Sunday, March 29, 2009

Archbishop Chaput Talks Faithful Citzenship Document and Catholic Voting- Q and A session with Press Part V

Past posts on this are Archbishop Chaput Explains Catholic Stuff to the Press in a Q and A Session-Sally Quinn Still Does Not Get It , Why is Archbishop Rummel a Role Model for Archbishop Chaput? Press Q and A Part II , , Just Because You Were An Former Altar Boy Does Not Make You Pope- Archbishop Chaput Q and A with Press Part III, and Archbishop Chaput Talks About All Those Catholics On The Supreme Court - Press Q and A Part IV

I am trying to break up some of the things that catch my eye in this very interesting with press and Archbishop Chaput in to about six posts. I am leaving out a good bit so please see the whole thing at The Political Obligations of Catholics: A Conversation With the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver

The United States Bishop document “Faithful Citizenship,” that was released before the 2008 elections. It was of a concern to us how much of it was , in our view, twisted. I think what Chaput says here is interesting. We also have another case that we saw in Liturgy recently where Bishops seem to think Catholics have the working vocabulary of a 4 th grader.

JACQUI SALMON, THE WASHINGTON POST: I have a question about “Faithful Citizenship,” the Catholic bishops’ – I know they don’t like to call it a voters’ guide – guide to election decision-making. There seemed to be a lot of disagreement among the bishops about what it said, particularly about abortion, about whether it did require Catholics to vote for a pro-life candidate or whether –while others said that abortion was not the only issue that should determine a Catholic vote. Where do you come down on this issue? What do you think it said? I understand that they’re reworking it. How do you think it should be reworked?

CHAPUT: I voted for it, and I think that there were probably – if I remember right – there were less than a handful of bishops who didn’t vote for it. So when we talked about it a year ago – I think it was last June, I’m not sure exactly when we issued it – there was unanimous opinion among the bishops who were there that this was much better than the Catholic voter guides that we had issued in previous years and that it was really quite clear on the issue of abortion and Catholic voting.

Now apparently it wasn’t very clear, and maybe the reason so many voted for it is people from all sides of the issue within the body of bishops read it differently. The one part that I was concerned about but they convinced me that I was unnecessarily anxious is it said that we should take into consideration other serious issues when really the teaching of the church isn’t other serious issues, it’s – what is the technical word that we use for – that Pope Benedict gave us – that reasons have to be “proportionate” to the issue.

The bishops said, well, we’re not going to put “proportionate” because people won’t understand it. Now I don’t know. American Catholics are intelligent enough to know what proportionate means, but we decided not to use it and to use other “serious” matters. Then I noticed it was being used, that all these other issues are serious. They are. Immigration’s serious; the way we care for the poor is extraordinarily serious. We’ll go to hell if we don’t care for the poor. So those are all very serious issues, but the real teaching of the church is “proportionate.”

That technical language is extraordinarily important on this issue because what is proportionate to the willing destruction of unborn human beings? What is? So I think that we are going to have to work on it and make it more precise. I voted for it. I thought it was a good document. We probably won’t get to doing this until two years before the next election, and then we’ll forget the pain. It’s just really interesting how we don’t do this right away. We always wait, put it off, until it’s too late.

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