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Chaput emerging as a warrior-bishop
Philly.com ^ | February 19, 2012 | David O'Reilly

Posted on 02/19/2012 1:54:51 PM PST by NYer


Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has spoken out on a variety of issues, including insurance coverage for birth control.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput does not yet wear the empowering red hat of a cardinal, and he is so new to Philadelphia that he recently called it "Denver."

But in the mere five months since he arrived here from the Rockies, Chaput has already emerged as a fierce warrior-bishop, unlike anyone Philadelphia has seen since the mighty Cardinal Dennis Dougherty reigned more than 60 years ago.

His fighting words have refocused the national spotlight on the archdiocese, led lately by the low-profile Cardinals Justin Rigali and Anthony Bevilacqua. Now at the helm is, arguably, the most formidable Roman Catholic prelate in America.

In homilies, lectures, op-ed articles, books, and a weekly online column, Chaput unflinchingly assails presidents, lawmakers, academics, and the media when, in his opinion, they "marginalize God."

Writing in last Sunday's Inquirer, he described as "dangerous and insulting" the Obama administration's mandate that religious-affiliated hospitals, schools, and charities provide employees with free contraception coverage.

President Obama's plan was the most "aggressive attack on religious freedom in our country . . . in recent memory," Chaput wrote, lambasting it as "the embodiment of a culture war."

Taking their cues from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, many other prelates condemned the policy. But Chaput's attack stood out, eliciting praise from conservative Catholic groups and dismay from church liberals.

"Incendiary and divisive," said a spokesman for Catholic Democrats, a liberal advocacy group for the poor.

Branding Chaput a "Taliban Catholic," Sean Michael Winters, a columnist for the liberal weekly National Catholic Reporter, said the tone of the column "invited people not to look at the details" of Obama's proposal.

Conservative Catholics disagreed.

"Brilliant," the National Right to Life News called Chaput's essay.

It was the most-viewed item last week on the Catholic News Agency's website. It also prompted 167 comments on The Inquirer's website, where opinion ran about 2 to 1 against him.

"Get out of the dark ages," one reader chided.

Another cheered, "Our church has sorely needed a voice like [Chaput's] for years."

An unscientific sampling of local Catholics, based on random interviews at 30th Street Station, suggested many do not share their archbishop's position in the contraception debate.

"I'd rather see his energies more focused on issues people can rally around," such as education and the environment, said Lauren Bobzin, 25, of Narberth, who called herself a "proud Catholic."

Bill Quain, 33, of Northwest Philadelphia, said he thought Chaput was "pretty much giving the party line."

And a retired schoolteacher from Narberth who asked not to be named said she disagreed with Chaput's stance on birth control but called him a "breath of fresh air."

Obama compromised on the contraception mandate: Insurance companies, not religious entities, would provide coverage. But the Catholic bishops - Chaput included - quickly denounced the change as no better. Meanwhile, political analysts wondered aloud whether the bishops had enhanced or damaged the president's standing with Catholic voters.

Chaput declined to be interviewed for this article. However, in his weekly column at archphila.org, he took aim at "the contempt dumped on Catholic teaching" in last week's media accounts of the bishops' feud with Obama.

"The Christian life does not need aggression," he wrote. But if Catholics feel their faith or values are under assault, "they need to fight - without apologies - to turn things towards the good."

He also sounded that rallying cry in a Jan. 26 online column in which he exhorted his flock to demand that state lawmakers authorize vouchers for private-school tuitions. "Elected officials do listen," he wrote, "and they act when the noise gets loud enough."

Though a hero to many conservatives, Chaput has taken shots from all sides. "The left mail I get will use terrible words but be less vitriolic. They use the F-word and things like that," he told Catholic News Service in 2009. "The right is meaner, but they're not as foul."

Yet for all his hammer-swinging, he also enjoys a reputation as an eloquent, erudite evangelist.

"Our culture has fallen away from our own biblically informed heritage," he told an audience at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. "We've lost the foundation for our moral vocabulary. This loss has starved our spirit [and] debased our sense of any higher purpose to life."

In a similar talk in the fall at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., he cited historians Daniel Boorstin and Alexis de Tocqueville; French philosophers Pascal Bruckner and Jacques Maritain; Jesuit scholar John Courtney Murray; St. Augustine; a fourth-century Roman pagan named Symmachus; and Jesus.

"I'd say he's one of the top three voices among the American bishops," said Deal Hudson, director of Catholic Advocate, a political action committee in Washington.

"I'd put him at number one," said Phil Lawler, editor of the Catholic World News in Boston. Both men are past editors of Crisis, a conservative Catholic magazine.

Liberal pundits also describe Chaput as a commanding presence among bishops.

"Nobody speaks with the same consistency and muscularity as he does," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "He's in a class by himself."

However, Krueger said he had misgivings about Chaput. In his view, the archbishop is a political partisan who makes little attempt to disguise Republican leanings.

"He's more than just a culture warrior," Krueger said. As Denver archbishop for 14 years, he "brought the culture war closer to the line that separates politics and religion, and maybe even church and state."

Winters, of the National Catholic Reporter, took it farther. Chaput is "quotable, controversial, and very smart," he said, but, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, he described him as "a bull who carries his china shop around with him, always looking for a fight."

Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America, took a more temperate view.

"He's distinctive among the American bishops in his ability to make certain kinds of arguments," said Schneck, who called Chaput "an extremely talented prelate."

"But there's a twist," Schneck said. Chaput "sometimes speaks so clearly and with such force that it's more a conversation-stopper than an invitation to discourse, and that might work against his ultimate effectiveness."

In 2006, Chaput drew national attention for his denunciation of legislation to expand the right of Colorado sex-abuse victims to sue their abusers, denouncing its advocates as "anti-Catholic."

"It was about as ugly a political fight as I've been involved with at the Capitol," one lobbyist said.

Three weeks before the 2008 presidential election, Chaput described Obama as "the most committed 'abortion rights' presidential candidate . . . since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973."

Chaput also was uncompromising when the University of Notre Dame made Obama its 2009 commencement speaker, which the archbishop viewed as a Catholic school's endorsement of Obama's pro-choice stance. "We . . . have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue," he wrote in a column for the Denver archdiocese website.

Krueger, formerly executive director of the liberal church-reform group Voice of the Faithful, opined that some American bishops were taking a "hard stand in the culture war" in order to "restore the moral authority" they lost in the clergy sex-abuse scandal.

But to conservatives such as Lawler and Deal, Chaput is a shining knight.

"He's trying to do his job as a bishop and express things clearly," Lawler said. "There's too much willingness on the part of hierarchy to pull its punches."

Deal said Chaput and New York's outspoken archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, were animating conservative Catholics who have dropped out of the political process "because of years of disappointment in the hierarchy."

"If I thought [Chaput] was turning people off, I'd tell him. I've got his e-mail," Deal said. "But he's not."


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: archbishopchaput; chaput; hhs; mandate; pennsylvania; philadelphia

1 posted on 02/19/2012 1:55:02 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 02/19/2012 1:56:16 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: ml/nj

ping!


3 posted on 02/19/2012 1:58:15 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
Naturally they have to go to the National Catholic Distorter to find the negative view of Chaput.
4 posted on 02/19/2012 2:15:54 PM PST by HapaxLegamenon
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To: NYer

Leave it to a liberal to actually understand that truth will be “incendiary and divisive.” Too bad they try to make that sound like a pejorative.

Long live Archbishop Chaput. May our good Lord continue to bless him.

NYer, please ping your Catholic list. Thanks.


5 posted on 02/19/2012 2:19:42 PM PST by MSSC6644 (Defeat Satan. Pray the Rosary.)
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To: NYer

Hussein has rolled the GOP quite handily these past three years. With every success he grew bolder. I think this latest outrage, to force the Church to violate it’s law will be his political Stalingrad. I don’t see the Church folding and when all is said and done, people with brains will come to see him for the totalitarian he would be if given another four years. This will hurt him badly by November.


6 posted on 02/19/2012 2:25:17 PM PST by Jacquerie (No court will save us from ourselves.)
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To: Jacquerie

I think I read somewhere that the Catholic Church has already signaled that they will ‘compromise’, or more succintly, fold.


7 posted on 02/19/2012 2:47:56 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: NYer
Schneck said. Chaput "sometimes speaks so clearly and with such force that it's more a conversation-stopper than an invitation to discourse

First time I've heard "speaking clearly" called a conversation-stopper! But I guess if your idea of "conversation" is a never-ending stream of mealy-mouthed generalities, I suppose it could be . . . ;-)

8 posted on 02/19/2012 2:51:43 PM PST by maryz
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To: Balding_Eagle
I think I read somewhere

Well, there ya go! It must be true then ...

9 posted on 02/19/2012 3:10:34 PM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: NYer

This might get a little interesting; Chaput is of French Canadian and American Indian (Potowatomie) blood. The enemies of religious freedom won’t be able to easily pull the race card on this man of God, if they think that is a last ditch effort (don’t put it past these death worshippers.) Go get him, Bishop. We’re behind you in prayer, financial support, or worse, if it gets that way.


10 posted on 02/19/2012 3:15:15 PM PST by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: NYer
"I'd rather see his energies more focused on issues people can rally around," such as education and the environment, said Lauren Bobzin, 25, of Narberth, who called herself a "proud Catholic."

Here we are again with Christianity as a community organizing group, Jesus as a community organizer, the Church as a big Occupy camp.

11 posted on 02/19/2012 3:15:54 PM PST by denydenydeny (The more a system is all about equality in theory the more it's an aristocracy in practice.)
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To: Campion

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2845182/posts

post 6.


12 posted on 02/19/2012 3:29:50 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: john drake

Yes. I was going to mention that he is half American Indian. Maybe that’s where the “warrior” comes from. We need a few warrior bishops, and if he comes across so strong that he astonishes them into silence, so much the better.

He was one of the first bishops I became aware of who totally resisted the left-wing “spirit of Vatican II” that has been so destructive to the Church. And he was among the first to clamp down on trouble-making dissident organizations that were spreading heresies under the pretence that they had something to do with Vatican II.

I would take any attacks on him by the left-wing press as a real compliment. He worries them.


13 posted on 02/19/2012 3:49:05 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NYer

Take it to the heathens Archbishop Chaput!


14 posted on 02/19/2012 4:14:41 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: NYer

Did we have warrior bishop maybe during the time of Middle age or during Henry VIII regin NYER

I know during the time Borgias the mini series they mention one of cardinal was warriorlike

Can’t wait for season 2 of Borgias


15 posted on 02/19/2012 4:24:55 PM PST by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: NYer
You won't find THIS news in the lamestream media...a bishop of the Catholic Church standing up and declaring The Truth.
God bless and keep him!
16 posted on 02/19/2012 8:26:45 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: NYer
Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats, had better get things straight: law is based on morality.
MORALITY came first, then the laws. So, bishops and priests speaking out for MORALITY aren't "replublican leaning"--they are speaking out for RIGHT.
Or we can admit that the Democrats have long been on the side of liberalizing drug laws, contraception and abortion policies, prostitution and such. That is, they are directly in conflict with all that we Christians (Catholics) hold near and dear.

The Bishop is right on.

17 posted on 02/19/2012 8:44:59 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: Balding_Eagle
That was the initial, somewhat conciliatory, statement released after Zero's "accommodation," before they had seen the details. IOW, you're way behind the times.

After they'd had time to look at it, they correctly stated that nothing had changed. Please read the current USCCB statement directly from their website.

18 posted on 02/20/2012 6:30:25 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: SevenofNine; NYer; Cicero
The classic Warrior Bishop:

Bishop Odo of Bayeux, who was (as you can see) quite active at the Battle of Hastings, and eventually commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. The full caption reads: Hic Odo Eps (Episcopus) baculu(m) tenens confortat pueros" - "Here Odo the Bishop holding a club encourages the boys"

The Pottawatomies have had some pretty tough characters, too.

Apparently this is a very effective combination . . .

19 posted on 02/20/2012 8:41:53 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother

Yeah I hear of that bishop LOL!

Never mind


20 posted on 02/20/2012 9:28:44 AM PST by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: Balding_Eagle
The unsourced post that you attempted to link to doesn't support your assertion.
21 posted on 02/20/2012 12:26:56 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; Campion

The catholic Church is going to cave.

Here is a news article with some circumstantial evidence of what’s coming: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2849023/posts

There will be more articles like the above in the coming weeks and months.

Further, the Catholic Churches’ open acceptance of a big number of Catholic Congressmen who not only embrace abortion, but fight endlessly and with great vigour to expand abortion, shows where the heart and soul of the church is on this issue.

I take no satisfaction in knowing that eventually they will side with Obama.


22 posted on 02/20/2012 12:57:39 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: Balding_Eagle

what you haven’t noticed is that slowly the bishops are being replaced by Catholics as the older generation of liberals die off.

The “middle management” is still a problem, but they too are aging.

The young priests and sisters are full of Zeal, and are often called the “John Paul II generation”. JP2 realized that if he tried to “reform” those entrenched in the Vatican and other offices he’d lose (there probably would have been a major “schism”, with the liberals able to take over the churches, seminaries, schools, hospitals etc, and the believers left out in the cold, similar to what we see in the Episcopal church),

so John PaulII ignored them, and went to the people. We are starting to see the fruit of his policies, which is why you will see the secular types trying to destroy the church which is on the cusp of a major reform back to christian beliefs.

Europe is lost to Christianity, but the US is still in the balance.

And pray for us in the Philippines, where the liberals and US taxpayer money and Obama’s minions are forcing population control on us in a way that would make it impossible for many Catholic nurses and doctors to work in public hospitals...the bill even has a clause in it that if you criticize birth control you could be fined.


23 posted on 02/20/2012 7:30:43 PM PST by LadyDoc
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To: NYer
"Get out of the dark ages," one reader chided.

err... we did that. The dark ages are when murdering babies is a-ok....

24 posted on 02/21/2012 12:05:13 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: Balding_Eagle
You're as arrogant and ignorant as Soetoro.

I hope you'll take satisfaction in digesting the crow you'll have to eat.

25 posted on 02/21/2012 4:59:00 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

You have misdirected anger. It should be towards the Catholic Church, not those of us who point out that we have seen it cave time and again.

John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi to name but two high profile Congressmen of hundreds whom the Church embraces even as they work to tear it down.

What has changed that suggests this time will be different?


26 posted on 02/22/2012 6:40:10 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: NYer
Chaput emerging as a warrior-bishop
Archbishop Chaput: It’s not a ‘compromise,’ and it needs to be rescinded
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Dem (Congressman) Scolds Bishop (at House Oversight hearin)
Evangelicals & Catholics Together: In Defense of Religious Freedom (vs. Islam, Secularism)
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Obama Contradicted: HHS Banned Consideration of ‘Cost Effectiveness’ in Developing Contraception
BREAKING: Every Single Bishop Has Condemned the Obama/HHS Mandate!
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Voris: Obama Able to Neutralize Catholic Resistance Thanks to Bishops’ Past Complicity
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Head of U.S. bishops: Obama compromise on mandate ‘a hill of beans’; opposition intensifies
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Pat Buchanan: 'Obama is trampling on God's turf' (Video)
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The Bishops Chickens Coming Home to Roost.
65 Orthodox Church bishops call on Obama to ‘rescind’ the ‘unjust’ contraception mandate
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27 posted on 02/22/2012 3:27:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

This is but one of dozens of examples of why I come across as ‘arrogant’, it’s not arrogance, but knowledge gained from experience; http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2852836/posts

“A parish priest in Maryland, who denied communion to a woman who identified herself as a lesbian, has been publicly rebuked by the Archdiocese of Washington.”


28 posted on 02/29/2012 7:35:32 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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