Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Archbishop Charles Chaput on the Meaning of Christianity and the Family

Even though Archbishop Charles Chaput was not a participant in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican, the Archbishop of Philadelphia certainly had some strong opinions about the Synod.  After delivering a lecture titled  "Strangers in a Strange Land" at a First Things symposium in Manhattan, Archbishop Chaput was asked the Extraordinary Synod.

Archbishop Chaput opined:  “I was very disturbed by what happened [at the synod]. I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion".   The National Catholic Reporter mocked Chaput's confusion and denied that there was disunity at the Synod.  But the NRC's denials are about as credible as endangered Democrat Senators denying their support of President Obama.  

Archbishop Chaput was not adverse to the vigorous discussion on difficult issues for families on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics and how to treat same sex marriage.  In fact, Cardinal Chaput mused: “We also need to thank God for the gift of this present, difficult moment,because conflict always does two things: It purifies the church, and it clarifies the character of the enemies who hate her."

The Archbishop of Philadelphia has been a strong voice in support traditional marriage.  Archbishop Chaput felt that the original midterm relatio caused confusion within the Church and among the secular media.  Chaput felt that the final synod report was an improvement but still did not clearly restate Church teaching on marriage and homosexuality.This theological viewpoint was supported by Cardinal Burke and the vast majority of Synod Fathers, who insisted on correcting the skewed relatio.

Archbishop is expected to host Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia in September 2015 for the global World Meeting of Families.  The Catechesis for the World Meeting of Families thesis is "Love is the mission" for families, but that  the power of procreation in a sacramentally committed husband and wife shares in the dignity of being created in the image of God so we need to live accordingly, And that marriage is a sacrament in which love is fruitful and offered without reservation that is the image of Jesus' faithfulness to the Church.

This World Meeting of Families catechesis mirrors why Archbishop Chaput rejected some of the interpolated accommodations in the relatio which created such confusion. 

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