In other news, Abp. Chaput is going to Philadelphia. Archbishops of the archdiocese in which I grew up who have replied to my email questions? This is the first.
The thing I like about Abp. Chaput is that he, in a word, tries. He tries to make the Christian Faith relevant to how Catholics act in society. He is willing to say, "This Catholics must do, and this Catholics must not do." I'm not sure if it's also true grammatically, but message-wise he very much favors the active voice over the passive voice.
There are those in the Church who prefer bishops to use a passive voice, at least when it comes to criticizing Democrats. They will say Abp. Chaput is too partisan and not sufficiently pastoral. To the former charge, I'd answer yes, Abp. Chaput is extremely partisan; he stands with the weak against the strong. To the latter charge, I'd answer that they are failing to see that their universal pastor, Pope Benedict XVI, is trying to teach them something in giving Abp. Chaput to Philadelphia, and if I had to guess, I'd say the lesson is that "pastoral" doesn't always mean letting the flock do whatever it was going to do anyway.
Still, those who aren't happy about this news are part of Us, too, and we're all together supposed to bring Christ to the world and the world to Christ. Best wishes and prayers to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, her new archbishop, the Church in the United States, and the whole Church Militant!
Oh, and let me finish with a favorite quotation from the Franciscan archbishop's time in Denver, just to keep things focused:
In part, the picture that emerges is already familiar. Chaput wants to lead the church back "to a clear embrace of the Gospel, without compromise." He tackles the Latin Mass, the visitation of American nuns, health care, communion bans for pro-choice politicians, and gay marriage -- in each case, staking out what most would regard as strongly conservative positions.
Yet there are also surprises....
"If we don't love the poor, and do all we can to improve their lot, we're going to go to Hell," Chaput says, in typically blunt fashion.
Why is it a suprise that a "strongly conservative" archbishop would say that?