Critics bash 'dimwitted' attack on Archbishop Chaput
Screenshot of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput speaking to students from across the archdiocese.
Screenshot of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput speaking to students from across the archdiocese.

.- An essay claiming that Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia was put in a “right-wing funk” by Pope Francis' popularity “completely misunderstood” the archbishop, his defenders say.

Two Catholic writers have strongly criticized an Aug. 17 National Catholic Reporter opinion essay by University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Charles J. Reid, Jr.

Reid used Archbishop Chaput's July 23 interview with National Catholic Reporter correspondent John L. Allen, Jr. to argue that the archbishop is worried by “the sudden interest in the new Pope from unfamiliar quarters,” like non-practicing Catholics, non-Catholics and non-Christians.

The opinion essay accompanied a cartoon depicting an archbishop with little resemblance to Archbishop Chaput. The cartoon archbishop was shown under a raincloud and appeared to be depressed by a chart of Pope Francis' growing popularity.

Sharply responding to the piece on the “First Thoughts” blog of First Things magazine on Aug. 21, Matthew J. Frank wrote that the archbishop's interview with Allen instead showed him to be “unequivocally delighted with Pope Francis.”

“Literally his first comment on the Holy Father is, 'Thanks be to God that the Lord has given us a pope with such universal appeal to so many people.'”

Patrick Brennan, a blogger at the Catholic law blog Mirror of Justice, weighed in an Aug. 20 piece that Reid's essay was “an unjust portrayal of an exemplary bishop” whose summary did not resemble what the archbishop actually said.

In his essay, Reid goes on to suggest in his essay that Archbishop Chaput's comments that these people would prefer a church without “strict norms and ideas about the moral life and about doctrine” sounded like the older brother from the parable of the prodigal son, who was resentful on the return of his wayward brother.

Reid cited the archbishop’s description of contemporary culture as “pagan,” arguing that this description was a bar to evangelization. He also blamed “right wing” Catholicism for failing to reach the marginalized and sinners.

Frank countered that Reid “completely misunderstood” the archbishop, who does not believe that the Pope is less concerned about the moral life and about doctrine.

Archbishop Chaput’s references to the “right wing of the Church” did not include the archbishop himself, Frank noted. Rather, this referred to “people on the fringe” such as those drawn to the breakaway Society of St. Pius X.

“(T)his is not a faction with which Chaput identifies himself, and it strikes me as either very dimwitted or very willfully biased for Reid to understand Chaput that way,” Frank said.

“This misunderstanding feeds every other thing Reid gets wrong. It’s why he thinks – and this mistake is truly bizarre – that Chaput somehow rejects people being drawn to the Church anew by Francis's ministry.”

Brennan noted that Archbishop Chaput “decisively” countered any disaffection with Pope Francis, citing the Archbishop’s own words about the Pope: “I think he’s a truly Catholic man in every sense of the word.”

Frank rejected the idea that Catholic leaders like Archbishop Chaput had kept people way from the faith, noting that these leaders are “a large part of the reason” that he had returned to the Catholic faith and his wife had converted.

Tags: Archbishop Chaput

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 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: