In his interview with John Allen, “Archbishop Charles Chaput, Pope Benedict XVI‘s choice as the new chief shepherd of the embattled Archdiocese of Philadelphia” makes a number of interesting observations. Here are some of them. Allen’s questions are in bold, Chaput’s answers are in block quotes.
You mentioned a speech you gave to the priests of Philadelphia in 2005. In that address, you said that a priest is ‘unavoidably a leader, not a facilitator or coordinator of dialogue.’ Presumably you didn’t mean dialogue is unimportant?
You can’t lead unless you first enter into dialogue with people. My point was that a priest can’t just be a man of dialogue and consensus, because at some point he also has to lead.
When you say you want to lead the church back to a clear embrace of the Gospel, it implies there’s a lack of clarity somewhere. Where do you see it?
In my own personal life, first of all. I’m not always faithful to what the Gospel tells me to do. I’m a sinner, like everyone. If that’s true about me and about other individuals, it’s also true about our communal life. In some sense, the church is always going back to the teachings of Jesus. It’s not that we’re going backwards, but we’re going to our foundations and sources, which are the gospels and the traditions of the church.
When I say ‘go back,’ I don’t mean there’s some pristine time we should try to recapture. I mean that we always depart from our sources, and then try to embody them in the context of contemporary society. There’s nothing about the Gospel that I’m ashamed of, or that I think we are free to discard. We have to embrace all of it.
It seems important to you to be engaged with currents of thought outside the church.
Absolutely. That’s what evangelization is about, trying to see the best of the world around us and to show how the Gospel makes it better and richer, and how the Gospel at the same time corrects it and purifies it. There’s no way the Gospel can embrace and purify the world unless it knows the world.
Read the rest: Exclusive interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput.
- Archbishop Chaput urges confidence in the Gospel, as he goes to Philly (catholicnewsagency.com)
- Archbishop Chaput urges confidence in the Gospel, as he goes to Philly :: Catholic News Agency (CNA (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Archbishop Chaput urges confidence in the Gospel, as he goes to Philly :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) (dwinger.wordpress.com)
- Rise of the Evangelical Catholic Bishops (nationalreview.com)
- What It Means If Its Abp. Chaput to Philly (catholicvote.org)
- Archbishop Charles Chaput to Lead Philadelphia Archdiocese Amid Abuse Scandal (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
- Great 2008 Interview with Archbishop Chaput (regnumnovum.com)