Three Important Quotes from Archbishop Chaput’s New Interview
Archbishop Charles Chaput recently gave an interview to CatholicPhilly.org, reminiscing about his first years here, looking ahead to the visit of Pope Francis, and reflecting on whether the diocese has found a measure of stability after years of turbulence. The full transcript can be found here.
Three quotes we found interesting:
• On the challenges of his first years in Philadelphia:
I haven’t had a normal year yet as a bishop (of Philadelphia). The first year was given to the grand jury report. The second year was trying to deal concretely with our financial problems. And then the third year is focused primarily on preparation for the World Meeting of Families, and of course the fourth year, the same. I will celebrate my fourth anniversary as bishop in September and that’s the beginning of the end of the preparations. I’m looking forward to 2016 as an ordinary year in the life of a bishop. I hope that I can do the things bishops ordinarily do rather than handle specific kinds of crisis situations
• On the pope’s plans for Philadelphia:
I don’t know. People will often ask me, “What’s the pope going to do?” I don’t know any more than you do. We’re going to make suggestions to him about issues we think he needs to talk about. Some of those issues would be religious freedom, for example, and immigration which is another important issue that we don’t seem able to face as a country in an adequate way. Catholic education is extraordinarily important in our history in Philadelphia, as is religious freedom too. So those are important issues we certainly hope the holy father will reflect on.We’ve had our own sad history with sexual abuse of children here and I’m sure that the holy father will say something about that somewhere when he visits the United States, whether it be here or in New York or in Washington.
• On the stability of the diocese:
I think certainly more stable than it was before. But again, if your parish has been merged you probably wouldn’t think it’s stable at all. All those people are part of the diocese, even if it’s a small minority. It’s a concern to me because they’re as much the church as anybody else. But I have to be persistent in standing firm on the decisions we’ve made because the decisions are made for the good of the whole. We can’t please everybody all the time; in fact we can’t please everybody any time. We just have to do our best to please God and do what is prudent in all the circumstances. Now having said all that I really do think we are in a better place than we were three and a half years ago. I think the World Meeting of Families does present us with a great opportunity not only for the strengthening of family life which is basic to all of us but also in having confidence in ourself as a church.