Sunday, March 29, 2009

Archbishop Chaput Shows How Not To Write Your BIshop- Q and A with Press Part VI

Past post I have done on this today - 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, a Archbishop Chaput Talks About All Those Catholics On The Supreme Court - Press Q and A Part IV, and Archbishop Chaput Talks Faithful Citzenship Document and Catholic Voting- Q and A session with Press Part V

This will be the last one I do because I could do 14 more of these. There is a lot of meat here plus it is interesting the questions the press ask. I wanted to break up these posts into a readable parts.

For the entire interview and Press Q and A see The Political Obligations of Catholics: A Conversation With the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver

I find this part very iimportant because it gives a lesson how Catholics should write to their Bishops. Actually he is pointing out in a very personal way how NOT to write them. It appears this occurs on the left and right. The vile can happen and often happens in things not political too.

Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say? is always telling Catholics that on matters of liturgy to write their Bishops in a constructive and positive tone!!! Sadly we let our anger get the best of us and we forget who we are writing.

In a part of this interview Archbishop Chaput of Denver stated:
But see, we’re perceived as doing things we really don’t do. Sometimes that’s our own fault by our failures to communicate very well. But it’s hard to do that when you can communicate so quickly. Everybody does it. You know, all these blog sites now. It’s just amazing. How do you ever respond to all that? I personally – on the average – spend three hours a day answering mail. Most bishops probably wouldn’t do that because they just have a different pastoral style than I do.

I do it for two reasons. One, I think that if I don’t answer it, it makes the church look worse because “they don’t care about me.” But secondly, I think it’s an opportunity to evangelize. But it’s hard to do. I mean, three hours a day

That is something that Chaput does that and that should make us mindful of how we write to them.

Anyway I thought this question and answer was important to end this series of post on.

PATRICIA ZAPOR, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE: Archbishop, Sally alluded to something that probably most of us in the room have experienced, and that is the hate that gets directed at us – and at you, obviously, from what you describe of your letters – every time we present a position, whether it’s ours or the position of somebody we’re quoting, that doesn’t fit with the writer’s or the caller’s definition of what a good Catholic is, whether the caller or writer is right or wrong by whoever’s standard, it’s black and white, you’re with me or you’re going straight to hell. And this, in my sense – I’ve been a Catholic press journalist for a very long time – it’s gotten worse.

How do we deal with that? How do we tone down the black or white? Your writings, your comments, your speeches are very well-phrased. I think anybody with some of the positions that we get letters about would come from a conversation with you going, oh, maybe I need to tone down my rhetoric because the way the archbishop phrases these things, I see where he’s coming from. How do we deal with this in the general Catholic population with the people who are writing us, because it is so vitriolic? I’m not sure it does anybody any good – the pro-life, the pro-choice, the anti-immigrant, the pro – I don’t think it adds anything to the conversation to have it be so divisive. How do we attack it?

CHAPUT: I don’t know the answer to that any better than you do, Patricia. I think the internet has made it much worse. I used to get some hate mail before I was online, but not nearly as much as I did afterwards. I think the way that we have immediate access, which means we immediately speak out of our emotions rather than write a letter, send it the next day, you might change your mind. Instead you write it and you push the button to “show them,” you know, that kind of thing.

So I think our immediate ability to communicate has led to a coarsening discourse for one thing. I gave a talk recently – I think it may have been when I was in Toronto, where I said that the Lord reminds us that we are sheep among wolves, but it’s important for us not to become wolves ourselves because of our experience, and I think that often happens.

Some of the worst emails I get are from Catholic conservatives who think I should excommunicate and refuse communion to Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. of Colorado and to former-Sen. [and now Secretary of the Interior] Ken Salazar of Colorado, and why aren’t you doing this? I mean, just awful kind of stuff that they write. Sometimes, I must admit, that when I write back, I’m not as friendly as I should be. But I try not to be mean.

CROMARTIE: You’re straightforward.

CHAPUT: I try to be – well, sometimes I might be mean, I don’t – (laughter) – because I’m just mad because I’m writing it too soon after I get it, perhaps. But I think it’s important for me as a bishop, but also for anyone who believes that’s a Christian, to try to always speak those words clearly but with love and not to be wolves ourselves.

ZAPOR: Just a follow-up. Where is the responsibility? Who can tone it down? Who can help tone it down?

CHAPUT: Nobody can tone down this group. I don’t know who can tone down the left because they usually just – it’s really interesting, the left mail I get will use terrible words but be less vitriolic. They use the F-word and things like that, call me names like that. But the right is meaner, but they’re not as foul. (Laughter).

CROMARTIE: Mean, but not foul language.

CHAPUT: Yes. But I don’t have an answer to your question.

CROMARTIE: I think we’ve got a news story here. (Laughter.)

So Orthodox Catholics just recall that people like Chaput and other like him are our friends and we should recall that before we hit the submit button in an emotional states

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