Skip to comments.Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama
Posted on 02/23/2009 8:10:56 PM PST by pissant
Toronto, Canada, Feb 23, 2009 / 09:03 pm (CNA).- Canadians packed St. Basils Church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak about how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square. He warned that in the U.S., Catholics need to act on their faith and be on guard against "a spirit of adulation bordering on servility" that exists towards the Obama administration.
The public lecture by Archbishop Chaput took place on the campus of the University of Toronto at St. Basils Church and was attended by an overflow crowd of more than 700 people.
After giving a sketch of the basic principles in his New York Times Bestseller "Render Unto Caesar," the archbishop offered his insights on the need for an honest assessment of the situation of the Church in the public square.
"I like clarity, and theres a reason why," began the archbishop. "I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor."
The Denver prelate then provided his critique of President Obama.
"President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, theres no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change. Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with."
Yet this will be "very hard for Catholics in the United States," Chaput warned.
According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer."
Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four "simple things" to remember.
"First," he said, "all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."
"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."
In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs."
Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of todays talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective.
"Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. Thats the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."
The third point to focus on when the beliefs of Catholics are challenged is that "it doesnt matter what we claim to believe if were unwilling to act on our beliefs," Chaput counseled.
"The fourth and final thing to remember, and theres no easy way to say it," remarked Archbishop Chaput, is that the "Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."
"And now were harvesting the results -- in the public square, in our families and in the confusion of our personal lives. I could name many good people and programs that seem to disprove what I just said. But I could name many more that do prove it, and some of them work in Washington."
American Catholics need to realize that many in the current generation havent just been "assimilated" into the American culture, but have in fact been "absorbed and bleached and digested by it," Archbishop Chaput asserted.
If this realization doesnt happen, the coming generations will continue on the same path and "a real Catholic presence in American life will continue to weaken and disappear," said Chaput.
Citing the example of "unhappy, self-described Catholics who complain that abortion is too much of a litmus test," he stated, "We cant claim to be Catholic and pro-choice at the same time without owning the responsibility for where the choice leads to a dead unborn child."
The archbishop also addressed the "abortion reduction" argument being made by some in politics.
"We cant talk piously about programs to reduce the abortion body count without also working vigorously to change the laws that make the killing possible. If were Catholic, then we believe in the sanctity of developing human life. And if we dont really believe in the humanity of the unborn child from the moment life begins, then we should stop lying to ourselves and others, and even to God, by claiming were something were not."
"Catholic social teaching goes well beyond abortion," Chaput noted. "In America we have many urgent issues that beg for our attention, from immigration reform to health care to poverty to homelessness."
Winding his talk down, the Archbishop of Denver remarked on the misunderstanding of the word "hope."
"For Christians," he explained, "hope is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Virtus, the Latin root of virtue, means strength or courage. Real hope is unsentimental. It has nothing to do with the cheesy optimism of election campaigns. Hope assumes and demands a spine in believers. And thats why at least for a Christian -- hope sustains us when the real answer to the problems or hard choices in life is no, we cant, instead of yes, we can."
The full text of the archbishop's speech can be found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=790
Good for the Archbishop. This cult of personality around Obama is sickening.
And to the best of my reckoning, he ain’t even an ‘American’ Idol.
St. Paul said that we are fools for Christ. We are in the world but not of the world. I am proud to be a Catholic when I hear the words of His Emminence. If it is my church that in the end is the only voice of protest against this mad grab for power, I will stand with her.
And that will soon have the Light of Truth shining all over it.... (my prayers for the truth to be known!)
It will be *popcorn* time....
Brother Chaput still votes with the democrats.shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
You have his voting record?
BHO: I'd rather defy than deify.
Watching some of the 0Bama events, I have often seen people praying for 0Bama.
Only, it seemed they were praying TO 0bama...
Seriously creeped me out.
He openly supported Gov Ritter( Roman Catholic ) the baby killer.shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
Then said he was disappointed when Ritter funded Planned Parenthood.
Chaput is an Archbishop - His Excellency, not a Cardinal - His Emminence.
As has been repeatedly proven in the past, you are a liar bearing false witness.
I changed one *word in the text.
"...all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."
"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our *Christian faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."
Documented source? Remember that you were exposed a few months ago spreading this lie.
He ran as a pro-life candidate, if I recall.
Chaput has always been more interested in Illegal Aliens Do you Judge people ?
Check with the Rocky or the Post. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
than against the murder of innocent babies.
Chaput has always been more interested in Illegal Aliens
Do you Judge people ?
Discernment would lead one to believe Which wholeheartedly promotes abortion.
You are correct ! shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
a democrat would support the party platform.
Discernment would lead one to believe
Which wholeheartedly promotes abortion.
Ballots are (still) secret in the United States. Anyone claiming knowledge of another man's vote might will be implicating himself in a crime.
Imagine a post in which one person made the following two statements:
Chaput has always been more interested in Illegal Aliens than against the murder of innocent babies.Yum yum: a veritable Feast of Irony.
Do you Judge people ?
God bless Archbishop Chaput!
LOl! Telling it like it is!
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After the election Chaput is all of a sudden surprised Democrats will do any thing or say anything in order to seize power. What is clear is that Chaput is either naive or fails in descernment.
I'll repeat this one more time for clarity shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
that Ritter is Pro-Abortion even though Ritter ran as a pro choice.
After the election Chaput is all of a sudden surprised
Democrats will do any thing or say anything in order to seize power.
What is clear is that Chaput is either naive or fails in descernment.
"and be on guard against "a spirit of adulation bordering on servility"
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. You think Chaput doesn’t know he was fooled by Ritter?
Paging VP Biden and Ms. Pelosi pick up the phone to Rome and return to Adult Catechism at once.
The good Archbishop is Freepin to the Choir.
Chaput grew up in a Democratic household. It takes time and experience to expose a lie.
They would spontaneously combust if they did that. Which might not be such a bad thing....
Chaput supported the pro abortion Democrat Ritter over the I do not need your apology. You need to repent to YHvH for bearing false witness against me.
You have clearly not read nor comprehended the articles you posted. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
Republician Roman Catholic who supported the Roman church position.
Chaput supported the pro abortion Democrat Ritter over the
I do not need your apology.
You need to repent to YHvH for bearing false witness against me.
“—either naive or fails in discernment”.
You are setting yourself up as a judge and jury.
I don’t buy it.
Chaput supported the pro abortion Democrat Ritter over the Republican Catholic who supported the Catholic position.Reality:
Ritter and Beauprez are both Catholics, and both campaigned as pro-lifers.
Have you read the whole thread?
It’s a hoot!
Which is why Americans should defy the Communist and his thugs every single day.
You are setting yourself up as a judge and jury.
I dont buy it.
The endorsement for democrat Ritter is before the election. The buyers remorse is after the election when Chaput
Read the posted articles in the timeline shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
of the election and judge for yourself.
finally realizes that Ritter snookered him.
The endorsement for democrat Ritter is before the election.
The buyers remorse is after the election when Chaput
I’ll take Bishop Chaput.
You can have XeniaSt
“Discernment would lead one to believe
a democrat would support the party platform.Which wholeheartedly promotes abortion.”
That is generally true, but not always. There is the late Gov Casey and even very liberal former Rep David Bonoir was always pro-life. There are exceptions, and especially if the candidate runs as pro-life Democrat, one might expect all the more that he IS pro-life. That this candidate, once elected, disappointed is not the Archbishop’s doing.
Don’t forget that the late Gov. Casey was punished by his party by not being permitted to speak at the DNC years ago, and his son, Bob Casey, learned well from this experience and is no longer pro-life. Still a Dem, though.
This is a good speech. To my knowledge, it’s the first time that a churchman has come right out and warned people about the adulation directed at this “messiah.”
This bishop should have been sent to Washington DC or NYC. The fact that he is still in Denver is proof positive of his point about the Church today being unwilling to offend the powerful.
The smart money says he's in the wings for LA. Have no idea if it's true, but that would make sense in the larger scheme of things. Talk about a viper pit.
I don’t know how you can claim that he’s more interested in promoting the rights of illegal aliens than in human life issues. He has always been a stalwart defender of human life and a tireless opponent of abortion. Your posts are bunk.
If Archbishop Chaput were more interested in issues like immigration then he would not speak out at all on abortion since Catholics who are “soft” on abortion don’t speak out on the issue.
I don’t know or care who you are but I have to question your motives in trying to tear down someone like Archbishop Chaput.
I suspect the Good Bishop’s discernment of Obama and many American fools is dead on.