on March 22, 2009 at 1:31 PM

I have my doubts from time to time just as I have episodes of wonder which seem like miracles of God’s work to me(the birth of my children for instance).

But this type of thread is interesting to me, since Catholics really do seem to be voting for people, at least in Ogabe’s case, who are so anathema to their faith.

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I laughed at your first post. I didn’t vote for Obama. I’m one of those rare “born again” Catholics, baptized as an adult, and don’t have all the cultural traditions that the Cafeteria Catholics hide within. Fool that I am, I just have my faith and personal relationship with God. So, liberal Catholics boggle my mind and make my head spin.

I pray your children bring you many, many more wonders.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Chaput… Catholic basher!

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM

This might help things in America:

“[The Catholic Church] should be the religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” -Pius IX

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM

During last year’s election season, my parish school created a project for the kids. Each grade level was to find an illustration of “Where We Find Jesus In Today’s Society”. The pictures they chose were included in a handout to all parishioners at the end of each Mass. On the Eighth Grade page, a newspaper photo of Barack and Michelle Obama under the heading “The White House” was placed in the center of the page. Obama’s position of Life had already been well-known at the time.

Thinking that this was just the result of carelessness, I spoke to the parish priest about it, and he promptly suggested that my comment was racially-motivated.

A couple months later, this same priest held a meeting on the USCCB’s “Forming Consciences” document. During the meeting he flatly refused to discuss the abortion issue and, contrary to the spirit of the document, stated that the positions of the Democrats on other social issues were just as important.

I have since quit the parish. I found another parish that is indeed Pro-Life, but why should I have had to do that in the first place?

jay12 on March 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Archbishop Chaput is a true teacher. The first duty of a bishop.

Mason on March 22, 2009 at 12:39 PM

All well and good for the archbishop to state what is obvious but what’s need is action and not just words. The Catholic church as well as other Christian churchs have been silence too long on important measures like anti-abortion. It’s telling when the major groups that are opposing abortion and gay marriage are mostly secular.

docdave on March 22, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The announcement came out after Obama accepted.

I wonder if there’s more to this than meets the eye.

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Maybe they have a UFC match in mind. There are three outcomes. Obama shows up and somehow does well. Obama conveniently find another pressing engagement, but looks bad in backing out. Obama shows up, and he gets humiliated along the lines of the Saddleback question and answer.

BuckeyeSam on March 22, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Chaput… Cafeteria Catholic basher!

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM

And it’s long overdue.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 1:39 PM

November showed that we are basically an enlightened liberal democracy and not a theocracy. OK, where’s the criticism?

radiofreevillage on March 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

LOL… but the Hopey Changey Religion of his Barrackness is what won that election…

Just because its a new religion, does not make it any less of a relgion…

Romeo13 on March 22, 2009 at 1:39 PM

jeff_from_mpls on March 22, 2009 at 1:05 PM

I am pleased that you think the Christian Coalition has set a proper and admirable and courageous tone in these areas. I can only hope that main stream Protestant churches will see this and at least modify some of their teachings. Some of these can no longer call themselves religions since they vaunt the trappings and not the meat of the thing. Some are merely reflections of the political leanings of the present pastors or leaders. Can’t win though I suppose, because while I oppose too much rigidity I also see that some is necessary and have absolutely no idea at all where to draw the line.

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 1:41 PM

The Catholic church as well as other Christian churchs

“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one Church,” said the document released as the pope vacations at a villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy’s Dolomite mountains. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense

“You have been given by your baptism entrance into the only true religion upon earth, the Roman Catholic Church under My Son, Jesus. Though man in his arrogance and pride has forgotten His role and His rule, you must carry it forward. Retain the Faith and the truth in the hearts of mankind.” – Our Lady of the Roses, September 7, 1978

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Chaput… Cafeteria Catholic basher!

And it’s long overdue.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Using the official doctrines and dogmas of the church… that would probably describe about 97% of American Catholics.

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I find the ignorance of people who claim to be Catholic(and yes, I am one) about the Catechism, humorous if not alarming. On two issues among many, the Magisterium is clear. Simply go to the Index and learn something.You honor borders and immigration laws. The weakness and penchant for leftist liberal thought among of American bishops is shameful. Thank God, we have a Pope who is the true embodiment of what a minister is to be in the Faith.

MNDavenotPC on March 22, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Might be the same for so called moderate GOP and conservatives? Find an honest message that is basically defendable by all and then stick to it like glue no matter who or what says nay. Admittedly some compromise must be made on both side in this intra-Party argument–but it can and must be done. Will it? It’s the only way back.

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Sorry, the Roman Catholic Church was founded in 313 or 396 A.D., not by Jesus Christ. That probably one reson why the catholic church has remained what it is to this day, a church of pedophile priests, idolaters, Illegal Aliens, and drunken buffoon RoastBeefers.

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM

A majority of Christians I would guess, identify themselves as Christians because their parents did, not because they hold any true belief in the scripture.

thphilli on March 22, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Your assessment is way far off the mark, I’m afraid.

I was born and raised Catholic, but left the Catholic Church at age sixteen due to the Church’s severe veering Leftward in so many ways, and abandoning of some very basic Christian tenets.

It took over 40 years of examining other Christian groups’ teachings of scripture and Christ’s life teachings to finally find one group that eschewed the ‘modern evolution’ of Christianity as being a bastardization of Christ’s life works, which was the very foundation for Christianity in the first place.

Last month I was rebaptized, and became Methodist. My ‘conversion’ wasn’t due to my parents’ having been Christians, nor was it due to going to Catholic schools when younger, but rather was the result of a lifetime of ‘questing’ for truth in faith.

And I know of so many others who have walked this same walk. Ed is right: If the leaders aren’t walking the walk, then how will the ‘followers’ be given meaningful direction as they step on their own personal paths in life?

Foundation is so important to supporting a strong, enduring structure, I can’t begin to tell you how critical that is.

And isn’t that how the Republican Party went off the rails so badly?

KendraWilder on March 22, 2009 at 2:05 PM

MNDavenotPC

It’s good to see conservative Catholics post here. Thanks.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 2:06 PM

When it comes to protecting innocent human life there is no “on the other hand.” It’s not just Catholic Christians but it’s Protestants too that are asleep in the light.

Mojave Mark on March 22, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Aren’t Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi good catholics???

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Sorry, the Roman Catholic Church was founded in 313 or 396 A.D., not by Jesus Christ. That probably one reson why the catholic church has remained what it is to this day, a church of pedophile priests, idolaters, Illegal Aliens, and drunken buffoon RoastBeefers.

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM

The Church operated illegally within Rome before that time. As early as the Council of Jerusalem the followers of Christ were working through the Church rules.

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Aren’t Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi good catholics???

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:08 PM

They may be. They are terrible legislators though.

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM

They’re lousy democrats, I do know that…

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Well now–here’s a prescription for winning elections–the Christian Right and conservative Catholicism voting as one!!

jeanie on March 22, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Last thing I need is the Catholic Church telling me how to vote after they were involved in coverup of abuses by their priests. Go away dude, you have no credibility.

athensboy on March 22, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Good post Morissey.

Gaunilon on March 22, 2009 at 2:23 PM

While President Infanticide will give the commencement address at Notre Dame. Shame on Catholic Democrats.

chunderroad on March 22, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Check the link for the new RoastBeefer catholic democrats here in L.A.:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89tmrGSrbVU

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:29 PM

LOL… but the Hopey Changey Religion of his Barrackness is what won that election…

No. Lots of things won the election. Obama’s personal charisma did its part. But disdain that a lot of normal conservatively leaning people felt towards the morons who ran the Republican campaign contributed, too.

radiofreevillage on March 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Aren’t Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi good catholics???

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:08 PM

From what they have said, voted for, and advocated be enacted, I don’t see how they could be. They seem more like the prototypical Cafeteria Catholics.

Loxodonta on March 22, 2009 at 2:33 PM

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM

mankai,

Those quotes merely say that the Church believes itself to be the correct religion. All serious faiths hold themselves out as “correct” and the others as “wrong.”

All you’re doing is trying to post out of context quotes in the hopes that a Catholic bashing thread will emerge.

Go find the plank in your eye first before you worry about the needle in ours. Thanks.

Sydney Carton on March 22, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Sorry, the Roman Catholic Church was founded in 313 or 396 A.D., not by Jesus Christ. That probably one reson why the catholic church has remained what it is to this day, a church of pedophile priests, idolaters, Illegal Aliens, and drunken buffoon RoastBeefers.

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM

And, the usual Hot Air anti-Catholic bigotry begins. Typical.

Sydney Carton on March 22, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Perhaps if the Catholics started believing less in their “Sky God” and spent more time trying to track down their reptilian ancestors, things would be better.

Just doing my part to get the thread to 700.

*runs like hell; zigzagging, bobbing and weaving*

Bishop on March 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Just to make sure folks don’t get mislead by your oh so clever comment, the Catholic Church has no problem with the theory of evolution. Roman Catholics do not ascribe to a literal interpretation of the Old Testament.

Y-not on March 22, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Is Chaput calling for the removal and excommunication of homo priest protector, Roger Mahoney? Haven’t heard anything yet!!!!! Put up or shut up!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:42 PM

And, the usual Hot Air anti-Catholic bigotry begins. Typical.

Sydney Carton on March 22, 2009 at 2:41 PM

I’ve said my peace. Don’t worry, some people have graven images of elephants or donkeys to worship. Lighten up.

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:47 PM

So did Roger Mahoney evolve from a monkey or a fish?

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:49 PM

My advice to the Catholics… become a Baptist.

Maxx on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

He can form his own Church which takes those tenants of the Catholic faith that suit his political outlook and ignores some of the other parts of Catholic faith which he doesn;t think are important.

Saying that Catholics voting for Obama is a sign that the Church is in trouble is absurd. The Catholic Church & its members, and Americans generally, think that there are more important issues than legislation outlawing abortion.

lexhamfox on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

So did Roger Mahoney evolve from a monkey or a fish?

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:49 PM

He may not have an opinion, but it isn’t anymore relevant to the moral teaching of his Church than the fact that people began as a union between a sperm cell and ovum.

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 2:57 PM

There are some great Catholics out there who are fighting for the integrity of the Catholic faith, with Father John Corapi being one of the finest.

He’s a truly remarkable man. Here’s part of a video he put out right before the election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkDVzLAdtZE&feature=related

I saw him speak a little about a year ago in Lowell Massachusetts and the auditorium nearly shook when he thundered against “Catholic” politicians!

Niere on March 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Last month I was rebaptized, and became Methodist. My ‘conversion’ wasn’t due to my parents’ having been Christians, nor was it due to going to Catholic schools when younger, but rather was the result of a lifetime of ‘questing’ for truth in faith.

KendraWilder on March 22, 2009 at 2:05 PM

True Methodists don’t believe in or condone rebaptism. Baptists do, but Methodists (at least the UMC version) believe, as Catholics do, that one baptism is quite sufficient, whether done as infant or adult.

Methodists have a confirmation ceremony for baptised Christians who convert to Methodism.

Are you sure you’ve become a Methodist?

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 3:13 PM

My advice to the Catholics… become a Baptist.

Maxx on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Why?

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 3:13 PM

The Catholic Church & its members, and Americans generally, think that there are more important issues than legislation outlawing abortion.

lexhamfox on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

I guess you missed the explanation of “mortal sin”

katiejane on March 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Is Chaput calling for the removal and excommunication of homo priest protector, Roger Mahoney? Haven’t heard anything yet!!!!! Put up or shut up!!!!

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Hmm. Why would a Democrat care? I thought they love that kind of love.

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Niere on March 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Thanks for sharing the clip. Would that every Catholic priest in America had the guts to stand up and preach like that. And as for the umbraged “liberal Catholics” and CINOs who would get up and walk out…Buh-bye.
You’ve inspired me to write a letter to a local pro-abort legislator of mine. Thanks again.

whitetop on March 22, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Where to begin?

There is no real Catholic education system anymore. There are not enough nuns or brothers to staff one. And in the cities they are closing schools left and right, so a K-12 Catholic education is a thing of the past, and in the long run this will harm the church here in the USA. Go to any mass and it is full of seniors and immigrant families, very few American young adults.

The pedophile scandal harmed the moral authority of the church here and there is no getting around that fact. They reap what they sow.

For those who are not Roman Catholic, you must understand that while the Bible is part of the faith, it really is not central to the living church, only a part of it. Roman Catholics are in no way fundamentalists. At its best it is an intellectual faith which is still centered on the life of Jesus Christ and the meaning of it two millennia later.

Part of the struggle of any intellectual is uncertainty. You can’t be sure what you really know and what is inherently true. This is the struggle of the laity now. Unfortunately there is little instruction in why abortion must be illegal. Must everything immoral be illegal? If so, would that a theocracy make? Must every woman who makes this immoral choice be forced to put her health or life at risk? I’m only asking.

I think I’m going to read some of Pope Benedict’s writing, especially after the media really did an injustice to his quote on AIDs in Africa.

Sheerq on March 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM

November showed that we are basically an enlightened liberal democracy and not a theocracy. OK, where’s the criticism?

radiofreevillage on March 22, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Enlightened??…Not so much. Liberal?…yes…but we never were a theocracy. Our founding fathers made certain of that. Nor does it appear that Chaput is advocating this. He is suggesting the obvious: Catholics should all find Obama’s stand on abortion reprehensible.

LEBA on March 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM

This might help things in America:

“[The Catholic Church] should be the religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” -Pius IX

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Badly misquoted Pius IX.

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Saying that Catholics voting for Obama is a sign that the Church is in trouble is absurd. The Catholic Church & its members, and Americans generally, think that there are more important issues than legislation outlawing abortion.

lexhamfox on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

I understand what you’re saying, but based on the challenges facing our country, both domestically and internationally, I simply cannot fathom why an observant Catholic would defy their church leaders by voting for a pro-abortion candidate who was also unqualified to protect the nation and run the economy. It really makes no sense. We’re not talking about Rudy Giuliani or some other “personally opposed but…” flavor of pro-choice person. We’re talking about a guy who is clearly planning on promoting and subsidizing abortion on demand… and who was not qualified in the other areas.

Y-not on March 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Saying that Catholics voting for Obama is a sign that the Church is in trouble is absurd. The Catholic Church & its members, and Americans generally, think that there are more important issues than legislation outlawing abortion.

lexhamfox on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Lets say that 50 million toddlers were violently murdered by their mothers in the last 30 years. Would that make it important enough of an issue for focused legislation? Catholic doctrine says the life of an unborn child is no less valuable than the life of a born child, which makes it a matter of utmost importance.

LEBA on March 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

It really makes no sense. We’re not talking about Rudy Giuliani or some other “personally opposed but…” flavor of pro-choice person. We’re talking about a guy who is clearly planning on promoting and subsidizing abortion on demand… and who was not qualified in the other areas.

Y-not on March 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM

From the RCC’s position is there really much of a difference between voting for Rudy or voting for Obama? Wouldn’t have been as wrong to vote for Rudy in a primary when there were stronger pro-life candidates on the ballot?

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM

I severed my relationship with the church long ago. It is entirely too easy to be a Roman Catholic. All you have to do is be raised one. Then you can grow up and act like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden or Teddy (Can you swim?) Kennedy.

jdowns on March 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM

I think I’m going to read some of Pope Benedict’s writing, especially after the media really did an injustice to his quote on AIDs in Africa.

Sheerq on March 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I have already started reading Benedict. Be prepared for a shock.

jay12 on March 22, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Lets say that 50 million toddlers were violently murdered by their mothers in the last 30 years. Would that make it important enough of an issue for focused legislation? Catholic doctrine says the life of an unborn child is no less valuable than the life of a born child, which makes it a matter of utmost importance.

LEBA on March 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Over the past 35 years, there were probably double that many spontaneous abortions during the first few days of pregnancy, and little if any work is done to decrease that number.

People treat a newborn baby with more care than a fertilized egg. The Catholic faith teaches differently, but there are varying levels of empathy between seeing harm done to an infant and a woman having a heavy late period which resulted from a fertilized egg.

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 3:48 PM

From the RCC’s position is there really much of a difference between voting for Rudy or voting for Obama? Wouldn’t have been as wrong to vote for Rudy in a primary when there were stronger pro-life candidates on the ballot?

dedalus on March 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Let me preface this by saying I was a Fred! person who wound up voting for Romney in the primaries… but I would have considered voting for Rudy had he not dropped out.

In terms of your question, yes, I think there is a difference.

I guess the question is whether or not you believe a guy like Rudy would have expanded the availability and practice of abortion, which is already legal in this country. I do not think so. I suspect that under Rudy, abortion would have had a chance to move to a state’s rights issue… and become less common. It was clear Obama would move to increase the practice of abortion in this country. Virtually any Republican alternative would have been preferable, even a soft pro-choice person, because the party platform is pro-life.

The other factor is electability and competency. If presented with a choice between a very pro-life presidential candidate like Huckabee and a soft pro-choice candidate like Rudy, I’d go with Rudy. I believe he would have been more electable and I don’t think Huck would have been a good president. There’s no point outlawing abortion if the country collapses from poor management.

Personally, I would not vote for someone as pro-abortion as Obama in the Republican primary. If there were no good choices, I would sit out the primary.

Regrettably, we wound up with the worst of all possible worlds — an aggressively pro-abortion president who is running our country into the ground and making us less safe from attacks.

Y-not on March 22, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Sorry, the Roman Catholic Church was founded in 313 or 396 A.D., not by Jesus Christ. That probably one reson why the catholic church has remained what it is to this day, a church of pedophile priests, idolaters, Illegal Aliens, and drunken buffoon RoastBeefers.

RealDemocrat

Easy, Hoss. Put down the mouse, get up from the basement, change out of your jammies, take your meds and go eat the nice lunch your mother has prepared for you. She loves you and would be ashamed.

Mason on March 22, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Every post on the Catholic church is guaranteed to stir up a hornet’s nest of posts about the sexual abuse by homosexual priests and the incredibly wrong policy of the bishops to move them around after they had been “treated”. There is no doubt that much derision regarding this subject is deserved, but that sinful and willful men populate and sometimes lead the church is nothing new.

Yet, the church remains a strong voice throughout the world causing those who would see it destroyed to howl with outrage and gnash their teeth in frustration that her members do not abandon her once the “truth” is told. As it has been established by Christ and is His body, it can only be brought down by Him. As Jesus said when going to His death in Jerusalem, Jn 10:18 “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” And in Mt 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”

It is good that Archbishop Chaput is reminding the bishops that they are responsible for teaching the faith truthfully, so that those who claim Catholicism may form their consciences within the guidelines of truth. But, just as the public education system has deliberately fostered ignorance of history, civics and economics, the radicals of the 60’s and 70′ have deliberately fostered ignorance of church history and doctrine in order to falsely justify their own liberal politics and beliefs.

The “seamless garment” theology that claims that social justice is morally equivalent to abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research has been used to muddy the waters and mislead spiritually stunted, immature Catholics.
It has allowed priests to convince Catholics that they can vote for pro-abortion politicians who are strong on the social justice issues. It has been historically understood that those politicians are usually Democratic. That is why so many Catholics, though “personally opposed” can support the Democratic party; the party of death.

Along with the teachings regarding the inherent and intrinsic evils of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research, the bishops should teach that it is individual liberty, private ownership of property and individual responsibility that are the true foundations of a just society.

Abdicating care of the poor to the government, as Democrats do, removes responsibility from individuals and obligates society to bow to the demands of government in order to procure needed charity. Sadly, individual Catholics already do this, but we have seen the institutions of the church do so as well. When FOCA is passed, it will be an earth shaking test of Catholic institutions faithfulness when they must choose between government money and violating fundamental Catholic doctrine.

Unless and until Catholics understand that what they have given to Caesar is their souls in return for scraps for the poor, they will continue to justify and rationalize their votes for the very people, especially liberal Catholic politicians, who have negotiated this deal with the devil.

The leaders of the church will be held responsible for the souls they have lead to ruin. But we are all called to be bearers of the Gospel. If we as laity fail to demand truth from the pulpit or fail to edify our fellow Christians, we too are responsible for lost souls.

Jvette on March 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Saying that Catholics voting for Obama is a sign that the Church is in trouble is absurd. The Catholic Church & its members, and Americans generally, think that there are more important issues than legislation outlawing abortion.
lexhamfox on March 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

That’s the same attitude that many pro-slavery factions took.

JohnJ on March 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM

This might help things in America:

“[The Catholic Church] should be the religion of the state to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” -Pius IX

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Badly misquoted Pius IX.

unclesmrgol on March 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM

How is it misquoted? The statement is from “The Syllabus of Errors”… thus it is an ERROR (sin) for a Catholic to believer otherwise… according to the Pope.

mankai on March 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Sorry, the Roman Catholic Church was founded in 313 or 396 A.D., not by Jesus Christ. That probably one reson why the catholic church has remained what it is to this day, a church of pedophile priests, idolaters, Illegal Aliens, and drunken buffoon RoastBeefers.

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Interesting. I have had the wrong impression having found verses 18-19 as the inspiration and verse 18 as the start.

ericdijon on March 22, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Ed, the Protestant churches suffer from the same affliction — hence, why so many self-described evangelicals who voted for Obama consider global warming and social justice as important as protecting the unborn. More and more, the social gospel of the emergent church movement or the prosperity gospel is supplanting expository preaching of the Bible.

My husband and I left the conservative Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church (LCMS) when their leadership embraced marketing tools to fill pews and Rick Warren’s seeker-sensitive multimedia gimmicks to turn watered-down Bible instruction into self-help lessons.

It’s no surprise that non-believers are confused about Christianity and self-described Christians, when confronted with actual Bible text, say that’s not the God they know.

Terrie on March 22, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Sorry for the extra long post. I was trying to get in everything I wanted to say as I am heading to the church to chaperon a youth group activity. I look forward to reading all the comments here, I’m sure there are some lively ones.

Jvette on March 22, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Every post on the Catholic church is guaranteed to stir up a hornet’s nest of posts about the sexual abuse by homosexual priests and the incredibly wrong policy of the bishops to move them around after they had been “treated”. There is no doubt that much derision regarding this subject is deserved, but that sinful and willful men populate and sometimes lead the church is nothing new. …
Jvette on March 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM

At least get it right – these priests were pedophiles. There have always been and probably always will be homosexual priests (just as in every other profession). The problem was the sexual abuse of children, not sexual relations between consenting adults.

Sheerq on March 22, 2009 at 4:01 PM