Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Because You Were An Former Altar Boy Does Not Make You Pope- Archbishop Chaput Q and A with Press Part III

See past posts Archbishop Chaput Explains Catholic Stuff to the Press in a Q and A Session-Sally Quinn Still Does Not Get It and Why is Archbishop Rummel a Role Model for Archbishop Chaput? Press Q and A Part II

I am again looking at this amazing and far reaching Q and A session that Chaput had after his speech to journalist. See The Political Obligations of Catholics: A Conversation With the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver

Archbishop Chaput explains something so clearly here that seems to go over the head of most Catholics and the press. This is part of a question posed by STEVE COLEMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS RADIO. This questions is part of a serious of questions Coleman ask that included who and when can a Catholic go to communion and such if they disagree with the Church. Be sure to read the whole thing. Here though Coleman asks:

COLEMAN: No, you’ve really answered most of it. I for sometime had a neighbor who was a former Catholic priest who then left the church and got married. And he said, I disagree with the church, but I’m still a good Catholic. So I guess that comes down to who defines what’s Catholic? Does the church define who is Catholic or does anybody just say I’m a Catholic?

CHAPUT: I think the church defines who is Catholic, just as the Lutheran churches decide what’s Lutheran and the Baptist churches decide what’s Baptist. The two issues that I get the most hate mail on are immigration and abortion, in Denver. And they always like to begin by saying, I was an altar boy or I went to Catholic school for 12 years. Somehow that gives them authority to decide what the church believes.

I was also an altar boy, and I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and I don’t think that qualified me at all. Even as a bishop, I’m not qualified alone to say what the church believes. I do that in union with the pope and my brother bishops and the tradition of the church, which is embodied in the life of our saints too – it’s not just the bishops. But I think we can’t redefine the church for our own definition of what it means to be a Catholic. And this doesn’t apply merely to “bad” stuff – like a former priest who leaves the church and gets married and thinks he’s just fine, God bless him. But then for him to redefine the church for the rest of us, that’s just not appropriate.

How self evident!!! But so many people miss it or wish to ignore it.

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