Archbishop’s homily: Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be…

Over the past 41 years, the prolife movement has been written off as dying too many times to count.  Yet here we are, again and again, disappointing our critics and refusing to die.  And why is that?  It’s because the Word of God and the works of God do not pass away.  No court decision, no law and no political lobby can ever change the truth about when human life begins and the sanctity that God attaches to each and every human life.

The truth about the dignity of the human person is burned into our hearts by the fire of God’s love.  And we can only deal with the heat of that love in two ways.  We can turn our hearts to stone.  Or we can make our hearts and our witness a source of light for the world.

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The new (Catholic) McCarthyism: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a critic of Pope Francis?”

McCarthy

Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has been unfairly depicted as a critic of Pope Francis.  This stems from an interview he had with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

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Archbishop Chaput: “The HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion.”

“Access to inexpensive contraception is a problem nowhere in the United States,” he said. “The mandate is thus an ideological statement; the imposition of a preferential option for infertility. And if millions of Americans disagree with it on principle–too bad.”

The archbishop went on to observe that abortion advocates use fraudulent language in describing their position.

“The fraud at the heart of our nation’s ‘reproductive rights’ vocabulary runs very deep and very high,” he wrote. “In his April 26 remarks to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the president never once used the word ‘abortion,’ despite the ongoing Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and despite Planned Parenthood’s massive role in the abortion industry.”

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Editor’s note: Judging by the revelations concerning the Archdiocese of New York, Obama and his minions already know that coercion is very likely to succeed.

His former Archdiocese now in shambles, retired Philadelphia prelate waxes affectionately about the “many graces” of the 2nd Vatican Council.

Through the council, “many graces” were given to the Church, he said, but following Vatican II, the Church also faced many challenges, and “not all of them have been met.”

Among these challenges has been the question of what constitutes “the Spirit of Vatican II,” Cardinal Rigali said, citing Pope Benedict XVI, who said “there is no spirit of Vatican II independent of what Vatican II says.”

He also recalled the former Pontiff’s quote, “Not everything that happened in the name of Vatican II belonged to Vatican II.”

A proper reading of Vatican II sheds light on our efforts to faithfully understand the intersection of the Church and the modern world, the cardinal explained.

“As we read the documents 50 years later, it’s amazing to see how relevant they are, how much they apply to the Church,” he remarked.

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Editor’s note: Maybe something was lost in translation … or maybe the Cardinal’s memory has failed.  One thing’s certain though … the current Archbishop of Philadelphia – Charles Chaput – who inherited the mess – has necessarily been invoking the Holy Name of Jesus with greater and greater frequency. The big question: Is he invoking the Traditional pre-Vatican II Jesus (as in praise, worship and petitions) … or the modernist, “worldly” post-Vatican II Jesus (as in accidentally hitting his thumb with a hammer?)

Archbishop Chaput on Catholic philosophy and elections, along with some recommended reading.

Any committed Christian might be tempted to despair. But the truth is that it’s always been this way. As the author of Hebrews wrote, “here we have no abiding city” (Heb 13:14). Augustine admired certain pagan Roman virtues, but he wrote the City of God to remind us that we’re Christians first, worldly citizens second. We need to learn—sometimes painfully—to let our faith chasten our partisan appetites.

In the United States, our political tensions flow from our cultural problems. Exceptions clearly exist, but today our culture routinely places rights over duties, individual fulfillment over community, and doubt over belief. In effect, the glue that now holds us together is our right to go mall-crawling and buy more junk. It’s hard to live a life of virtue when all around us, in the mass media and even in the lives of colleagues and neighbors, discipline, restraint, and self-sacrifice seem irrelevant.

Brad Gregory, the Notre Dame historian, seeks to show how we got this way in his recent book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. His answers are surprising, and for some readers, controversial. But his book is also important—and in its explanatory power, brilliant.

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Chaput: “We just have to be insistent. Catholic identity takes precedence over everything.”

Abortion, Archbishop Chaput says, “is very serious issue that requires absolute adherence on the part of Catholics,” Chaput explains. “And if we don’t stand united on this issue, we’re bound to failure — not only in the area of protecting unborn human life but in maintaining our religious freedom,” he continues.

And lest you worry he’s forgotten he’s a spiritual shepherd and become a canvasser for the Grand Old Party in the latter-days of a presidential election, he cautions: “You cannot trust Republicans to be pro-life twenty years from now,” Chaput says. “You can’t let any party take your vote for granted. That’s unfortunately what’s happened. . . . That’s why the position of the Democrats has gotten worse and worse and worse . . . Catholics haven’t abandoned them.”

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