Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
By Michelle Bauman
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia celebrates Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica, Oct. 20, 2012. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia celebrates Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica, Oct. 20, 2012. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.

.- The current Year of Faith is an opportunity to counter the cultural relativism that plagues modern society and that has led many in the Church to deny Catholic teaching on important topics, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

“The appropriate response to relativism is faith, where you no longer are the center of the universe, you are no longer the one who decides what’s true, but you commit yourself in faith to God’s truth,” he told CNA on Nov. 12.

Among the biggest current challenges for the Church in the U.S. is addressing those “who say they’re Catholic but don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches,” the archbishop stated. “The hardest thing is to convince them that they need to change.”

“So many people just think they’re Catholic already and think that they have a right to decide for themselves what’s Catholic and what’s not,” he observed, adding that “we’re just not getting through to them because they don’t think they need to be gotten through to.”

“It’s true about all of us,” he said. “Those who most need conversion are the ones who don’t think they need conversion.”

That means “it’s easier for the Church to convince people who are not Catholics of the truth of Catholicism than to convince Catholics who aren’t true believers that they ought to change,” he said.

Archbishop Chaput thinks that the root of the problem “is the cultural relativism that Pope Benedict speaks about all the time.” And it has “deeply infected” the life of the country and many of the people in the Church.

“I think that’s the result of poor catechesis for a couple of generations,” he said, explaining that people genuinely think that they can “decide for themselves what it means to be Catholic.” 

However, the archbishop said that he also sees opportunities amidst the challenges.

“I think the Holy Father has given us an extraordinary framework in which to evangelize – the Year of Faith,” he said. “It’s an act of God’s providence that he declared this period of time for that purpose.”

Announced by Pope Benedict XVI, the Year of Faith began on Oct. 11, 2012 and runs through Nov. 24, 2013. During this year, the Pope is asking Catholics to study and reflect on the catechism and documents of the Second Vatican Council to grow deeper in their faith, so that they can be witnesses to others.

Archbishop Chaput described the Year of Faith as a tremendous blessing for the Church in the U.S. as it faces the challenges of the culture.

He is also hopeful because the American bishops are increasingly becoming more aware of the problem of cultural relativism and the need to address it.

“For a long time, we weren’t even talking about this as an issue,” he said. “And you could see it creeping into the Church everywhere.”

This new awareness on the part of the bishops, coupled with the call to conversion and witness that is part of the Year of Faith, offers an opportunity for the Church in America to be renewed and grow stronger, he said.

Lay Catholics who are sincere about participating in the Year of Faith should encourage their pastors “to develop programs in the parish to promote the New Evangelization,” the archbishop advised.

“Because sometimes, priests might not think that anybody’s interested in that.”

“Lay people generally think that if the bishop pushes priests, it will get done,” he said. “My experience is that it also takes the people in the pews to push from the other direction to get the priests’ attention.”

This involves not only asking the priest to do things, but the laity volunteering to do things themselves, Archbishop Chaput said. 

“If they do that, I think there are going to be great changes.”

Tags: Pope Benedict, Archbishop Chaput, Year of Faith, Culture, Relativism

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: