.- In light of Friday’s release of Ridley Scott’s new film about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput is challenging Christians to reclaim their lost memories.
In his weekly column, the Archbishop chided the loss of Christian identity and history from the American and European culture, and noted the new film, which, as the New York Times puts it, portrays Muslims as “bent on coexistence until Christian extremists ruin everything.”
He said that, “By influencing our choices here and now, memory encourages a certain shape to the future — and discourages others. That’s why every new ideology and generation of social engineers seeks to rewrite the past. Whoever controls the memory of a culture also has power over its future.”
He added that Christians have a duty to prevent the loss of “the real facts of history” and thereby prevent God being “scrubbed out” of America’s future.
While humbly facing the legitimate evils, which were done by Christians in the Crusades, Archbishop Chaput pointed out that they need to be viewed within their historical context, noting also the genuine “faith, nobility, heroism and self sacrifice.”
The Archbishop pointed out that, “Lasting reconciliation between aggrieved parties always begins with an honest, mutual examination of past sins. This requires an accurate historical record.”
“As Christians,” he said, “we need to repent of our own many sins and acknowledge the sins — sometimes, terrible sins — committed by Christians in the past. We also need to invite, by our example and by our commitment to telling the truth, the repentance of others who have sinned against Christians — sometimes, terribly — over the centuries.”
“Unfortunately, over the past few decades,” he said, “the confession of sins has often seemed like a Christian monologue. That isn’t just. It isn’t honest. And it doesn’t serve charity, because charity is always wedded to truth.”