“We need to deal with the debris of failure if we want to repair God’s house” – Archbishop Chaput

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has given a strongly worded address to a congregation of 1,550 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels’ Plaza that honestly talks about signs of failure in our Church, including the clergy sex abuse crisis, a decline in priestly vocations, struggling Catholic schools and parishes, years of deficit spending and unrealistic financial management, and drastic demographic changes.

‘The fact remains that roughly 10 percent of Americans describe themselves as ex-Catholics,” he reported. “If they all joined together in a new ‘Church of the Formerly Catholic,’ they’d be the second-largest denomination in the country. That’s our reality as disciples. That’s the debris of failure we need to deal with if we want to repair God’s house.’

‘Morally, we live in chaotic times. In such a climate, it’s very easy for people to develop habits that undermine virtue, character and moral judgement. It’s hard to reach a moral consensus when a culture can’t agree on even the most basic standards of right and wrong. As a result, for individuals, today’s conditions of daily life are often isolating and even frightening.’

Basically, during this period of new evangelization, the pope is asking Catholics to receive a blessing, he said. He’s asking members of his flock to examine their hearts and life habits without excuses or alibis. ”If you think that sounds easy or pious,” he said, “try it for a week.”

“If our hearts are cold, if our minds are closed, if our spirits are fat and acquisitive, curled up on a pile of our possessions — possessions that can kill us — then the church in this country will die.

“It’s happened before in our times and places, and it can happen here. We can’t change the world by ourselves. And we can’t reinvent the church. But we can help God change us. We can live our faith with zeal and conviction — and then God will take care of the rest.”

The archbishop said Pope Benedict had some “concrete suggestions” for parishes and church groups in the Year of Faith. First: to study in detail the Apostles’ Creed and the catechism. Second: to intensify their witness of charity. And third: to study the history of their faith and, in particular, see how “holiness and sin” are so often woven together.

“The clergy scandal of the past decade has wounded victims and their families, damaged the faith of our laypeople, hurt many good priests and found too many American bishops guilty of failures in leadership that resulted in bitter suffering for innocent persons,” he pointed out. “As a bishop, I repent and apologize for that failure — and I commit myself as zealously as I can to do the work a good bishop must do, which is shepherding and protecting his people.”

Protect the Pope comment: As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council its important that we honestly face up to the mistakes and failures that followed in the wake of the Council if, as Archbishop Chaput puts it, we are to repair God’s Church. One of the failures that needs to be addressed is the collapse of genuine Catholic catechesis, and the domination of some national and some diocesan catechetical bodies by dissenting Catholics who seek to protestantize the Church.

During the Year of Faith just notice how these bodies squirm and avoid referring to or using the Catechism of the Catholic Church.




1 comment to “We need to deal with the debris of failure if we want to repair God’s house” – Archbishop Chaput

  • God bless Archbishop Chaput. I’ve always admired him for his unambiguous-straight-to-the-point speeches.
    The flock is in safe and capable hands with a shepherd like that. *

    Pope Benedict has granted a plenary indulgence for the Year of Faith.

    “The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II”, the text reads, “the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of – or better still the pious meditation upon – the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church”.

    “Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them”.


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