Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia wrote about what’s come to be known as THE INTERVIEW. His words are illuminating and, I think, important.
Some people grasped at the interview like a lifeline – or a vindication. One person praised the Holy Father for stressing that the “Church must focus on compassion and mercy, not on enforcing small-minded rules.” She added that “we’re at last free from the chains of hatred that have ruled the Catholic Church for so many years and led to my unease in bringing my own children into that Church.”
More common though were emails from catechists, parents and everyday Catholics who felt confused by media headlines suggesting that the Church had somehow changed her teaching on a variety of moral issues.
I heard from a mother of four children – one adopted, another disabled from birth — who’d spent years counseling pregnant girls and opening prolife clinics. She wanted to know why the Pope seemed to dismiss her sacrifices. A priest said the Pope “has implicitly accused brother priests who are serious about moral issues of being small minded,” and that “[if you’re a priest,] being morally serious is now likely to get you publicly cast as a problem.” Another priest wrote that “the problem is that [the Holy Father] makes all of the wrong people happy, people who will never believe in the Gospel and who will continue to persecute the Church.”
Archbishop Chaput encouraged Catholics to read the interview. He said that while many Catholics have read ABOUT the interview, they haven’t read the actual interview itself. So they’re learning about what the pope said through the media, an unreliable arbiter of truth.
Abp. Chaput states clearly that the pope isn’t directing us to walk away from the unborn or to give up on marriage.
The Holy Father asks none of us to abandon the task of bringing the world to Jesus Christ. Our witness matters. Every unborn child saved, every marriage strengthened, every immigrant helped, every poor person served, matters. God calls on us to help him sanctify every aspect of our shared lives – at home, at work and in the public square.