TORONTO, Canada, March 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – During a LifeSiteNews interview last week, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput stressed that “not nearly enough” US Catholic bishops have been speaking out strongly on the current state of the culture. He also noted that the poor instruction of Catholics over the past 40 years has to a large degree been responsible for many of today’s serious problems within US Catholicism, especially the lack of “understanding of the horror of abortion.”
Chaput, a prominent US bishop and recent author of “Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life.”, was interviewed following his breakfast lecture to Toronto businessmen on February 24. The archbishop, who is usually upbeat and gentle mannered, nevertheless, and true to his frankness in Render Unto Caesar, did not beat around the bush on the abortion issue and the responsibilities of Catholics and Catholic leaders in the culture wars.
Asked what could be done to get Catholic pro-abortion politicians to comprehend their faith obligations on the abortion issue, Chaput did not give a reassuring response. He stated, “Apparently, very little can be done because so little seems to have been accomplished.”
He conjectured a likely reason for the current situation has been negligence on the part of the Church leadership in the U.S. “I don’t know if it’s because we’ve let it go on for such a long time and haven’t challenged it before now, but this attitude of being comfortable with being pro-choice and Catholic at the same time seems to be deeply set in the lives of these folks.”
Chaput expanded, “It seems like there has been a very bad period of catechesis of people in the Church, not only catechesis of the laity but also catechesis of the clergy and it’s bearing bad fruit in our time.”
“We need to reinvigorate the Church’s understanding of the horror of abortion,” Chaput continued. “It seems that we have become deadened to the horror of abortion.”
To the archbishop, clergy have a crucial role related to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He stated, “I think it’s very important for clergy to advise political leaders of the great scandal that they might be part of because this can lead not only to the death of the unborn but it can also lead to the spiritual death of the political leaders who vote that way.”
The fact that some prominent pro-choice Catholics are even lectors or have other visible roles in parishes, Chaput calls “another sign of accommodation with the reality of abortion.” He went on that, “We don’t understand this horror so we can put up with people who are pro-choice or pro-abortion and not challenge their Catholic identity.”
Once again, as he has recently said many times, Archbishop Chaput told LifeSiteNews that “anyone who is pro-choice or pro-abortion shouldn’t receive communion as they are not in communion with the Church’s teaching.”
The Denver archbishop has been warning Catholics and all Americans about the dangers of the path our culture is upon, but his warnings are often not heeded. Asked about this, he replied that just as in the time of Noah and the Flood, “I think it is true about our time, that we are not taking the situation concerning the Church and the world seriously now.”
Although he did not “know what we can do about it,” Chaput encouraged faithful Catholics “to be persistent in our preaching and in our continuing to give the warning and that God bring fruit from that if He chooses. We shouldn’t give up.”
It was mentioned that many bishops spoke out strongly during the last election. However, he was clearly not impressed himself and said, there were “not nearly enough”.
Chaput has himself been very outspoken and continued that reputation during the lecture, related to his book, Render Unto Caesar, the previous night.