Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, during the Festival of Families announcement at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on June 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Chris Warde-Jones, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput welcomes ‘smaller church’ of holier Catholics

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap. during the Festival of Families announcement at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on June 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Chris Warde-Jones, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, during the Festival of Families announcement at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on June 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Chris Warde-Jones, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

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(RNS) In a stark prognosis for contemporary Catholicism, a leader of the conservative wing of the U.S. hierarchy has said that “a smaller, lighter church” of fewer but holier believers is preferable to one that promotes inclusion at the expense of traditional orthodoxy.

In a speech delivered Wednesday (Oct. 19) at the University of Notre Dame, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput also suggested that many prominent Catholics are so weak in their faith that they ought to leave the church.

Chaput singled out Democrats such as Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine for special criticism, linking them to the concept of a “silent apostasy” coined by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and saying Catholics who do not champion the truth of church teaching are “cowards.”

“Obviously we need to do everything we can to bring tepid Catholics back to active life in the church,” Chaput told a symposium for bishops and their staff members at the South Bend, Ind., campus.

“But we should never be afraid of a smaller, lighter church if her members are also more faithful, more zealous, more missionary and more committed to holiness.

“Losing people who are members of the church in name only is an imaginary loss,” he continued. “It may in fact be more honest for those who leave and healthier for those who stay. We should be focused on commitment, not numbers or institutional throw-weight.”

Chaput’s ideas channeled a lively and long-standing debate in church circles -- intensified by Pope Francis’ open-arms approach to ministry -- about whether Catholicism should be a smaller and more tradition-minded community or a larger and more inclusive church of imperfect believers at various stages in their spiritual pilgrimages.

In the context of the coming presidential vote, Chaput’s speech was also the latest in a series of pronouncements by conservative bishops and Catholic activists who have blasted Democrats as Election Day draws closer.

For many observers, a chief focus of the current campaign has been the crass and increasingly threatening language of Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has bragged about demeaning and groping women. In the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Trump also reiterated that he believes the Nov. 8 election has been “rigged” and that he might contest any result that did not favor him.

But the U.S. bishops have been virtually silent on those topics, while some have continued to highlight the centrality of opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

In his talk at Notre Dame, Chaput, who is known for his conservative political views and his firm stances on doctrine, said both candidates were obviously flawed -- though he did express admiration for Trump’s “gift for twisting the knife in America’s leadership elite and their spirit of entitlement, embodied in the person of Hillary Clinton.”

Chaput’s main focus, however, was on the wider threat posed by what he said was a secularizing culture and a progressive political agenda that “bleaches out strong religious convictions in the name of liberal tolerance.”

Too many Catholics are are guilty of cooperating with that process, he said, transferring “our real loyalties and convictions from the old church of our baptism to the new ‘church’ of our ambitions and appetites.”

He named Biden, Kaine and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as prime examples of this phenomenon, as well as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic and Republican appointee whose deciding vote in the landmark 2015 gay marriage case made him anathema to many social conservatives.

The politics of the U.S. hierarchy are in flux largely because Francis, who was elected in 2013, has begun naming and promoting bishops who embrace his outgoing approach to ministry and evangelization.

That trend away from the “culture warrior” bishops who came to dominate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over the past three decades was evident in the men Francis chose this month as his first American picks to be cardinals.

The three -- the archbishops of Chicago and Indianapolis and the former bishop of Dallas -- are known as for their moderate tone and pastoral style while hard-liners like Chaput, who in a previous era might have been a strong candidate for a red hat, were passed over.

READ: Pope Francis’ cardinal choices bring surprises, especially for the US church

But Chaput, 72, and other conservatives in the U.S. hierarchy have been speaking out with greater frequency about the election. They tend to lament Trump’s obvious faults while singling out the Democratic ticket for special criticism and noting that opposition to legal abortion -- which is part of the Republican platform and a Trump campaign promise -- overrides every other policy consideration.

For example, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., last week devoted a column to criticizing Kaine’s faith and his position in support of abortion rights, calling him an “orthodox” Democrat and a “cafeteria Catholic” who is “picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient.”

The WikiLeaks dump of Democratic emails this month provided another opening because they included a few exchanges among Clinton advisers complaining about conservative Catholics misusing the faith for their own agendas and discussing how they could promote a “Catholic Spring” to move the church in a more progressive direction.

Conservative activists and the Trump campaign jumped on the emails as evidence of an endemic anti-Catholicism among Democrats and demanded that Clinton fire the advisers and apologize.

Leaders of the USCCB also criticized the Clinton campaign for interfering “in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain.”

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is hosting Clinton and Trump at the Al Smith charity dinner on Thursday, called the email exchanges from 2011 and 2012 “extraordinarily patronizing and insulting to Catholics." He said Clinton would have apologized in minutes if those things had been said about Jews or Muslims.

Other Catholics pointed out that the participants in the back-and-forth were mainly Catholics themselves and they dismissed the exchanges as the sort of internal church arguments that Catholics engage in publicly all the time. They also said the comments were not as harsh as remarks Trump himself has made about Francis.

Chaput has blasted the emails as “contemptuously anti-Catholic” and he criticized the Democrats for them again in his talk this week.

But his central theme was how Catholics should respond to this cultural shift.

He said that despite his “long list of concerns with the content of Islam” he admired  Muslim women who proudly wear the hijab and said Catholics could learn from that as they seek to “recover their own sense of distinction from the surrounding secular meltdown.”

He also praised Francis’ emphasis on “accompaniment” as the way to draw people to the church and keep them there.

But he said that term has also been misused and too often means “accompanying someone over a cliff” by not insisting on the need to follow church teachings.

The same, he said, goes for the term “inclusive.”

“If ‘inclusive’ means including people who do not believe what the Catholic faith teaches and will not reform their lives according to what the church holds to be true, then inclusion is a form of lying,” he said.

“And it’s not just lying but an act of betrayal and violence against the rights of those who do believe and do seek to live according to God’s Word.”


  1. ““If ‘inclusive’ means including people who do not believe what the Catholic faith teaches and will not reform their lives according to what the church holds to be true, then inclusion is a form of lying,” he said.” Completely agree with you. Now is the time to tell your pope to quit tap dancing with immorality and trying to bring money into the coffers, rather than respecting Jesus. He could help a lot of people, but not while he is playing games.
    “And it’s not just lying but an act of betrayal and violence against the rights of those who do believe and do seek to live according to God’s Word.” It also brings disgrace to Christ’s mission and teachings.

  2. Hmm. Sounds interesting. Briefly:

    (1) Whatever TV or computer screen you saw Maher on, be sure to splash one gallon of Holy Oil and an extra gallon of Lysol on the screen. Exorcism is mandatory in these situations.

    (2) Churches that start compromising and falling for the skeptical positions, those are the first to mess up and lose members. Liberalism is slo-mo poison.

    But even so, there’s still plenty of churches. It’s Maher’s no-good atheism cult that better be watching for big defections. Anytime baby.

    (3) Even liberal scholars are forced to concede that Jesus at least existed in history. They have to fight their skeptical battles on *other* Jesus issues. So churches CAN fight back strong.

  3. Certainly an odd position for a Catholic priest, if he truly believes Jesus did not exist he should resign from the priesthood to be intellectually and spiritually honest.

  4. I think the Archbishop said some worthwhile things. Better a smaller, more committed body of believers than a larger, lukewarm, truly uncommitted set of half-believers.

  5. Like the US episcopate, Pope Francis is right wing. He called Chileans opposed to his appointment of a pedophile-protecting bishop “lefties.” The only American laypersons he’s appointed to the curia are from the George W. Bush administration: Mary Ann Glendon and Juan Zarate. After twice calling same-sex marriage an “anthropological regression” he met in private with Kim Davis and followed up by twice asserting the right of “gov’t employees” to “conscientious objection.” He also met in private with the Little Sisters of the Poor who brought the Supreme Court suit against contraception in Obamacare.
    Pope Francis “open arms” do not include his “culture warrior” remarks for the LGBTQ community comparing transgender person to nuclear weapons because both do not “recognize the order of creation” and the “epoch sin against God.”

  6. “(3) Even liberal scholars are forced to concede that Jesus at least existed in history.”

    As I understand it this is poppyc**k. Many (probably the majority) of scholars of the area and period suspect that “Jesus” may be based on the teachings of, and stories surrounding, one or more itinerant rabbis. None of them would have been called Jesus, though Joshua/Yeshua is possible.

    There is no evidence that the Jesus of the biblical stories was anything other than a mortal human. We know some of the stories are false and that the gospels, which were chosen to best support the then political need, are mis-attributed (a common form of marketing in those days – an appeal to a false authority still impresses some who otherwise would not be taken in).

  7. Couldn’t agree more. We would have a much different world if we didn’t need to hear about the Catholic Church’s position on issues all the time. If progressive Catholics would grow a pair and leave their awful Church, leaving it to the fundamentalists, it would be so small and insignificant and would be disregarded.

  8. Unless those rules concern sexual abuse. Then its about covering it up

    One Republican legislator, Mike Vereb, accused the archbishop of using mafia-style tactics.

    “This mob boss approach of having legislators called out, he really
    went right up to the line,” Vereb told the Guardian. “He is going down a
    road that is frankly dangerous for the status of the church in terms of
    it being a non-profit.”

  9. People are seeing there are options to be Christian. The Roman Church certainly seems to be accomplishing the goal of a smaller church which is a blessing for the rest of the world. The only uptick in American membership is support of illegal Latin American immigration which buys another generation or two at the most.

    After a recent visit to the Czech Republic, I learned that this church imposed by past emperors had 96% of the population under its thumb in 1900. However, Catholicism was imposed by the Habsburgs after Protestant losses during various religious wars against Hussites and later Lutherans. Now the rate is 10% membership after the breakup of the Austro Hungarian Empire, rise of Czech nationalism and fall of Communism. ( It was at about 39% in the 1980’s). The various reasons for the rapid decline were interesting and proved that this authoritarian church, imposition on society, and compromises with the political elite has contributed to its decline in the Old World..

  10. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of cultural relevancy, Chuck.

  11. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity, Christian and non-Christian, agree that Jesus existed historically. Of course, if Jesus of Nazareth existed, his actual name would have been Yeshua or Yehoshua (it wouldn’t have been Joshua anymore than Jesus).

  12. You are very wrong in your opening statement there. The overwhelming majority of BOTH liberal and conservative scholars acknowledge that there’s a “Historical Jesus” in ancient near east history. That’s done.

    All the debating and disputing revolves around your other statement: Was Jesus “just a mortal human”, as you claim? IVP and other Christian Publishers continue to supply Christian scholarship to answer the skeptics and affirm the Bible’s historical portrait of Jesus as truly accurate.

    It’s an ongoing battle, the skeptic scholars are always there, but hey, I get enthusiastic just talking about fighting back. Christian Apologetics is the best thing since self-serve Communion juice!!

  13. The recent PRRI study indicates that the Rise of the Nones is related most (60%) to people no longer believing in their religion’s doctrines. No specific evidence I’m aware of that it’s a specific disbelief in the existence of Jesus. It would seem unlikely, as almost as many Nones — 59% — still say they believe in God.

  14. No, Charles Chaput, YOU don’t get to define “holy” or “church”: that’s the job of the Holy Spirit, and his aim is inclusion and unity.

    YOU, on the other hand, like your Pharisaical forebears, see community as a club where YOU get to make the rules and to decide who’s “in” and who’s not.

    Your divisive attitude is one of the most unchristian in an American Catholic prelate that I’ve ever come across.

  15. No, inclusion here is most certainly not a form of lying. Why? Because the relatively very, very small number of old men who get to draw up the rules are not representative of the Catholic Church. These men (the bishops) number between six and seven thousand worldwide. Yet, statistically, the Catholic Church has over a billion members globally.

    Lay people are ignored in this process of drawing up rules; women are ignored entirely. Which means that the Holy Spirit’s voice in the wider Church is ignored, too.

  16. It’s lying because Christ did not endorse it Chriz.

  17. Is this the voice of an Archbishop speaking truth to power? Or is this the voice of an Archbishop who got passed over – an Archbishop who wants to be a big fish no matter how small the pond?

  18. Be careful with what you say about Pharisees Chris….Christ said to listen to them.

  19. They may be fewer, but they won’t be holier if Francis has his way.

  20. Way to wag the dog Charles. You’ve chased folks out of the pews with your pedophile protection, evil doctrine enforcement and history of how horribly the RCC has treated folks through the centuries. Now you say, hey how about a smaller church? It’s hard to fill the pews when you aren’t burning people for failure to live your disgusting doctrine. Something like 97% of Catholics use birth control, show them the door then STFU. After you throw them out how are they going to be your voting bloc?

    As for the politics, I don’t see you calling out Newt Gingrich for being thrice divorced or any other republican that votes pro-death penalty.

  21. Yep. It’s ironic that he calls for a purge of the impure but wants to maintain a political influence. He isn’t going to affect change if there are only 500 pure Catholics left. I think it’s all bluster on his part, or maybe I should say it’s bearing false witness.

  22. Catholicism will always have its “smaller, purer” exclusive Roman branch which takes a more literal approach to doctrine. Yet Roman Catholicism has no right to claim hegemony over the whole Catholic Church. Catholicism has been far more than one single faith practice since the earliest times with the Roman and Eastern Churches branching out from the original Jerusalem Church.

    There is even a Vatican II branch of Catholicism which has no desire to exclude its fundamentalist brother Rome or any other catholic church from the union of the Body of Christ.

  23. This guy is priceless. The Catholic Church is in decline number wise and morally. It’s losing money and properties due to successful lawsuits. He wants to elevate what’s left to a special state of holiness when, in fact, it only a collection of those most willing to be lead by misogynists, homophobes, and control freaks.

  24. It’s a diabolical proposal to tell or even suggest that left wing cafeteria Catholics should leave the Church or that their leaving is just an imaginary loss. Me thinks its time for Chaput to retire so that he can spend more time reading the Joy of the Gospel.

  25. Excellent point Chrizmart. I like the UCC motto, “God is still speaking.” After God that was done teaching anything for a couple thousand years might be dead.

  26. Agreed. An atheist pastor in Canada fought removal from her church and that seems equally odd. If either wants to study, think, write or talk about their opinions and/or beliefs, go ahead, but not as a Christian Church leaders.

  27. I agree that Jesus likely existed as a historical figure. All biblical names have been Anglicized. Yeshua=Jesus, Moshe=Moses, Miyam=Miriam or Mary, Benyamin=Benjamin, etc.

  28. But Edward, church is where people learn doctrine. If they are kicked out, how will that grow and mature them as Christians?

  29. Right Betty.

    “But we should never be afraid of a smaller, lighter church if her members are also more faithful, more zealous, more missionary and more committed to holiness.”

    It would be nice if he RCC, especially the hierarchy, was more like this too.

  30. You are correct, Chrizmart, but it is not only the RCC, all Christian churches, except for the megachurches that offer entertainment, and little else, are suffering membership crises. Churches are not saying what people want to hear. In addition, many people are working two and three jobs, or their children are involved in numerous activities, to keep out of trouble. Very few, except for the elderly, want to sit and hear the same old, same old every week. A
    As for those who are RC who go to daily Mass, they are elderly and just want to visit with friends after the shortest Mass in town, and then they go to breakfast to chat.
    Do all those who profess to be RC and follow all the dogma of the church? No, not at all.
    Frankly, Jesus said nothing regarding contraception, abortion or homosexuality. The first two are man made rules, and homosexuality is mentioned briefly in the Hebrew Scriptures, and even some scholars feel that the particular passage was related to hospitality of angels visiting.

  31. Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, abortion or contraception, the latter two are man made rules, the former, is a small, obscure and debated portion in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Old Testament)

  32. sighs…..Jesus spoke about murder…..Jesus spoke about immorality –
    Christ is the Word of the Bible – the Bible is His Word.
    Christ thought the OT was important enough that He quoted it.

  33. Those Catholic prelates you’re so keen to defend ignore something that Jesus actually did teach: love of neighbour, including (and especially) love of enemy.

    When Jesus asked what was the greatest commandment, one of his listeners answered like this: to love the Lord our God with all one’s heart and all one’s mind. Jesus was pleased with this response, but then added like this: there is a second commandment like it: to love one’s neighbour as oneself.

    These Catholic prelates (including Chaput) deliberately ignore this fundamental aspect of Jesus’ teaching, because they devalue human life by approving the death penalty.

    Jesus put love of neighbour almost on a par with love of his Father. And yet, how many Catholics (and I am one) have been deceived by this diabolical teaching of disobedient Catholic bishops like Chaput? How many have ended up in Hell because of their rank disobedience?

  34. Then tell me, biblical scholar, where and how JESUS said such.

  35. Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.

    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 22:18
    ” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” 1 Corinthians 7

  36. Not a problem. Are you educated enough to know that Christ is God, or do I need to show you that? Sorry, that was a bit rude. You do know that Christ is God, eh?

  37. Pray pray pray for our spiritual leaders like Bishop Chaput who need our intercessory prayers so that they may continue to speak with the courage and clarity of the Holy Spirit.

  38. No, Sandi, those aren’t JESUS’ words in Leviticus , but the words of others.

    As for Corinthians, those are Paul’s words. “Paul” isn’t spelt J-E-S-U-S. Besides, these words have nothing whatever to do with homosexuality.

  39. You’re being evasive, Sandi. And you’re wasting our time.

    Tell me precisely where and how JESUS (no one else!) said such.

  40. Must say he is right. He is only following Christ’s command to show everyone the truth and if they refuse it then they are to be cast out. Jesus Christ is the greatest “hardliner” ever. Good for him.

  41. Catholic vote will be decisive in this U.S election, and in the rest of the world we are looking stunned how so many so-called catholics will vote Pro-Hillary Clinton, against life.

  42. No, he didn’t, Sandi. Not unrestrictedly. You know this as well as I.

  43. How do you know that? St. John says that Jesus said and did so much more than was recorded in the gospels that all the books in the world could not record them.

  44. The fact that nothing is recorded about such an important matter speaks for itself.

  45. He did not say anything about concentration camps, cloning, or suicide either. But He did reaffirm that marriage is only between a man and a woman(“so has it been from the beginning”) and that anything else is adultery. It could be that He knew that everyone on the planet knew that homosexual acts are wicked-even the people that were doing so.

  46. No, he spoke only of heterosexual marriage; he said absolutely NOTHING of homosexual marriage. Did he?

  47. I think he is preaching the gospel as Our Blessed Lord commanded. “Wide is the road that leads to destruction and there are many who go down that road. But narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life and few there are who find it. Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”

  48. Of course He did. Marriage is between man and woman and it has been so since the beginning-His words. He didn’t say anything about marrying one’s dog, or a snake ,or a daughter either. Seems like you have a problem with the Author of the statement.

  49. No, HE didn’t. But YOU would. However, you’re not Jesus, are you?

  50. Matthew 23:3 – New International Version
    So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

  51. And you didn’t answer mine. Why? Because you can’t, can you?

  52. Oh, Sandi! You’re a fraud. Jesus was criticised for healing on the Sabbath . And the Pharisees would have supported this.

  53. No, he didn’t! The views you expressed are YOURS, not Jesus’.

  54. There is your problem. Christ’s word.
    2 Timothy 3:16 – New International Version
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

    To help you further: John 1:1-5 – 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
    And again:
    Isaiah 9:6 – New International Version
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Genesis 1:26 – New International Version
    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”

    Your next problem seems to be that you don’t know homosexuality is immoral. What church do you go to?

  55. Look the scripture up yourself, if you have a Bible.

  56. I helped you elsewhere because you obviously need to be taught a few truths about the Bible.

  57. I have, Sandi. And I know Scripture better than you.

  58. Oh, Sandi! We deceive ourselves better than others deceive us.

  59. Sorry hon…..but you’ve proven you know nothing about Christ. I’ve given you an excellent lesson elsewhere in our conversations this afternoon. Look for the comment that Genesis 1:26 is in and good luck to you. Blessings.

  60. Despite our disagreements, Sandi, I think you’re wonderful! I am NOT being facetious.

  61. Oh, Sandi! Though I love you like a sister, I marvel at your stupidity.

  62. Sandi , I think well of you. But not to the point of denying truth.

  63. God bless you also. Quote scripture to prove your case hon.

  64. You, too, And, truly, I love you so. And by God’s command and grace, my life would be forfeit for your salvation.

  65. you still haven’t shown me to be wrong, Chriz – you’ve only submitted opinion

  66. I asked first. You made the assertion that I’m wrong. Prove it.

  67. Oh, Sandi! You don’t win an argument by abstention.

  68. OK fine. Don’t believe anything written in the scriptures. I’ll shake the dust of your “town” from my feet. You’re on your own. Sorry.

  69. You really don’t know; do you? You didn’t know Christ is God. You didn’t know the Bible is the Word of God. You didn’t know the scripture? You deny scripture? I don’t know what I’m asking of you as you haven’t shown that you know a lot, for supposedly knowing more than me. Thanks Chriz….now prove your comments hon

  70. You really don’t know; do you? You didn’t know Christ is God. You didn’t know the Bible is the Word of God. You didn’t know the scripture? You deny scripture? I don’t know what I’m asking of you as you haven’t shown that you know a lot, for supposedly knowing more than me. Thanks Chriz….now prove your comments hon. So let’s see what you have to say

  71. And you haven’t shown anything but hope. No opinion. No scripture refuting me. Just your hopes. That and a dollar fifty will buy you a coffee. That’s about it.

  72. Oh, Sandi!!!! Your abject stupidity almost draws my entire breath.

    I reject everything you say, because it is not true.

  73. Prove it. Show me scripture and no more excuses.

  74. deflection and avoiding Chris. Make your point.

  75. No! Tell me what you think I must prove and I shall do so. I’m waiting.

  76. My point is abundantly clear. But you are being evasive..

  77. I see. You can only make assertions without the ability to prove them. Thanks and blessings to you.

  78. Again, you can only make assertions without any substance. Thanks, and blessings to you.

  79. Sandi, what do you want me to prove? Ask and it shall be given you? Why do you hesitate? Is it wounded pride at the mere thought of losing an argument (and you ARE losing, Sandi)?

  80. The Christ-betrayer, Chaput, speaks for himself because he does not respect the unconditional sanctity of human life . He is leading you to Hell!

  81. So true. Yet by rejecting Christ and the Church He founded you will spend eternity in the company of demons instead of the Holy Angels. “Non servium!”

  82. What assertions? You still haven’t addressed my point. Whatz’s wrong! Scared???????

  83. True. It is His Bride. And she alone will not be forsaken.

  84. Ahhh! But not all brides are faithful to their husbands. Some are whores! This one certainly is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. 1st Corinthians 5:

    Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.

    When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.

    It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

  86. “The jaws of hell will not prevail against her”. He is the head. She is the body. And if she is the Body of Christ, how can she be separated from Him?

  87. “Priceless”? I wouldn’t give a nickel for his opinions.

  88. How?!!!! By CHOICE. That’s how. Jesus does NOT remove free will.

  89. YES, YES and YES. I love Archbishop Chaput as he is not afraid to tell it like it is. I believe he is right on this point. The divide between Traditional or more Orthodox Catholics and Happy Clappy parishioners continues to grow as Pope Francis insists on taking Church teachings and confusing and confounding those of us in the pews. God Bless faithful clergy are willing to put themselves on the line for the rest of us.

  90. You do recognize sarcasm don’t you? Your comment is a distinction without a difference.

  91. What if there are only 12 “pure Catholics” left?

  92. Well here we are again with the quagmire that is the catholic church. We can note with certainty that the current divisions we see in society at large is also found in the RCC. What people do not see is that the answers are found in the middle.

    Either Chaput cannot communicate effectively, or he really believes that the so called “smaller, meaner church” spoken by BVII years ago is the proper attitude to have. I would like to say it is the first, he does not know how to communicate with people.

    I would hope that all catholics, like myself, realize that our faith is not based on man but it based on God through Jesus. That we are FOLLOWERS, who cannot change the Word or the Law. That to follow God, live by His ways there are things we are going to have to abide by that are difficult at best, impossible without divine intercession. To believe that we can change the foundation of our faith because man has become “enlightened” is foolhardy. Does this mean that our faith tells us that we must wreak retributions or exclusions of those who struggle or even deny certain aspects, No. That we are to shame people into compliance, No.

    Our faith tells us to live by the Word of the Lord, that we all are sinners, that Jesus died for our sins, and all are welcome to seek the Lord. We abide by Him, not any man. The church must preach the Truth, and it does not need any gatekeepers, watchdogs that prevent people from coming to it. We must remember that Jesus came not for the righteous, but for sinners, all sinners. Those who believe that the church can change to please them under the auspice of “social justice”, have been deceived if that so called justice is contrary to the faith. We must be a church who acknowledges that each of us struggles with our faith, our sinfulness, but if we truly follow God/Jesus with real love of all the He has told us, we will do our best to live as He has told us to live. Those caught in a cycle of repetitive sin, which is not exclusively sexual, should and must be able to come to God again and again….

    Chaput who may be saying what he does is trying to make sure that man follows God and His Truths rather than mans desires, instead comes off like an exclusionary. He must learn to communicate better, with the simple fact that while all are welcome, changing our faith to suit man is an insult to God and once it happens it ceases to be the faith it is/was. The church should never give up on people, and if it takes a life time for one person to realize the truth vs a lie, that is still a victory for God and this is what it is all about.

  93. Your comment is respectful, good and thoughtful. But if what we have traditionally believed as Catholics (I’m Catholic, too) , is based on faulty misunderstanding of Scripture, then we must be bold enough to let those elements go.

    Acceptance of truth is acceptance of Christ, the author of ALL truth.

  94. We would never have a Catholic president if what this Cardinal says is correct – I don’t feel it is correct. No religion should try to oppress others with its beliefs. This is politics and includes all faiths within the country to be respected. I don’t believe in Catholic beliefs so why can’t I vote for a president who is Catholic if he/she is the best for the country? Thank goodness for Biden and Kaine, and all Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims, who are more faithful followers of Christ, or their respective leaders, than their hierarchies, some of which are horrible. Jesus said, “Give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar and to God what belongs to God.” Making laws for church has nothing to do with laws of a secular, and therefore justice-for-all, government.

  95. I couldn’t have said this better. It’s to the point and oh so true.

  96. That’s how it all began. Touche for a great comment

  97. This is wonderful news, a great inducement for intelligent and caring people to leave the Catholic Church behind. By all means, folks, walk away from an institution that wallows in its tax-free riches, denigrates women, denies science, and insists that you breed plenty of children to assure them a future pool of poverty-stricken victims.

  98. The Western Catholic Church began wandering away from Jesus teaching soon after he died. This can be seen in Marcus Borg’s “Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written.” From abundant life and mystic growth into communion with God and each other, the Way devolved into a system of codified beliefs and strictures about ‘How to be good and get to Heaven.’ Luke, Acts, and some of the clearly faux letters, written at that time, clearly show the institutional flavor of harsh judgement and attitudes that led to ‘orthodoxy and later persecution of those who questioned, even with a good an open heart (Pelagius).

    A book such as “In trouble and In Wonder: A Spiritual Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas,” by Lynn C. Bauman is more in keeping with Jesus original Way. So are many books on Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell, Sufi mindfulness practices, writings by Eckert Tolle, and others.

    Institutional churches are dying today because they have lost the Way, although their liturgies still retain echoes of what once moved so many to risk their lives to be a member of a path that led them to God, each other, and the sacred world of nature.

    Expecting people of this era to ‘believe’ what is patently false, to give up their critical thinking process and just accept, is no way to live. It interferes with the ability to focus on the most critical issues of our lives’ purpose. Jesus spoke of this purpose as the ‘pearl of great price and the treasure buried in a field.’ It is not for after you have lived, but for more abundant living right now. A life of love and purpose that arises from within you rather than applied from outside, as you discover that, rather than being born in sin and unworthy from birth, requiring God to sacrifice his child to redeem you (Doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement) you are a child of God born in God’s own image. You can look within and trust your inner light to lead you to God’s glory today. It is both within, without (denying the Doctrine of Creation Ex-Nihilo – that all matter was made from nothing and is therefore worthless), and shared by all, if only we can remove the scales will from our eyes.

    I prefer a Christianity that provides room for each and every one of us to find our own sacred path as we follow the Way, working out our salvation in hope, trust, and love as we share and learn to love ourselves, each other, and the world, overcoming the false beliefs taught by orthodoxy. “I renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt … the creatures of God.”

    Seeing that such evil exists in many forms within various Christian Orthodoxies is very freeing, but not a reason for self-congratulation. It is rather a matter of picking up our own crosses and beginning the process of learning our egos are not who we are, that we are More, and learning to forgive ourselves and grow in God.

  99. No – it isn’t “done”. There is no proof either way.

    Doesn’t matter though. If you make extraordinary claims (divinity) you have to have extraordinary evidence. There is none. It always comes back to “have faith and all will be revealed” or some such concept.

    The simple fact is that once we invest (time, money, reputation or effort) in something we see proof where it doesn’t exist and ignore contrary evidence however overwhelming it is. It’s called confirmation bias and we all do it.

    Confirmation bias is one of the reasons we need the scientific method; without a rigorous control process we just see what we want to see and ignore that which we don’t want to see. That’s why sales people want commitment; once they have commitment the sale is almost certain to follow, and once the first sale has taken place others are more likely to follow since not repeating the purchase implies we were wrong initially; and we don’t like admitting we were wrong.

    Applies to religion as much as your choice of car or your toothpaste manufacturer, heck, it even applies to lying/cheating etc. – the first time is always the hardest because subsequently we justify our behaviour rather than admit our failings. Get ’em hooked and keep them wriggling. Make them say they believe something daft, get some commitment, convince them it’s a battle (we few against the evil mob), give them the spade and watch them dig the hole deeper and deeper whilst taking the money/basking in the power etc..

    Been there – it hurts to say “I was wrong”, Fortunately I had the excuse of being brought up surrounded by believers. I was twelve before the realisation dawned that their (and therefore my) belief did not (could not) match reality. Too many leaps of faith, too little rationality, always the logic built upon assumptions which cannot be justified except in so far as they are necessary to enable the construction of that which depends on their being real.

    Break the circular reasoning and there’s nothing left – no evidence for god(s), no need for god(s) – just manipulation and abuse of one human by another. And the saddest thing is that the abuser is often just another believer – not wicked, not evil; just a decent, well intentioned but misguided product of the evolutionary process.

  100. Nothing like ideological purity for ideologues.

  101. Newtie is white, rich. Heterosexual, and formerly powerful.

    What’s not to like?

  102. Well, biblically speaking there are few instances where people are unilaterally and prohibitively barred from the church. There is a difference between being barred from attendance, and being barred from “membership.” For example in some conservative churches gays are not barred from attendance, but are barred from membership depending on the specifics of their sexual activities, of course, this same principle should and often does apply to heterosexuals. I don’t think the Archbishop seeks to kick anyone out, but rather to encourage people to become more deeply committed to the faith without challenging or rejecting the doctrines of Catholicism. Unfortunately there seems to be a tendency in many churches for some practitioners to strive to alter doctrines within a church with which they disagree. This gets back to the question of substance and authority which we’ve discussed in other threads. My position is that rather than attempt to change the doctrines of a church where they have been historically inclined to worship, they should rather seek a church where they can agree more completely with the doctrines propounded. God in the end will determine which church has been more true to His Plan and Design

  103. Why should people seek another church when they feel, in good conscience, uncomfortable with certain doctrines of their own? Your suggestion that they should implies that these doctrines must be true (because they are “authoratative” teaching) when, in fact, they may not only be untrue, but offensive to God.

    If you joined a club and discovered that certain rules barred black people, Jews, Catholics, and others from membership, would you simply walk away from that club? Or would you seek to change these rules, knowing they were profoundly unjust and offensive to God and man?

    I am a “cradle” Catholic. I was baptised, without my consent, into a church some of whose doctrines (rules) conflict sharply with what we know of Christ’s gospel teaching. For example, Christ taught indiscriminate love of neighbour (including, and especially, love of enemy); the Catholic Church, on the other hand, does no such thing, since it, traditionally, has morally approved the death penalty.

    Jesus put love of neighbour almost on a par with love of his Heavenly Father. Should I remain silent on the disobedience of Catholic magisteria to Christ’s teaching?

    The Catholic Church does not belong to its so-called “teaching authority”, the Magisterium; it belongs to Christ, through the Holy Spirit…the one and only teaching authority.

  104. “Unfortunately there seems to be a tendency in many churches for some practitioners to strive to alter doctrines within a church with which they disagree . . . they should rather seek a church where they can agree more completely with the doctrines propounded.”

    This is a very good and interesting problem that people have always struggled with. There is the question of changing something they believe is fundamentally in error, for the benefit not only of themselves, but for many others. We can expand this argument to other fields for greater clarity.

    “Good Christians” believed that they were correctly in line with god’s will to keep blacks separate and away from whites. Other “Good Christians” felt just as deeply that keeping certain things out of bounds was a violation of god’s will for humanity. Should that have been allowed to stand?

    Today “Good Christians” believe in the depths of their hearts that it is wrong to restrict certain believers from positions by gender or sexual orientation. Other “Good Christians” offer heartfelt disagreement.

    It’s not as simple as saying they should just go to a different church, though many folks do. Perhaps generations have attended that church, helped build it, baptized, married and buried there, graves in the cemetery. And they should simply walk away if they’re not allowed to fuly participate? That feels very wrong to me.

  105. Believers in what? The doctrines of men?

    Didn’t Jesus himself quote Isaiah in respect of this when criticising official Judaism for its betrayal of God?

    It’s the doctrines of GOD that count, not the doctrines of men like Chaput.

  106. I have been a priest for nearly 50 years and am shocked by Archbishop Chaput’s recommendation. Didn’t Jesus “eat with sinners?” We talk of “the church on the margins,’These are the people with whom I have ministered, and am proud that like Henry Nouwen I am a wounded healer! A smaller church spells phariseeism to me. I am proud to be an evangeliser! And so is Pope Francis.

  107. A Jesus man. This is what you are, Father. And you will suffer for it. You know this, don’t you?

    But you are not alone. You know this, too, don’t you?

    You are NOT alone.

  108. Reread the 3rd through 6th paragraphs. To say he “calls for a purge of the impure” is simply mischaracterizing his statements. And, no, you shouldn’t say he is bearing false witness unless you can demonstrate it.

  109. I can find no flaw in your argument, with the only caveat being that, sometimes the changes in doctrine sought completely contravene scripture. Even our love of our neighbors should not trump clear biblical instruction, which does on occasion occur.

  110. I’ve never read such a fair minded assessment of a religious group before.

  111. So you do, then, find flaw in my argument.

    Love of neighbour can never contravene Scripture: how we love neighbour is a measure (and the only measure) of how much we love God himself.

    Sadly, Roman Catholics are raised to believe that obedience to Rome rather than love of neighbour is what counts with the Father.

  112. At the same time, it speaks to the question of individual conscience and principle. For some the conflict is not worth the price, for others conflict is precisely the thing that nourishes them, without benefiting the fellowship to which they belong.; there’s plenty of evidence for that on these very pages. Sentiment for personal history is not a very sound basis on which to base one’s decision for commitment to a spiritual community. If it were so, I would have returned to the RCC of my childhood. But while I recognize and value much of Roman Catholic participation in the universal Church, my doctrinal differences will not allow me to embrace it as the sect of my preference. Ultimately it comes down to a dynamic tension that we will never escape until Christ Returns.

  113. I was speaking to the inclination of many so called believers to take a casual, lazy, and unthinking approach to their spiritual lives, failing to engage themselves seriously and deeply with what they profess to believe, where such belief takes a distant place behind cultural convenience, professional ambition, and the pleasures of this present world. It is on these very issues that I believe the Archbishop is most sound.

  114. I suppose it depends on how one defines “Love of Neighbor,” Agreeing with my neighbor when such a one adopts a spiritual course that appears destructive to my understanding is not genuine love, that said, such disagreement or admonition must be couched in cordiality. This is not an assertion that I am equipped to “judge’ my neighbor, but like anyone, God calls me to be faithful to His Word to the best of my understanding, and that includes receiving correction from brethren as well as lovingly dispensing it.

  115. Yes, “to the best of my understanding”, which admits the possibility that you may be wrong in your belief. Such an admission is true humility, something which Chaput could never conceive…such is his arrogance.

  116. You were, unknowingly, speaking of Chaput himself. This Christ-betrayer places no value on human life…in direct contravention of Christ himself, since he died for ALL humanity, not just select parts of it.

    Chaput, and his kind, believe in the arbitrary expendability of human life….something Jesus would have abhorred.

  117. Exactly. Faith requires endurance of ambiguity. The Now and Not Yet. That’s why it’s about Faith. We’re never saved by having the right theology.

    Good conversation Edward. Thanks.

  118. Sounds a bit off. No one gets a Ph.D. in “Pontifical Studies.”

  119. Christ indeed died for all humanity, but not all humanity will willingly receive His sacrifice; to be clear, I do not think universal salvation is a tenable doctrine biblically speaking if that is your position, which I am not assuming. To your other point, please illuminate, in what way does Chaput “believe in the arbitrary expandability/expendability(?) of human life?

  120. I take from your final sentence, that closes this discussion, which is perfectly fine, except that I would add that my predilection for preciseness in dotting i’s and crossing t’s makes the exercise of such faith often difficult.

  121. Sorry; I meant “expendability”.

    No, I do not believe in enforced “universal salvation”. Salvation is a gift, not an imposition. Like all gifts, it can be either received or rejected.

    Chaput, and the remaining Catholic episcopacy, believe that human life is arbitrarily expendable because (1) their acceptance of human expendability is proven by, for example, their traditional support of the death penalty, and (2) their approval of human expendability is their choice rather than a command by Christ.

    Chaput, and his kind, morally prohibit the taking of human life in utero for no reason other than that they consider it “sacred” (God-willed and God-created). However, the life that they protect in utero on this ground is afforded no such protection ex utero (even though it remains “sacred”), since, as I said, they traditionally have approved its destruction for reasons which they deem appropriate.

    Even so, human life in the womb is protected only putatively here since Chaput, and his kind, have traditionally approved also the so-called “Theory of Just War”. War, especially in the twentieth century, has shown itself to be “total”, that is, involving not just combatants, but civilians, too. In fact, the Second World War saw more civilian casualties than military ones. Among the civilian casualties were, presumably, pregnant women.

    When Chaput, and his kind, morally approve warfare, they obliquely approve the indiscriminate killing of non-combatants, including the very unborn children they would claim to protect.

    This position on human life is morally and intellectually untenable. If human life in utero must not be destroyed because of its perceived inviolability, then (if only to make sense of that), it must not be destroyed for this reason ex utero. Otherwise the moral position on human life held by the institutional Catholic Church (which Chaput represents) is not only intellectually inconsistent, but morally hypocritical. More importantly, it is a direct and grave violation of Jesus’ explicit command to love of neighbour.

  122. He is not a cardinal, nor is he going to be raised to the cardinalate.

  123. The good bishop forgets that, although, Kaine, Pelosi, and Biden are practicing Catholics, these practicing Catholics realize that while their faith belongs to them. They can uphold the practices of the RCC in their own lives, but Roman Catholicism is not be the faith of many people in this nation. We are a religiously diverse nation. One faith cannot prevail, lest we become a theocracy. In fact, our forefathers fled England as they did not wish to live in a nation that had a “national religion.”

  124. Hillary is a Methodist and the UMC is a very conservative denomination of Protestantism, and believes that abortion is a sin, and does not accept anyone who is LBGTQAI can be married in the church nor can they be ordained. However, Hillary will be president of the entire USA, and many do not hold her beliefs or the beliefs of the Archbishop. This nation never was, and I hope, will never be a theocracy.
    A president must uphold the laws, not force others to believe as they do.
    For those of you who support Trump for his pro life stance, remember that a short while ago he was pro choice. He tends to pivot on a dime, so be careful how you vote.

  125. He’s trying to speak truth, period. A most unpopular commodity, these days.

  126. Apparently a lot of Catholics “don’t believe in Catholic beliefs” these days, (with Biden at the top of the list, followed by Kaine.)

    People, if you don’t believe something, don’t try to fake it. Just tell the truth out loud, “I don’t believe it, I reject those beliefs.”

    Stop telling people you’re Catholic when you know you really ain’t. Cafeteria Catholicism is a Catastrophe, period.

    Archbishop Chaput is just trying to get Catholics to obey Truth-In-Advertising laws, that’s all.

  127. Murder is murder, and has nothing to do with religion or theocracy. If you agree to kill someone before is born, then it would be a matter of an eventual majority to kill someone after is born. To be born or not is just accidental not esencial in the process of life. Then it could be legal to kill someone before the first year after born, or before he or she has a self concience, or if his or her productivity is below standard, or any arbitrary circumstance. But, whatever…i never argument with people that wants to kill babies, cause is useless.

  128. No! The Problem is that Charles Chaput is not a Jesus man. Jesus has no place in Chaput’s version of the church.

  129. If you read those bible texts about Jesus eating with sinners and conclude that YOU should eat with sinners, you’re confused as to who you are in the story.

  130. Those who suffer are those who preach the teachings of Christ, in season and out. Bishops like Chaput are Burke are the ones being marginalised. Smell the coffee.

  131. If by rules you mean the teachings of Christ and his Church, then yeah, holiness is following the rules. “By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:3

    How would you define holiness?

  132. The Church isn’t telling everyone in society to go to Church and pray the rosary. We’re calling them to be good. To not murder and steal and lie.

    “Justice-for-all”…and what is justice?

  133. How do you think we know what the Holy Spirit wills?

    DIvisive? See Luke 12:51.

  134. If you are a priest don’t you do the same? And don’t you confess your sins?

  135. How? By being open to his presence in our hearts.

    As for division, evil divides, too.

  136. Good for him? Yes. But bad for the Church, since his “stand” is Pharisaical.

  137. I most certainly was not referring to Charles Chaput with that remark, but to William Punch.

  138. Chaput AND Burke. You cite Burke as well as Chaput as “those who preach the teachings of Christ”? I’m almost speechless.

    Both Chaput and Burke gravely violate Jesus’ command to love of neighbour with their support of capital punishment. And yet, Jesus placed love of neighbour almost on a par with love of his Heavenly Father.

    Remember Jesus made it clear that what we do to others we do also to him. Killing someone against their will is an attack not only upon humanity, but upon Jesus himself.

    Chaput and Burke are morally guilty of this.

  139. We are meant to follow JESUS’ example. Didn’t you know this? Or do you, like the Pharisees, think you know a better way?

  140. The Church isn’t calling people, Pharisaical-like, to keep a moral code, but to be open to the Holy Spirit.

    The SPIRIT is holiness, not a codified set of moral principles.

  141. You ask for a definition of holiness?! You’re truly unbelievable! How on Earth can one define holiness? God is holiness. And God is fully unknowable… except to himself.

  142. You musn’t be thinking of the man- Christ, because he frightens no one.

    What are you worshipping?

  143. Thank you for the clarification. Your comments lead me to believe that whatever sect or denomination you identify with, if any, teaches pacifism as a tenet of the faith. Or perhaps, if you are indeed a pacifist, it is a personal choice which frames your faith walk. I have no difficulty with that, though I am not strictly a pacifist myself. Though ideally we might live in a world where none would succumb to death except by age, illness, or accident, it has sadly never proved to be the case. It seems evident that you oppose the death penalty and war of any kind. I have been a past supporter of the death penalty, but have moved away from that position over time. I’d rather that dangerous and unrepentant people who have been convicted of heinous crimes be allowed to live out their lives incarcerated in the hopes that eventually the message of the Gospel might reach them and touch their hearts instead of having their premature demise engineered by the state which negates the possibility of eventual conversion. But I strive to allow other Christians their own conscience on the question..

  144. I’m actually Catholic. But I am not a pacificist: no Christian can be a pacifist…but he or she must be so on Christ’s terms. And these are founded on love, its weapons not those of man, but God himself.

    Institutional Roman Catholicism has a history of extraordinarily brutal violence, something which Christ neither preached by word or example, and which he categorically rejected.

    Men like Chaput are modern-day Pharisees, and they are leading countless numbers away from Christ.

    Those who claim to follow Christ must do so by HIS example, not by the example of Chaput, and his kind.

    Christ informs my faith, not men like Chaput.

  145. Amen Your Excellency…Amen

    Fr Punch; yes, Jesus ate with sinners. And those who responded in faith, received mercy. Those who did not, received justice. The Church Fathers also teach that at some point, you have to cut bait and allow free will to take its course.

    Maybe you are the one who needs to smell the coffee(?).

    God bless

  146. Nope. His stand is in line with 2000 years of Magisterium. Nothing less.
    But, go ahead, vote for HRC. The eyes of the unborn are upon you.

  147. “…at some point, you have to cut bait…”? Give up on a soul, in other words.

    Have you never read the poem by Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven? It tells of God’s obsessive love for a wayward soul and of his relentless pursuit of it, like a hound on the trail of its quarry. This is how much God loves each one of us, especially sinners.

    I don’t find even the faintest echo of that love in you; I find instead a desire to punish.

    Go read The Parable of The Good Shepherd, and then follow it with a reading of The Parable of The Prodigal Son. But don’t just read these; reflect on them prayerfully. And if, when you’ve finished, your heart remains hardened, read the part of the Gospel where the disciples suggest to Jesus that the Father be “prayed to” in order to rain down fire and brimstone on a village that had rejected the Good News. Read, very carefully, Jesus’ response to that hard-hearted and judgemental desire for punishment. And then read yourself into the scene with those disciples..because Jesus is addressing YOU as well.

  148. Chaput really doesn’t give a fig for the sanctity of human life, including the unborn.

    Chaput, as you said, “is in line with 2000 years of Magisterium”. And this is his judgement, since magisterial teaching disrespects the sanctity of human life through its traditional support of the death penalty and its acceptance of the Theory of the Just War.

    If human life is truly sacred, then it may never be taken against its will. Chaput is saying this out of one corner of his mouth, but out of the other comes contradiction. Chaput is a hypocrite!

  149. Not true – the Archbishop is asking all to adhere to Catholic teachings. Not everyone believes what Catholics believe. Some people are atheists and they should not be oppressed by religious teachings. Some believe in differing time-tables of gestation. A mother’s life is important especially if she has a large family. Who should make this decision except the woman herself. It belongs to her alone. Human life is not absolute. There is the death penalty and voluntary military service. We live according to our best estimate of good. But it’s no one else’s choice.

  150. Interesting. I would not have guessed your Catholicism; as one on the inside (as it were) I recognize your right to criticize the leadership of your Church. Unless I misread you, you have stated that, “no Christian can be a pacifist” except on Christ’s terms. I would differ in this sense, there are many Christian people who do embrace pacifism as a construct of their faith: The Amish, the Mennonites, and the Quakers among them. Whatever is not prohibited is allowed, I find no prohibition in scripture regarding conscience in this matter, which I think meets Christ’s terms. Beyond this, I respect the balance of your argument.

  151. God is unknowable? We know a bit about him. For one, that he is holy….

    Revelation is God “unveiling” himself through Sacred Scripture and Tradition, that we might come to know, love and serve him. Firstly through the Law and the Prophets, then Christ himself, the fulness of revelation. And finally, in these last days, through the Church on which he founded and guides by the Holy Spirit.

  152. Don’t patronise me.

    I met you on the grounds of your initial comment in order to perhaps have a discussion. I’m not declaring the state of anyone’s soul.

    If a pastor models himself on Christ, the true pastor, then he is not concerned with people departing from him in the face of difficult teachings. Exemplified in John 6.

  153. Dude, you need to make yourself more clear if you wish to engage in a discussion. Christ frightens no one? Or were you using the term to blaspheme?

    What am I worshipping? Should be WHO do I worship. That’s easy. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three persons, one God.

  154. Moral code? If you mean the 10 Commandments, the teachings of Christ and that of the Church he founded etc., then yes, the Church is calling people to do that. That’s how the Holy Spirit works.

  155. Catholic teachings in the realm of morality, yes. But they are also the beliefs of other Christians and often Muslims and Jews etc. The Church believes in freedom of religion. But it does not believe people should be free to commit evil. The church says stealing is wrong. So should atheists be allowed to steal because they are not Catholic?

    Where do you think our laws and basic values are derived from?

    You made the leap into the abortion argument. If you believe that human life begins at conception – as the Church does – then to destroy that life, which is most innocent, is a grave moral evil.

  156. I said that God was “fully” unknowable by us, not that he was unknowable.

    God is revealed fully and perfectly only in and through the person of Christ.

    Those other sources of divine revelation you mentioned are neither full nor perfect. And they include the Church.

  157. “He (a pastor modelled on Christ) is not concerned with people departing from him in the face of difficult teachings”?

    So you think Jesus doesn’t give a fig ( is “not concerned”) about recalcitrant sinners? Are you for real? He weeps over them!!! You wouldn’t, of course. Because you are not a “true pastor”.

    What was it Jesus said about the good shepherd vis-a-vis hired shepherds? Oh, yes. That he cares for the sheep, whereas hired shepherds scarper when wolves arrive because they care nothing for the flock.

    You care nothing for God’s lost children. Jesus did; he gave his life for them, even praying for their forgiveness after they nailed him to a cross.

    You’re a heartless fraud.

  158. Your comments on this blog so far reveal that you don’t know Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So how on Earth can you worship what you don’t know…dude?

  159. I didn’t say repentant sinners. I said people that don’t like his teaching. HUGE difference.

    People who repent HAVEN’T followed Christ’s teachings and are sorry for not doing so. If we change the teachings to agree with sinners, then there’s nothing for them to repent of. We’re all screwed.

    People’s constant inability to distinguish between moral teachings and pastoral practice baffles me.

    “Heartless fraud”. Ha ha! Brilliant.

  160. You’re hard work, aren’t you?

    We, none of us, can keep ANY of those things…because we are not Christ. So how do we manage in the face of our spiritual poverty? WE CALL OUT TO CHRIST’S HOLY SPIRIT THAT HE MIGHT TRANSFORM US INTO LIKENESSES OF CHRIST HIMSELF.

    Preaching to people that they must keep the Ten Commandments, etc is a monumental waste of time. Fact is none of us can; it is why Christ had to come, to fulfill law we could not fulfill because of our weakened humanity.

    You still don’t “get it”, do you?

  161. I haven’t found it to be a waste of time. I know I appreciated learning the biblical and moral teachings of the Church and repenting when my sin was pointed out to me. As a priest, it is my duty to teach and sanctify God’s people. I promised to do so when I was ordained and intend to keep that promise to the best of my ability, so help me God.

  162. Yes, I, too, thought it was brilliant. Glad we agree on something.

    You meant unrepentant sinners. You meant that Jesus didn’t care if these rejected his teaching. But, as I’ve already proved, he does care, deeply.

    You, on the other hand, don’t give a wotsit for people who reject what you say. What is that ugly word again? Yes. Of course: “Pharisee”. (Thought I should mention it, since it is highly pertinent…to you.)

  163. What you need to learn is humility to accept your utter spiritual helplessness. What you need to “unlearn” is spiritual pride: the pride of self-reliance.

    Be like Paul, conscious of his wretchedness, but raised by his awareness of God’s gratuitous mercy. And when you are so conscious, your heart will fill with gratitude .

    A grateful heart is a humble heart. And a generous giver.

  164. I do go to confession. Went yesterday! That is my point: WE are the sinners. Christ saves us. We save nobody, except by bringing them to Christ (or as is our privilege, Christ to them) and we do that most specifically in the sacrament of Confession and anointing and ministering Holy Communion to them. I don’t mean to tell you how to suck eggs Father, forgive me.

    If we imagine people are being saved by simply hanging around US then we’re gravely mistaken. Let’s show them the way to Christ and then, by hanging around him, they might just become his disciples. Bless.

  165. Christian laws and commands come from the first Christian, Jesus, not the church. The church added the creeds and doctrines which were voted on by men (women were not allowed to give their consent or vote as they were, and still are in a certain sense, deemed sub-human). Protestants were the first to rebel against man-made rules governing Christianity. Nevertheless, we have a long way to go before we are able to be the Christian Jesus asked his followers to be.

    Human life is not something Catholics can decide on for someone else. Who gives them that right? A mother’s life is deemed more than equal to a fetus in the personal mind with its circumstances (sometimes horrible circumstances such as rape, incest, death of the mother or both). You are going to choose that a woman lives or dies? Who gave you the right to make that choice?

  166. Well, you avoided my questions but anyway. Jesus founded ONE church. Without the Catholic Church you would have had nothing left of Jesus to argue with Catholics about Jesus. We had the faith in the beginning, we carried it through the ages, and we will be here to the end of time. Because Jesus promised us. That’s all I’ll say about that.

    No I don’t get to choose to kill an innocent woman. Neither do you! You do realise that some babies are girls…?

    To be honest, if governments made it only legal to “procure an abortion” in cases of rape and incest or if the mother was in direct danger of death – not this psychological and emotional BS – abortions would reduce by about 99.9%. That would be a good start.

  167. This is getting old. Bottom line is no one is ever going to be able to force anyone to have a baby or not to have a baby, i.e. Romania and China. It’s a choice that no man will ever have, it belongs to women alone, legal or illegal. The one church is, yes, Christian, with many denominations because God is infinite. Catholics are not the only Christians.

  168. Getting old? You’ve failed to engage on any of the arguments I’ve produced and once again brought up something else. Whatever. You’ve shown your cards pretty clearly though – classic misandrist.

    I’m out. Peace.

  169. Jesus founded a community, not a church in the modern sense of the word.

    So what went wrong? Study your ecclesiastical history, dude. We CATHOLICS fractured that community in the16th century and beyond by the moral corruption WE had been allowing into the Church for centuries. Martin Luther correctly sought badly needed reform, not schism. It was the violent, murderous reaction of that impeccable Vicar of Christ, Pope Leo X, that ennabled the Reformation.

    Isn’t it ironic that had the Catholic Church not existed, as it were, Christendom would still be united.

    Funny that.

  170. Yes, we’re too far apart on this. An acorn is not an oak tree and a caterpillar is not a butterfly. As long as you think there is no difference between a fetus and a baby we can’t connect. The difference is spiritually discerned; it takes a religious teaching to conclude your argument. It’s helpful to become familiar with Jesus’ parable of the tares and wheat which grow side by side until the harvest. At the harvest angels separate the tares from the wheat, not men. Jesus said, “Judge not.” (Matt. 7:1) Leave others alone to work out their own salvation according to Jesus’ teachings. Proof of the lives of saints and martyrs tell us yesterday’s sin is today’s virtue.


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