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Posted July 30, 2011
Getting to know Archbishop Charles Chaput
If Joseph Ratzinger was "God's Rottweiler" during his time in the Roman Curia under Pope John Paul II, I think he has hopes that Archbishop Charles Chaput will be his lap dog in Philadelphia. I hope not - we don't need a "mini-me" in this city. "Render unto Caesar" is one long convoluted lecture directed at the Catholic laity, especially in America for failing to live up to his standards for Roman Catholics. He has written off France and Italy, and probably all of Europe for their anti-clericalism, but I resent his treatment of Americans in his demeaning chapter "Men without chests". Chaput really unloads on Americans on pages 120-21, quoting a blistering analysis in 1947 by Rev. John Hugo, a theologian with Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker, and says that his words ring true today! Later, on pages 132-33 he delights in quoting writer David Brook's description of Americans as Bobos - short for bourgeois-bohemians. It is astonishing! The only relief in the entire book is his final thoughts in Chapter 12 - especially on the political dimension of the abortion issue - he offers some good advice. Unfortunately, he doesn't address the issue of ecclesiastical corruption in the church, but maybe the archbishop will write a sequel to this book called, "And to God, the things that are God's".
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Posted August 9, 2011
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