Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama
Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama Canadians packed St. Basil’s Church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak about how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square.
After giving a sketch of the basic principles in his New York Times Bestseller "Render Unto Caesar," the archbishop offered his insights on the need for an honest assessment of the situation of the Church in the public square.
"I like clarity, and there’s a reason why," began the archbishop. "I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor."
The Denver prelate then provided his critique of President Obama.........According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer."
Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four "simple things" to remember.
"First," he said, "all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."
"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."
In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs."
Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of today’s talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective.
"Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."
The third point to focus on when the beliefs of Catholics are challenged is that "it doesn’t matter what we claim to believe if we’re unwilling to act on our beliefs," Chaput counseled.
"The fourth and final thing to remember, and there’s no easy way to say it," remarked Archbishop Chaput, is that the "Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."
The full text of the archbishop's speech can be found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=790