Loading
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
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.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- 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

RESOURCES »

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

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14