I couldn’t be happier with the news that Archbishop Chaput is coming to Philadelphia. Maybe this news will bring some much needed sunshine and put an end to the storm clouds that have lingered over this area for the past few years.
There’s tons of stories out there concerning this amazing bit of news. For a good look at many of them, check out New Advent.
It’s funny that this awesome news marks a day where I agree with both Fr. Thomas Reese and George Weigel.
Reese was quoted saying:
“I think that with Chaput you will see a much more politically active archbishop than we saw with Cardinal Rigali,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America and author of numerous books on the Catholic hierarchy.
Reese described Chaput as an “in-your-face” leader who is “going to be a real pain in the neck for the Democratic Party.”
George Weigel called Chaput a “great pastor” and predicted he would be a “real jolt of evangelical energy for the archdiocese.”
I agree with both. (Although I think Reese meant it as a bad thing, I don’t.) But the archbishop’s job is not a political one. Right now, so many Catholics are dispirited. Many Catholics have wondered aloud to me if they’re putting money in the collection basket just to pay off lawsuits or pay for lawyers. I’ve heard of seminarians leaving, mainly due to the scandals and the sometimes seemingly wrongful heavy handedness of lumping the innocent in with the guilty.
In my parish just outside Philadelphia it’s impossible not to understand that Catholics feel disillusioned by the Archdiocese. They don’t understand how the mess got this bad. They wonder if anything’s been learned. And they wonder if the Archdiocese will ever be the same.
I honestly believe Philadelphia needs Archbishop Chaput right now.
I don’t think Rocco Palma is overstating it when he says of Abp. Chaput:
“He is brash, outspoken and fearless — energetic, colorful, cultured… indeed, even hard-core….
And if multiple indications from near and far have it right, he stands set to bring the most revolutionary change American Catholicism’s most traditional major outpost has known in at least a century, to begin its rebuilding from the ashes of the darkest hour in its long, storied history.
We should all pray for quick and long sustained success here for Abp. Chaput.
Just hearing about this appointment has put a spring in my step.