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Catholic ‘complacency’ shares blame for country’s failures, Archbishop Chaput says
CatholicNewsAgency ^ | Detroit, Mich., Mar 21, 2009

Posted on 03/22/2009 4:01:27 AM PDT by GonzoII

Catholic ‘complacency’ shares blame for country’s failures, Archbishop Chaput says


St. Paul / Archbishop Chaput

.- 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.”

The archbishop’s comments were delivered in his keynote address at the Hands-On Conference Celebrating the Year of St. Paul, which was hosted at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

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.”

Noting the 2008 presidential campaign’s “revealing” focus upon the candidates’ “narratives,” he said the campaign seemed not to involve facts, but rather “story-telling.”

“Of course, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with story-telling -- unless the press and other news media themselves become part of the story-telling syndicate; in other words, peddlers of narratives in which facts are not told because they’re true, but rather become ‘true’ because they’re told by those who have the power to create an absorbing narrative,” the archbishop explained.

In such a state, he warned, real power does not rest with the people but with those who “shape the structure of our information.” He linked this situation with Pope Benedict’s critique of the “dictatorship of relativism.”

The archbishop also connected this relativistic spirit to St. Paul’s appearance at the Aeropagus, recounted in the Book of Acts. At the Areopagus, a prestigious place of debate for Greek philosophers, “Nearly anything was tolerated, so long as no one claimed to have an exclusive and binding claim on the truth,” the archbishop explained.

He then quoted Acts 17’s description of the Areopagite mindset: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”

“It’s worth paying attention to that description. There’s no mention of truth,” he commented, noting that when St. Paul preaches the truth “he’s mocked and despised and his preaching is a failure, at least in the short term.”

“Paul’s failure at the Areopagus is a good lesson for the times we face now in America,” the archbishop said. “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.”

Noting that Paul mastered the language of the popular urban culture of his time and used “every technical resource, tool and environment at his disposal,” Archbishop Chaput extensively quoted Pope John Paul II’s 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio, which also discussed St. Paul at the Areopagus.

“If Paul felt so fiercely compelled to preach the Gospel -- whether ‘timely [or] untimely’ -- to a pagan world, then how should we feel today, preaching the Gospel to an apostate world?” he asked, answering that the love of Christ must “impel” Catholics forward.

“Catholics in America, at least the many good Catholics who yearn to live their faith honestly and deeply, can easily feel tempted to hopelessness,” he concluded. “It becomes very burdensome to watch so many persons who call themselves Catholic compromise their faith and submit their hearts and consciences to the Caesars of our day.”

But Archbishop Chaput closed by encouraging Christians to remember the words of Jesus:

“In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”



TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: archbishopchaput; bishops; catholic; chaput
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1 posted on 03/22/2009 4:01:28 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Salvation; NYer; narses

Ping.


2 posted on 03/22/2009 4:10:54 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
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.

Archbishop Chaput deserves the RED hat.


3 posted on 03/22/2009 4:16:32 AM PDT by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: GonzoII

God Bless em!


4 posted on 03/22/2009 4:19:29 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: Northern Yankee

Has he excommunicated any of our so-called Catholic politicians lately. Let the Church show some courage.


5 posted on 03/22/2009 4:29:57 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: GonzoII
"facts are not told because they’re true, but rather become ‘true’ because they’re told by those who have the power to create an absorbing narrative"

That is a great description of the drive-by media!
6 posted on 03/22/2009 4:33:25 AM PDT by NewCenturions
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To: GonzoII

Bravo for this brave man!

The Church needs thousands more like him or thousands to follow him.

The Church in the US can start by excommunicating politicians who do not adhere to catechism.


7 posted on 03/22/2009 4:36:08 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: GonzoII
Catholics inspire me, especially lately in this political climate. I appreciate that they have the guts to speak the truth boldly. It is my hope that Protestants will also begin to engage, throwing off the cloak of “politically correct” for the breast plate of righteousness.
8 posted on 03/22/2009 4:37:10 AM PDT by dixiedarlindownsouth (I love my country, but I fear my government)
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To: Venturer
“Has he excommunicated any of our so-called Catholic politicians lately. Let the Church show some courage.”

This absolutely needs to be done and soon.

9 posted on 03/22/2009 4:42:55 AM PDT by RU88 (The false messiah can not change water into wine any more than he can get unity from diversity.)
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To: GonzoII

Chaput ROCKS!!!!


10 posted on 03/22/2009 4:44:20 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified DeCartes))
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To: GonzoII

Catholic complacency is indeed responsible for most of today’s problems. And to think it took only 40 years of Vatican II to start getting close to the truth! Forty years of teaching do-what-you-want feel-good-ism and (at best) watered-down doctrine.


11 posted on 03/22/2009 4:47:38 AM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: dixiedarlindownsouth

Thanks and thanks be to the grace of God.


12 posted on 03/22/2009 4:49:26 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Venturer

Excommunicate Kennedy and Pelosi? Yes. Absolutely.

I am not a Catholic, but I admire how courageous bishops urge Catholic politicians to follow the teaching of their own church. Imagine that!

So many CINOs in Washington say that’s my personal belief that abortion is wrong but as a public figure I am unable lift a finger to stop a million babies from dying.

Enough of that!


13 posted on 03/22/2009 4:56:17 AM PDT by heye2monn
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To: NewJerseyJoe

his is a thorough and stinging repudiation of Cdl. Bernardin’s “seamless garment, without naming him.
I only wish Abp Chaput had turned his words on the priests and bishops who gave cover during these years to cafeteria Catholics.
You cannot cover up scandals of Faith.


14 posted on 03/22/2009 5:12:14 AM PDT by steve8714 (Drill for oil, drill for gas, drill to heat water in the Earth.)
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To: Venturer

They should start with the pedo priests.


15 posted on 03/22/2009 5:15:58 AM PDT by Niuhuru (Fine, here's my gun, but let me give you the bullets first. I'll send them to you through the barrel)
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To: steve8714

I concur with you.

Where are the Cardinals and Bishops on these issues?

I appears that the majority of the Cardinals and Bishops are more concerned about getting invited to parties and events with the Politicians. These Cardinals and Bishops are responsible for Obama’s election by their silence which creates a tacit approval of the policies of abortion by Obama!!


16 posted on 03/22/2009 5:18:58 AM PDT by ethics
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To: NYer; GonzoII

It’s time to speak out against Notre Flame providing a forum and an honorary degree for Obama.


17 posted on 03/22/2009 5:26:47 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Venturer
I think that is the next step.

We do know that those oppose the teachings of the church publicly have excommunicated themselves from the church already.

I think we are farther along than we have been in quite some time.

I take heart that our dear Lord watches all, and is not fooled by those who pay mere lip service to God and his teachings.

18 posted on 03/22/2009 5:31:17 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier)
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To: GonzoII

“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.”

Very good analysis of how the liberals have controlled their opposition forces.


19 posted on 03/22/2009 5:40:40 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: GonzoII

Yeah, especially on the part of the hierarchy who allowed a bunch of faggots to get into the priesthood and molest young boys, thus undermining the entire institution. Clean it up.


20 posted on 03/22/2009 5:54:47 AM PDT by raptor29
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To: GonzoII

Thanks for posting this, G. Every so often, when I begin to believe that it might be a good thing if the Latin Church were to reunite with Orthodoxy and that I might live to see it, I read an article like this one with the inevitable “EXCOMMUNICATE THEM” responses, an article which says so much about Latin theology and ecclesiology, and am reminded why the Orthodox laity, monastics, most hierarchs and the lower clergy want little or nothing to do with formal reunion.


21 posted on 03/22/2009 5:56:00 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Niuhuru

I believe most of those have gone.


22 posted on 03/22/2009 5:58:48 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Kolokotronis
"Thanks for posting this, G."

My pleasure.....I think.. ;0)

23 posted on 03/22/2009 6:10:08 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
You know the good bishops by the priests their seminaries produce. If Denver has a good crop, send Chaput to the next metropolitan open. He gets to the heart of the matter quite well.
24 posted on 03/22/2009 6:32:28 AM PDT by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue. http://www.thekingsmen.us/)
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To: GonzoII

Excellent

Sad but excellent


25 posted on 03/22/2009 6:44:17 AM PDT by silverleaf (Freedom's just another word for "nothing left to lose")
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To: GonzoII

bump


26 posted on 03/22/2009 6:44:50 AM PDT by Tribune7 (Obama wants to put the same crowd that ran Fannie Mae in charge of health care)
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To: GonzoII
Bad things happen when good people do nothing.

Our nation is so far gone with abortion and gay rights, will God lift His hand of Grace away from America???? I think He is....

27 posted on 03/22/2009 6:54:29 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: GonzoII
What was the percentage of Catholics who voted for OBama? I beleive the percentage was significantly high.

Therein lies a portion of the problem.

Please note: This is not intended to bash Catholics in anyway.

28 posted on 03/22/2009 6:56:23 AM PDT by gitmogrunt (Respect Islam? ..Impossible.......Genocidal Islam respects no one.)
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To: Northern Yankee

“We do know that those oppose the teachings of the church publicly have excommunicated themselves from the church already.”

Catholics on FR know. But the vast majority of US Catholics don’t know. Why would they? That’s the problem.

Freegards


29 posted on 03/22/2009 6:56:30 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: RU88

in due time.....this is a new era for Catholics, with our new Pope...now is the time for correction and, hopefully, repentance for those souls....most likely you can expect teddy to die before they get to him...do not be fooled by the northeast liberal priests when they give him a church mass and burial.....it is still the Lord himself who judges, despite us here on earth. start praying for their souls, they need your prayers now more than ever.


30 posted on 03/22/2009 7:15:35 AM PDT by tioga
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To: gitmogrunt
I was at a Bible study in a neighboring diocese. I had noticed this couple as they left on other occasions - they had a bumper sticker on their car that said “Obama in ‘08” on it. He (a retired teacher) spoke up with some question...I forget what as I focused on his prelude...which clearly stated that Rush Limbaugh was a “hate-monger”. I visibly flinched I am sure of that. I suddenly felt totally isolated there, in the basement of my Catholic church.
31 posted on 03/22/2009 7:21:21 AM PDT by tioga
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To: gitmogrunt

I think most Catholics, at least those in my city, Pittsburgh, are sons and daughters of folks who grew up thinking that “Democrats are for the poor people, Republicans are for the rich people.”

There used to be a Monsignor Rice who exemplified this kind of thinking. He even praised Clinton. He wrote a weekly column in “The Pittsburgh Catholic,” often praising Dems and slamming Repubs.

The Church has never addressed how Democrats are anti-life, yes, even anti-poor.


32 posted on 03/22/2009 7:22:56 AM PDT by eCSMaster
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To: Venturer

Who in Chaput’s Archdiocese are you alluding to?


33 posted on 03/22/2009 7:37:31 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: GonzoII

Something is happening. Our sermon this morning was a no-holds barred, knock-down politically incorrect, come to Jesus moment about our Catholic politicians and laity who back everything evil in the form of immorality and especially abortion, infanticide, and the destruction of embryonic humans for experiements.


34 posted on 03/22/2009 7:47:47 AM PDT by OpusatFR (We can give up any pretense of having a government for and by the people after Coronation Day.)
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To: eCSMaster

“I think most Catholics, at least those in my city, Pittsburgh, are sons and daughters of folks who grew up thinking that “Democrats are for the poor people, Republicans are for the rich people.”

True. Where I grew up, up Northeast, Catholics were not allowed to join the country clubs or other organizations that were run by Protestants who by and large were Republican. That was a long time ago and the attitude that the democrats are for the poor and helpless has to be overturned.

The democrats are for themselves, for power, and for greed. The days of “No Catholics, Jews, or Blacks” is over.


35 posted on 03/22/2009 7:55:39 AM PDT by OpusatFR (We can give up any pretense of having a government for and by the people after Coronation Day.)
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To: Niuhuru
They should start with the pedo priests.

Archbishop Chaput eventually stopped employing Fr. Bob Whipkey, the internationally famous naked jogging priest. Note that I said "eventually".

36 posted on 03/22/2009 8:54:33 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ( "Every country has the government it deserves" - Joseph Marie de Maistre)
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To: Venturer

Go ahead. Send him a list of people in his diocese who need to be excommunicated. You could post it here, too, so othr FReepers (including myself) can join in the campaign.


37 posted on 03/22/2009 9:00:27 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: heye2monn
Re Pelosi, contact:

Archbishop George Niederauer
Archdiocese of San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 614-5500

Re Kennedy, contact:

Sean Cardinal O'Malley
Archbishop of Boston
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Telephone: 617-254-0100

Go on ahead. Tell these bishops their duty. Post your letter and I'll copy, sign, and send them, too.

38 posted on 03/22/2009 9:13:37 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Man your battle stations: Here's were you can go to fightt his thing. OBAMA WILL NOT SPEAK AT NOTRE DAME if we do our jobs.

To protest (and surely, to prevent) this travesty, go HERE.

. We're already on the march. Our excellent ally, the Cardinal Newman Society, has already launched a well-organized campaign to stop this rubbish from ever happening. HERE ARE YOUR MARCHING ORDERS. Get on task, my friends.

39 posted on 03/22/2009 9:17:44 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: raptor29
"On the part of the heirarchy." It would be more just and accurate to say "on the part of part of the heirarchy."

Yes, a sickening, stomach-churning scandal: too many, way too many bishops gave the predatory pervs a couple months at the Therapy Spa, and then a pat on the head and a hush-up reassignment; but it wasn't all the bishops. All the Apostles weren't Judas.

Striving to be accurate even when angry.

40 posted on 03/22/2009 9:24:40 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: Venturer

If I were Pope, I’d have all of them rounded up and excommunicated en masse and in public for the world to watch.

Then personally deliver each and every one to the police.


41 posted on 03/22/2009 9:45:00 AM PDT by Niuhuru (Fine, here's my gun, but let me give you the bullets first. I'll send them to you through the barrel)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

There was a joke going around Georgetown when Clinton was president, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that things had gotten so bad that the faculty would probably award Bill Clinton an honorary Doctorate in Theology. It seemed like just a joke then. But only just. Notre Dame has a hit a new low with the plan to award Obama an honorary Law degree. It's so absurd.

42 posted on 03/22/2009 9:46:48 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Absurdity. Yes. Unspeakable crime. There aren't enough words...

But I think there's a chance to stop it. The fact that we can't do everything, is no excuse for not doing what we can.

The head good-guy of the Cardinal Newman Society, Patrick Reilly, is already in Rome waving his arms and blowing whistles.

I'm thinking we should ask Bishop D'Arcy of th Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend to lay an interdict of the whole Notre Dame Campus. No Masses, no sacraments of any kind can be celebrated there until the invitation is rescinded.

What do you think, seriously? Is that a plan?

43 posted on 03/22/2009 9:58:55 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: Niuhuru
Yeah, where's Torquemada when we really need him?

But seriously, see mine at #43 on a related thread.

Is that a plan?

44 posted on 03/22/2009 10:01:30 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: Niuhuru

I mean, on the same thread. (Need coffee.)


45 posted on 03/22/2009 10:02:18 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

A canon laywer is needed to start discussing penalties. Stripping Notre Dame of its “Catholic” status if the administration and faculty go through with this. It’s a direct VIOLATION of Church policy to grant any honor or provide a speaking forum for someone involved in promoting the genocide of the culture of death. Obama has been quite merciless in signing immoral executive orders in these areas. It’s an abomination that ANY Catholic college would consider this.


46 posted on 03/22/2009 10:16:19 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
I do like the idea of Interdict, though. It would absolutely inflame the whole ND community, shake up kevorkianized consciences, maybe save some souls. It would have a bracing effect on the entire Church on every inhabited continent.

I'm no canonist, but as far as I understand things, I reckon the Ordinary, D'Arcy, has the canonical authority.

I'm going to write a letter to D'Arcy.

47 posted on 03/22/2009 10:35:24 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("By all that you hold dear on this good earth I bid you stand, Men of the West!" - Aragorn the King)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I’ll contact an archbishop right away.


48 posted on 03/22/2009 10:47:12 AM PDT by Niuhuru (Fine, here's my gun, but let me give you the bullets first. I'll send them to you through the barrel)
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To: Desdemona
If Denver has a good crop, send Chaput to the next metropolitan open.

Denver *is* a metropolitan see. Hence "Archbishop Chaput."

While I understand others' admiration for the man, transferring him would force him to take at least a year or two getting used to his new see. And as ordinary of an even larger archdiocese, he'd have even less time on his hands than he does now.

And so he'd make fewer speeches like these.

Several more Denver priests influenced and formed by their archbishop will become bishops themselves. His effect will be felt in other ways, especially with Archbishop of Denver emeritus Cardinal Stafford being at the Vatican.

Also, as a Denverite, I don't want us to lose Archbishop Chaput for many years.

49 posted on 03/22/2009 10:49:29 AM PDT by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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To: Kolokotronis
I read an article like this one with the inevitable “EXCOMMUNICATE THEM” responses

What people don't seem to want to accept is that the apostate have excommunicated themselves. There doesn't need to be a formal bull to make it true. It just is. Historically, excommunication has been abused mostly for political purposes (see Italy for the last thousand years) and the hierarchy does not want to continue in that way.

The EXOMMUNICATE THEM crowd is really more interested in schadenfreude, IMO, and that's not pastoral at all. There - you deserve it! isn't very Christian. Besides the obstinately sinful would wear it as a badge of honor.

I think what Chaput is saying in many ways is that the deviation from tradition and true teaching has not done us any good and we need to get back to it. He's right, and in places where the bishops have either never been appeasers or are now of the late JPII crops, things are being put aright. It's just going to take some time.

50 posted on 03/22/2009 10:49:34 AM PDT by Desdemona (Tolerance of grave evil is NOT a Christian virtue. http://www.thekingsmen.us/)
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