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« Archbishop Milktoast | Main | A Good First Step: Archbishop Chaput Corrects Senator Biden On Abortion »

Monday, September 08, 2008


Atlanta Catholic

Archbishop Chaput writes in his new book, "Render Unto Caeser" page (197)

"Don't lie. If we say we're Catholic we need to prove it. America's public life needs people willing to stand alone without apologies, for the truth of the Catholic faith and the common human values it defends."

Archbishop Chaput needs to join his sixteen other brother Bishops who have publicly stated that they "will deny" Communion to obstinate pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Is Archbishop Chaput going to let his brother bishops stand alone without apology?

Does Archbishop Chaput's dismissive response to this couple's letter raise doubts that he means what he says, "If we are Catholic prove it?"

Archbishop Chaput, also needs to be willing to stand alone without apology, with the sixteen other Bishops who have actually stated that they "will enforce Canon 915" and "deny" Holy Communion to Catholic pro-abortion politicians.

The response from Archbishop Chaput to the couple who wrote the open letter above, is the exact opposite of what Archbishop Chaput wrote and encouraged other Catholics to do in his new best-selling book. Why is Archbishop Chaput not answering the simple question, "Are you going to enforce Canon 915?"

Archbishop Chaput asks the faithful to not lie. All right. We won't lie. It was a great disappointment and shock to learn that Archbishop Chaput admitted campaigning and voting for Jimmy Carter as a young priest, knowing that he was pro-abortion.

Archbishop Chaput's uncharitable response to this couple is also disappointing. Where is the consistency of his message from his book? Do actions speak louder than words or books? Archbishop Chaput's response to Donna speaks volumes of inconsistency.

Is the gospel on fraternal correction meant only for a few? Archbishop Chaput is very well thought of and has done many good things. The faithful are only asking him to follow his own words.

Archbishop Chaput should have praised this couple for proving they were willing to stand alone, in their concern with the serious problem of Catholic politicians promoting permissive abortion. How hurtful and dismissive for pro-life workers to read the numerous similar responses that Archbishop Chaput sent to Catholics who asked him to enforce Canon 915.

We pray for Archbishop Chaput. We pray that all of our Shepherds will be united in actions as well as words. The faithful are proving that they love their faith by stating, "Your inactions speak so loudly, we can't hear what you are writing in books or saying, please prove it!"

barbara kralis

On October 27, 2007, Archbp. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, closed his important essay entitled "The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin," by admonishing priests and bishops to fulfill their duty to deny. He said:

"No matter how often a bishop or priest repeats the teaching of the Church regarding procured abortion, if he stands by and does nothing to discipline a Catholic who publicly supports legislation permitting the gravest of injustices and, at the same time, presents himself to receive Holy Communion, then his teaching rings hollow. To remain silent is to permit serious confusion regarding a fundamental truth of the moral law."

It does not matter if Archbp. Chaput refuses to answer our simple questions, we should continue, our of great charity to him, to remind him of such truth. Contact him at: [email protected]

James Rich

I think Arch-Bishop Chaput's response with the Pelosi thing was measured, reasonable, and responsible: he spoke out immediately, said she should not come to Communion, and explained his reasoning. Now, if Pelosi is going to disobey him, that's another issue. I believe he was the first to comment, in fact. And I think his actions have been appropriate.

I don't agree with his immigration stance, but I can understand the pastoral reasoning behind it.

Judie Brown

Archbishop Chaput, along with approximately 224 of his fellow bishops has chosen not to teach the truth about why Church Law requires anyone who is responsible for distributing the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion to deny the Sacrament to someone who is persisting, in a public way, in grave moral evil such as the advocacy of aborting preborn children. Pelosi is such a person.

To ignore the vital urgency of protecting Christ from sacrilege while at the same time encouraging Pelosi to publicly repent of her support for child killing is to cause scandal.

We all pray for Archbishop Chaput and for those souls who are scandalized by what is not being done.

Judie Brown


Forget Communion denial: a decree of excommunication, until public apology and repentance, is what is deserved for pro-abort politicians.

Pray for our bishops in the meantime...I'm afraid we're closing in on England ca. 15th century.

Atlanta Catholic

James Rich,

Archbishop Chaput's responses to Catholics regarding the upholding of Canon 915, have not been very pastoral. So far, he has not answered the simple question, "Are you going to enforce Canon 915?" The vague responses are condescendingly arrogant and uncharitable.

Faithful Catholics are asking why is Archbishop Chaput not willing to "prove it", as he suggested in his book, with a simple response of 'yes' or 'no'! I wonder if Democrat, Polly Baca, would have received the same response that Michael and Donna Marek received, if Polly Baca had asked Archbishop Chaput the very same question?

Thank you Michael and Donna Marek for proving that America's public life, has courageous people such as yourselves, who are willing to stand alone without apology for the truth of the Catholic faith and the common human values it defends. May God bless you both. You have 'acted' and followed the exact words of direction that are written in a recent best-selling book. "Render Unto Caesar", (page 197). The faithful are asking the author of the best-selling book to please do the same. Please, Archbishop Chaput!......Prove it! Take action!

James Rich

I just don't necessarily agree that it is any of our business whether Canon 915 has been applied to a specific person (i.e., Nancy Pelosi, etc.). I don't think it's any of our business, and curiosity on our part doesn't mean he needs to tell us. And, frankly, that's how I took his response to Donna and Michael Marek.

Do you think, for example, that it would be appropriate for a bishop to reveal specific persons in the diocese who have been excommunicated for procuring an abortion or whose marriage is/isn't considered valid? I just don't think it is. I think the issue is discretion. I can't see that it is any business of Mike and Donna, who lives who knows where, what the bishop of Denver does or doesn't do in his diocese.


As a convert an an orthodox Catholic, I have to say that the Church just doesn't make any sense to me any more.

The pro-abort public officials can go on Tom Brokaw and tell the world that the early Church fathers believed in abortion, and they remain Catholics in good standing as they thumb their noses at the Pope from the communion line.

And the Catholic mayor of S.F. can lead the charge on gay marriage. And I just can't imagine what it would take for Rome to get involved.

Meanwhile, if I miss Mass, it's a mortal sin.

I might as well have stayed a Protestant. At least that made sense to me.


As a convert an an orthodox Catholic, I have to say that the Church just doesn't make any sense to me any more.

The pro-abort public officials can go on Tom Brokaw and tell the world that the early Church fathers believed in abortion, and they remain Catholics in good standing as they thumb their noses at the Pope from the communion line.

And the Catholic mayor of S.F. can lead the charge on gay marriage. And I just can't imagine what it would take for Rome to get involved.

Meanwhile, if I miss Mass, it's a mortal sin.

I might as well have stayed a Protestant. At least that made sense to me.

Janet Baker

Mr. Rich, when a bishop does, or does not, enforce Canon 915, he gives an example to his congregation. When they choose to give Communion to those committing grave, manifest sin, they undermine fidelity to the Magisterium by their own disobedience to Canon 915. Therefore, sir, it most definitely IS our business when a pro-abort receives. In fact, we would be sinfully remiss in our own duties if we copped out and said, "it's none of my business."


*sigh* With a country full of bishops who sit silently, cowardly and sometimes unscrupulously promoting evil, the pro-life 'hard core' once again single out the most consistantly active and positive bishop on this matter for their wrath.

Attention junkie behaviour.

Atlanta Catholic

James Rich,

Where are all of our brave men? I guess that Sarah Palin needs to return to the Catholic faith and start reforming some of our Bishops and our Catholic men with an infusion of courage. They seem to be asleep and ignoring the Holy Spirit who dispenses the gift of courage.

Has anyone noticed that there were so few good men available to tackle the corruption in politics? Why is little Sarah Palin the only hope of the election? Little Sarah is tough, that's why! How about some men getting as tough as Sarah? That's a lot of pressure on one little lady, James, maybe you can step up to the plate instead of telling fellow Catholics that it's none of their business and obfuscating the issue with hypotheticals.

James Rich, your response is an excellent example of why many Catholics are entrenched in silence and inaction. There will always be a voice to justify weakness. Where are our courageous Catholic men?

I'll tell you where many of them are. They are paralyzed in a false spirit of contentment when it comes to getting in the trenches to call a spade a spade. Our men are soft. St. Catherine of Sienna thought so too, at one time.

Where are all of the good and brave Catholic men who are not afraid to defend the Blessed Sacrament and the unborn who are slaughtered by the millions?

Stephen Brady, a faithful and courageous masculine warrior against corruption within the Church, once said that it was the women who were standing up to these evils. C'mon James, get on board. Courageous Catholic women constantly defend the Church's teaching position that women can never be priests and we believe this to be true. We do not mind defending the truth.

We do not defend the fact that women should be the only voices that are heard from the trenches. The view from the perch might be comfy but nothing beats good ol' fashion men with masculine Catholic courage. The saints possessed that kind of courage

Recently, the Knights of Columbus have taken public action like brave men in tackling the corruption of pro-abortion and same sex marriage support from within their own organization. This is so encouraging.

Thankfully, a few good Bishops and priests disagree with you, James. They have joined the ranks of other courageous men and have stated that they will deny Holy Communion to obstinate pro-abort Catholic politicians. They want unity with their brother Bishops.

As long as there are excuses instead of courage, these Catholic politicians will continue to promote evil and cause scandal. I'm sorry to inform you James but you are your brother's keeper.

Archbishop Burke said he received many letters from the faithful imploring him to take action against these Catholic politicians. He stated that these many letters were important and this encouraged him to enforce Canon 915. Archbishop Burke did not tell the faithful to mind their own business or go do something more useful. It is very sad that for all of the good things that Archbishop Chaput has done, he lacked the humility to respond as a leader who the faithful could turn to. He chose to be sarcastic and defensive. The Mareks cared about the Blessed Sacrament and unborn babies. Archbishop Chaput has resonded as if he cared about Archbishop Chaput.

Archbishop Burke is letting Catholics know that letters made a difference. These are marching orders James. These are not back of the bleacher spectator orders to voice criticisms of other Catholics who do take action.

Catholic Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, has publicly supported permissive abortion and same sex marriage. Archbishop Chaput has publicly warned him for nearly two years. It is time for action James.

The purpose of Canon 915 is to discipline and undue the public scandal and damage that these politicians have caused publicly. The public is supposed to know about it James. Archbishop Chaput needs to uphold Church Law and he can begin in Denver with Governor Ritter and actions.

James, do you remember writing a post on Oct. 22, 2007 about Harry Potter's author asking for it, because she announced that a character was gay? Well, I guess you should be able to follow the same logic you used then. Archbishop Chaput has also asked for it, by challenging the faithful to follow what he advised on page (197) in his new book "Render Unto Caesar". Archbishop Chaput needs to join his brother bishops and "prove it" with actions not words.

James, as a Catholic, you should apologize to Michael Marek, a courageous man and his courageous wife, Donna Marek. You 'joined' the lower ranks of attempting to sarcastically diminish their sincere effort. Will Our Lord be as pleased with your criticism of this couple as He was pleased with them for their loyalty in defending the Blessed Sacrament and the innocent unborn? You have lost that battle but it's not too late to win the war. It takes unity to win a battle. Bishops should be unified in defending the Blessed Sacrament with upholding Church Law with actions not just words. The faithful should be unified in their support of courageous Catholics who encourage Bishops to be faithful in enforcing Church Law to repeat offenders.

I have never met Donna and Michael Marek or even heard their names before this letter. They are courageous enough to defend the Blessed Sacrament and the unborn. You should value them as a fellow Catholic. James, I sincerely hope you will be courageous enough to apologize.

Mona Alona

I'd like to see the Holy Father make a little 15 to 30 minute video on the Church's teaching on abortion and same sex marriages and then for that video to be shown at every Catholic Church in the U.S. With a video message from the Holy Father we won't have to depend so much on bishops to do their job.

Joseph D'Hippolito

Absp. Chaput's terse response to such a thoughtful letter typifies the arrogance pervading the hierarchy. They know better. They're fundamentally better people. They deserve no criticism. They deserve unflinching loyalty at all times. At least, that's what the hierarchs believe.

Such a self-concept is wholly contradictory to Christ's admonitions to his disciples. Service is the heart of leadership, not "lording it over others," as the bishops like to do.

Those who criticize Chaput for rash behavior should recall his words to Justice Scalia regarding capital punishment -- words that not only reveal Chaput's utter ignorance of the issue but also his grasping for favor with Rome.

Not for nothing did St. John Chrysostom say, "The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops."

Chaput is consumed with ambition and is bucking for a bigger see.

Joseph D'Hippolito

One more thing...

If Chaput's attitude toward the Mareks doesn't reveal him to be a total hypocrite, then what does?


I'm tired of the meely-mouthed, wishy-washy double-speak that comes from the USCCB as an organization and many of its members: from the failure to save Terri Schiavo, to CT bishops allowing abortion in Catholic hospitals and my own GA bishops not backing the efforts to define personhood at conception, the list goes on. Of the hundreds of Bishops in the US, only a handful (< 20) actually have fidelity to the Magisterium and back up what they say and believe with tangible, clear and decisive ACTION! Especially when it comes to murder of the unborn, and now what can only be called infanticide!

I see, among other things, the sin of Pride at work in many of our Bishops (need one be reminded of Mahoney's prideful efforts against Mother Angelica?). The sexual abuse scandal is a direct result of our shepherds turning a blind eye and allowing large numbers of homosexuals into the religious life. The USCCB's own study shows that the vast majority of the sexual abuse was committed on adolescent boys, yet we all know how the hierarchy simply buried the truth and moved the sexual predator to new hunting grounds! Fie on our shepherds who have allowed this! What more evidence do faithful Catholics in obedience to the Magisterium need to see to convince them of the cesspool created by the USCCB lack of fidelity in both word and more importantly, in deed?

Peter: Yes many bishops in the USCCB are silent, others like Chaput are all talk, no action. What happens when laws are not enforced? They are ignored with impunity, soon more laws are ignored until there is anarchy. Here we are talking about nothing less than, "Thou shalt not kill". Chaput and others talk alot, and loudly but they do nothing to back up the talk! If a "catholic" politician can support murder of unborn children, what makes anyone think they care what a Bishop may say? If these politicians were publicly denied per Canon 915, perhaps it would cause them and others to stop and think! If they obstinately persist in manifest sin, they automatically have excommunicated themselves!

Frankly, I think the Church is long overdue for another Inquisition to cleanse the Evil from within. Better a smaller faithful Church than a larger one filled with sacrilege, anathema, heresy, pride and weak defenders of the faith! A more faithful membership would be a beacon of Truth to all, and lead many to the Church!

Ecclesia Militans

Joe of St. Therese

why not just use 715 on Pelosi (teaching heresy) and use 915 on Biden....?

james rich


Are you reading the post I wrote or responding to your own thoughts about what I did or didn't say? Bizarre.

I'm not going to apologize to the Mareks for anything I said, because I didn't criticize their actions or put them down or question their motives--like you did about me! I simply said the brush off from the bishop could have meant any number of things, one of which I offered. I then ASKED a question as to whether it would be appropriate for a bishop to state who is being disciplined by a bishop. Is that not a valid question? Might that not have explained the bishop's silence? It seemed to be a good question, one which no one has responded to. We have all these canonical lawyers here, apparently, so I thought someone would be able to answer such an easy question...myself not being an expert in the area. And for this I'm branded a coward. Wow. I wonder if any apology is coming my way for such a comment?

Feel free to post your apology right under my entry here. I am impressed by your memory, quoting like you did my post on Harry Potter last year. That is truly impressive. If you did that from memory, I'm really impressed. You DON'T have to apologize for your memory, that's for sure.

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