On Thursday, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an unattributed defense of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, arguing that he did not endorse the ‘testimony’ of Archbishop Carlo Viganò, and that Chaput was a supporter of the Holy Father. In his testimony, the former nuncio accused Pope Francis of lifting formal sanctions on then-Cardinal McCarrick and called on Francis to resign. The CNA article then recounted several other instances suggesting Abp. Chaput is a supporter of Francis and his papacy.

The article was a response to an essay by Massimo Faggioli, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, in the French online Catholic periodical La Croix International on the increasing tensions between populist and right-wing governments and the Catholic Church. The piece took its title (“The rise of ‘devout schismatics’ in the Catholic Church”) from a quote about Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini:

“If Matteo Salvini becomes prime minister, Italy will have a government led by a Catholic who is devout but schismatic.”

So said Sergio Romano, a former Italian ambassador to NATO and the ex-Soviet Union, in a recent opinion piece in the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera.

Faggioli’s 2,000-word essay touches on a number of issues, including those Catholics, particularly in the United States and Italy, whose political views diverge from those of the pope on Islam, immigration, religious pluralism, and wars undertaken by Western governments. Faggioli’s thesis is that Pope Francis has been the catalyst behind the tension (and sometimes open hostility) between populist or right-wing Catholics and the institutional Church.

Towards the end of the essay, Faggioli suggested that this “devout schismatic” attitude also extended to some bishops:

“These ‘devout schismatics’ are not only politicians. They also include some theologians, priests, bishops and even cardinals. Their schismatic instincts have been on display since the beginning of Francis’ pontificate. But they were particularly visible in August 2018, when some of them – such as Archbishops Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Salvatore Cordileone of San Francis, as well as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler (Texas) – sided with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to Washington who called on Francis to resign.”

Rather than engaging the key arguments of the essay, or even mounting a defense of all three bishops, the article focused on the essay’s sole mention of Abp Chaput. On Twitter, Faggioli noted that CNA attempted to contact him only 30 minutes before the publication of the article, and did not receive the message until after the article was published. Later, the article was amended to include his comments.

It strikes me as odd that such a spirited and extensive defense of the archbishop was written about a single passing reference to him in an essay. Granted, describing Catholics as “schismatic” is a bit extreme, especially when the canonical criteria for schism are not met, but in the context of the article, Faggioli was being hyperbolic and not using the term according to its precise canonical meaning. In addition, he tempered his comments about the bishops by describing their “schismatic instincts,” in reference to their opposition to Pope Francis. He didn’t say that they had refused submission to him. I don’t agree with everything Faggioli wrote in the essay, and certain things could certainly have been worded more accurately or diplomatically. That said, there was a thread of truth to his identifying three US prelates whose opposition to the pope on key points has been well-established.

CNA was wise in not attempting to defend Strickland or Cordileone against these charges, saying:

After the testimony was released, Strickland issued a statement calling Viganò’s allegations “credible,” and Cordileone said he could confirm that some of Viganò’s statements were true.

The CNA article failed to note just how far those statements went. Strickland’s letter ordered priests to disseminate these allegations widely, writing, “I direct all priests to include this notice in the masses on August 26, and post it on their websites and other social media immediately.”

Cordileone’s defense of Viganò was even more robust. He wrote:

“I came to know Archbishop Viganò well during the years he served as Apostolic Nuncio here in the United States. I can attest that he is a man who served his mission with selfless dedication, who fulfilled well the Petrine mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father to “strengthen his brothers in the faith,” and who would do so at great personal sacrifice and with absolutely no consideration given to furthering his “career” – all of which speaks to his integrity and sincere love of the Church. Moreover, while having no privileged information about the Archbishop McCarrick situation, from information I do have about a very few of the other statements Archbishop Viganò makes, I can confirm that they are true. His statements, therefore, must be taken seriously.”

Chaput, on the other hand, issued a more tempered response. The article described Chaput’s response to the testimony through a spokesman:

“Contrary to Faggioli’s claim, however, Chaput did not endorse Viganò’s allegations. A spokesman told reporters in August that Chaput ‘enjoyed working with Archbishop Viganò during his tenure as Apostolic Nuncio,’ adding that Chaput found Viganò’s time at the nunciature ‘to be marked by integrity to the Church.’

However, the spokesman said that Chaput could not comment ‘on Archbishop Viganò’s recent testimonial as it is beyond his personal experience.’”

It appears that the original version of the story omitted the quote from Chaput about Viganò’s service as nuncio as “marked by integrity to the Church.” It, along with Faggioli’s comments, were added at a later time, perhaps after this Tweet by theologian and author Dawn Eden Goldstein:

Indeed, this article lacks a full account of Chaput’s record with regards to Pope Francis’s papacy and teaching, selectively referencing two quotes, one from 2013 and one from 2018, where the archbishop praised Pope Francis.

It’s a fair critique to note that Chaput’s non-comment included high praise for the pope’s accuser and no mention of support for the pope, not even a response to the call for the pope’s resignation. Technically speaking, Chaput and his supporters could argue that he did not comment on Viganò’s testimony, but if he truly had no comment, then why did he compliment Viganò so wholeheartedly?  What are readers to understand from Chaput’s statements? At the very least, one can expect an archbishop to repudiate Viganò’s intemperate call for Francis’s resignation, and a demand that Viganò provide evidence for his charges.

Unfortunately, there are many other instances where Archbishop Chaput’s words and actions indicated a much more critical attitude towards Francis and his teachings that CNA did not mention. Typically, Chaput’s criticisms are polite and carefully crafted, careful not to contain any direct accusations or harsh words against the pope, but indicate that he is unhappy with Francis’s teachings and actions. There have been several instances over the past few years that have suggested that Chaput has an agenda that is not in sync with Francis’s.

One obvious instance of this that was not mentioned in the CNA article was his endorsement and promotion of Ross Douthat’s book, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (read Dan Amiri’s review for WPI here). He wrote in his weekly column for April 6, 2018:

To Change the Church is an equally intelligent and absorbing work, even when the reader finds himself questioning or disagreeing with it.

I’ve been pleased to welcome Ross Douthat as a speaker at the Archbishop’s Lecture Series here in Philadelphia in the past. It’s a pleasure now to encourage readers to attend his April 10 presentation at 4 p.m., at Villanova’s Charles Widger School of Law, in the Arthur M. Goldberg ’66 Commons. Admission is free; there’s no charge.

It is rare to find the explicit promotion of a book event in a bishop’s weekly column, and even more rare to find one promoting a book in which the author suggests that Pope Francis’s pontificate opens up questions “about the authority of Scripture generally, and whether the church’s past teachings on any moral issue can be considered permanently reliable, or whether all things Catholic are subject to Holy Spirit-driven change.”

A second instance Chaput indicated alliance with opponents of Pope Francis on April 21, 2018, when Cardinal Raymond Burke — perhaps the face of resistance to the pope — and the notorious Fr. Gerald Murray were invited to speak at a conference in Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. The conference’s topic was on Marriage and the Family, and while I’m unable to find any video or transcripts from the conference, I’m confident that the talks were not a celebration of Amoris Laetitia. (If any transcripts or videos are available, please post them in the comments.)

Speaking of Amoris Laetitia, the article fails to mention that Archbishop Chaput’s pastoral guidelines for the implementation of the exhortation ignore (or even contradict) what Pope Francis proposed in chapter 8 of Amoris. Perhaps in some situations, one could chalk this up to “confusion” about what Amoris actually says, but towards the end of this 2017 interview with John Allen of Crux, Abp. Chaput admits that he would defy the pope if it was made explicitly clear that footnote 351 of the document does indeed permit those in irregular situations to receive the sacraments in certain situations. (And as Pedro Gabriel pointed out last year, it’s already clear.)

These are just a few examples of actions that lead to legitimate questions about Abp. Chaput’s support for and fidelity to the pope. Who can forget Chaput’s public call for the cancellation of last year’s Synod on the Youth? First he attempted to call for its cancellation due to the urgency of the sexual abuse crisis, and then he attacked its Instrumentum Laboris by publishing a critique written by an anonymous theologian in First Things.

Is Chaput schismatic? No, of course not (although I have pointed out one instance where he has admitted he would refuse submission to the pope). Was his statement in response to Viganò “supportive” of Viganò’s claims? No, but he certainly vouched for him as a character witness. Is Archbishop Chaput a supporter of Pope Francis? The case for that is tenuous, at best. What is the justification for publishing such an enthusiastic apologia for Chaput’s support for the pope, one that omits key facts and was prompted by a single mention in a lengthy essay?

Perhaps I have misjudged Archbishop Chaput’s positions in this piece. But his public record has shown some very clear signs of resistance to — and even subversion of — Pope Francis and his teachings. If I am wrong about this, I would love to be corrected. It would be helpful if Archbishop Chaput could clarify these words and actions, as well as express his support for the Holy Father, in his weekly column.

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  1. Avatar ONG says:

    NEW TERM: SATANIC RELIGIOUS ZEAL

    (To the self-righteous “Pharisees”)

    https://youtu.be/pAVlItZhzQw

  2. Avatar Ck says:

    Thank God for Archbishop Chaput a good and holy servant of God. He should have been elevated to cardinal by now.

    • Avatar jude says:

      It can’t be easy being a good and faithful bishop these days when things are so bad and so mixed up inside and outside of the church and no help comes from Rome.

      The pope will not create him cardinal, he will have to wait for better days before he is considered a good and holy servant of God.

  3. Avatar Don says:

    To CK: He will never be a cardinal and he’ll be gone within the next 12 months.

  4. Avatar jong says:

    Dear Mike,
    You are not wrong in your observation. Ab. Chaput knows the boundaries of schismatic act and does not want to commit that error explicitly. Personally, I think Ab.Chaput still has a good heart but his actions and words appears to contradict the teaching of Pope Francis on some important issues. His opposed words and actions may not be comparable in magnitude to Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schnieder, Fr.Gerald Murray, etc. who openly contradicted Pope Francis teachings continuously, but once a good bishop entertain an inspiration to oppose the Pope, definitely it’s not coming from the Holy Spirit.
    As Cardinal Caffara reminded all the bishop who oppose the Pope;
    “«I was born Papist, I lived as a Papist, and I mean to die a Papist! If a Bishop has a thought contrary to that of the Pope» – he concluded: «he must go away, but really he must go away from the diocese. Because he would lead the faithful into a path that is not the one of Jesus Christ anymore. Therefore, he would lose himself eternally and would risk the eternal loss of the faithful».”
    https://www.uccronline.it/eng/2018/10/08/card-caffarra-let-who-is-against-the-pope-go-away-he-will-lose-himself/

    Other : “Secret conversation between Pope Francis and Ab.Vigano in June 2013:”
    Pope Francis : Thank you very much for your visit and support.
    Ab.Vigano : Your welcome, Holy Father anytime you need my help, please don’t hesitate to ask.
    Pope Francis : You see right now, I need to fill in a lot of important position particularly I need a good Cardinal whom I can assign to solve the problem in China.
    Ab. Vigano : Well, your Holiness if that”s the case I highly recommend my good friend Cardinal McCarrick.
    Pope Francis : Is he still active? I thought he was already retired.
    Ab.Vigano : Oh no, your Holiness, Cardinal McCarrick was pretty much very active. (Please see this link how active Cardinal McCarrick during 2011 to 2013 while Ab.Vigano was the US Nuncio; https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/08/26/viganos-accusations-what-we-know-and-what-questions-they-raise)
    Pope Francis : So, he was still active, Is he a good Cardinal?
    Ab.Vigano : Oh yes, Holy Father, Cardinal McCarrick was not only good in fact I concelebrated Holy Mass with him and had the privelege of giving him honor last year. McCarrick was not only good, he was a “Cardinal loved by all”.
    Pope Francis : Good, so can I give him a new assignment and trust him?
    Ab.Vigano : Yes, Holy Father, I’m sure Cardinal McCarrick is the right man for the job.
    (See : the “dossier thick” that Ab.Vigano told the media that he informed Pope Francis was a lie if we based the documentary evidence how Ab.Vigano treated Cardinal McCarrick during the time he was the US Nuncio. Ab. Vigano and Cardinal McCarrick were in good terms and not hostile to each other.)

  5. Avatar dekbert says:

    Everyone knows Pope Francis is the problem. The number of people willing to defend him is growing smaller. Prepare for your eventual flight to the Episcopal church

    • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

      Why would we flee to the Episcopal Church if we stand with the Pope? I think you missed the point of this website.

    • Avatar Marie says:

      Dekbert, pride and faith in one’s spiritual and intellectual capacities have sowed great confusion in a lot of people. So much so, that even the basic teachings of our of faith are totally ignored, and confidence in oneself over and above Christ’s word has taken over. He promised to protect the Church yet so many just ignore that, because they know better. They skim over Bible verses and the Catechism when it makes them uncomfortable. Even rewrite the meaning if necessary. Sounds a little bit Protestant, eh?

      In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 881, it reminds us “The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

      To be so out of alignment with our faith that some chose to believe in their own interpretations rather than believing Christ is pretty shocking to me. We’ve been given the gift of the Church, with Christ ‘s promise that he will protect her from error in faith and morals, and some choose to say, “nah, no way, there is no way Christ’s wants the Church to be like Pope Francis is saying, I know better, I’ll follow what my heart tells me because I know, I’m a real faithful Catholic” Sorry, that just boggles my mind, no matter how many people believe it. I would never, ever assume I knew more than the Vicar of Christ, especially when we have example after example of these very prideful Pharisees before us. I would also never, ever ignore the word of Christ and go my own way, and treat his Vicar on Earth so disrespectfully. It simply shocks me. Not understanding the message is one thing. That’s understandable as we all can struggle at times. Attacking Christ’s messenger however, is in a league by itself.

      If you ever decide to look at Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ, and start from the viewpoint that he is correct, which Christ promised he would be, and you are willing to read everything he has written, you indeed will learn, as so many of us recognize, he is truly a gift from God and his message is indeed a message from above.

    • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

      Why would I go to the Episcopalian Church? They have female ordination, they have artificial contraception, they accept homosexuality as legitimate… I don’t believe in any of those things. Most importantly they don’t have Apostolic Succession

      Are you implying that just because I’m faithful to the Vicar of Christ, as a Catholic should be, that I’m a liberal Episcopalian wannabe?

      No, the problem is not Francis. The problem lies in those who have such a manicheistic and ideologically-driven view of Catholicism, that they cannot but assess their brothers through anything besides political categories, even the Pope himself. Those are the ones sowing confusion, because they confuse Catholicism with their skewed ideological views and therefore self-annoint themselves as mouthpieces of orthodoxy, when they have no authority to do so.

      As for me, I have been faithful to John Paul II and all his teachings. I have been faithful to Benedict XVI and all his teachings. So now I’m being faithful to Francis and all his teachings. I’m not doing anything that I have not been doing before. So why would I join the Episcopalian Church again?

    • Avatar Anne Lastman says:

      Dekbert what???? Eventual flight to the episcopal church? What drink are you on?
      The episcopal church which doesn’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The same
      Church which accepts homosexuality and homosexual pastors? The church which accepts contraception and some pastors abortion?
      The same church which ordains females? The same which which rejects anything catholic and calls catholic church “the whore of Babylon “. Thats the church we are going to flee to?
      You deluded person.

    • Avatar Michael Healy says:

      dekbert, no one here would dream of joining the Episcopal Church. But are you and other critics of Pope Francis going to become sedevacantists? After all, you seem to be practical sedevacantists already.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        It would be beyond optimistic to think that the sedevacantist’s numbers haven’t grown significantly since 2013, I think every time the pope says something, their numbers grow, as do the numbers of those who just give up on the church completely.

        The last 200 or so years of really great popes makes it hard for some to conceive of a bad pope, so that confronted with Pope Francis, they are left with either he is not the pope or the church is not the church. so, they become sedevacantists or none’s

        But, there are those who go the other way too, thinking he must also be great and that thus everything he does is great, meaning the church was wrong before.

        The thing is not to be shaken or scandalized, not to be fooled by novelty. God is still God, the church is still the church. In the tempest, keep calm and hold on to what has always been held until the trial is past. (and pray that God help those being tempted to sedevacantism, to leaving the church, or to the presumption)

      • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

        Sedevacantists’ numbers have nowhere to go but up. They are a statistically insignificant minority, even when compared to other Latin Mass-only groups. Even so, I don’t know of any sedevacantist groups or communities that have increased significantly in size over the last 6 years. If they have, you’d think they might want to publicize it.

        Regarding “bad popes,” while Francis certainly isn’t one, even if he was, the Church teaches that he’d be unable to touch any essential teachings. Here is where the difference between valid and invalid papal criticism lies. If you think Pope Francis is imprudent, is in over his head, makes unwise decisions, has a bad personality, or is a poor writer, that’s one thing. I’d disagree with you, but your criticism is on prudential matters, not on doctrine. It’s those who think he’s teaching doctrinal error or even heresy who have crossed the line into dissent. That’s when things become seriously problematic.

      • Avatar Jude says:

        But, that would be assuming that everyone who tends toward or accepts sedevacantism runs out and sign up at the nearest sedevacantist establishment, and I doubt that that is what happens. That probably is not the way the mind works.

        And, there are also the virtual sedevacantists. Those who just have lost faith in the idea of the pope, who accept that Francis is pope, but now see the pope as just a politician. and of necessity, a very liberal one. How can anyone count these?

      • Avatar Mike Lewis says:

        If they aren’t affiliated with any sedevacantist organizations or communities, then how is that significant to the big picture? Essentially, they are just another form of lapsed or dissident Catholic. Lack of affiliation with any ecclesial structure is not compatible with Catholicism. There might be a lot of people with anonymous twitter handles, but we have no idea who they are, where they worship, or even if they actually believe what they are saying.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Jude- I appreciate that you have a different point of view, but “those who just have lost faith in the idea of the pope” cannot in all honestly lay claim to being Catholic. The two do not go together. You are either on board with it, or not. The concept of labelling any of the popes conservative or liberal is where the error begins. Our faith is neither. Catholicism does not take it’s teachings from political ideologies, nor adjust it’s teachings to political policies.

        For the record, Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII is pro life; Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII is against the application of the death penalty; Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII recognizes the obligation and duty of prosperous nations to take care of migrants and immigrants; Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII recognizes marriage is between man and woman; Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII , etc, etc, etc

        What exactly is the problem? That he dared to say that those who are not living a perfect life deserve mercy and accompaniment to bring them on board? How exactly is that a bad thing? How is that liberal, and our other recent popes conservative?

      • Avatar Jude says:

        “those who just have lost faith in the idea of the pope” cannot in all honestly lay claim to being Catholic”. Isn’t that the point? They used to be…. they lost the faith.

    • Avatar jong says:

      dekbert
      The problem with Rad Trads and some Trads who openly embraced the evil attitude of “recognize and resist” is, they still think belong to the Catholic Church by holding to selected Tradition suited to their assertions. There is only One Catholic Church and that is called today by Rad Trads a Post-Concilliar Church. They are embracing their own confusions as the Vatican II Church is the True Catholic Church and the Trads cannot exist without fully submitting to the God given authority of the Vatican II Church. But don’t get me wrong there are good Trads who are in full communion with Rome.
      I think the face of the “counterfeit catholic church” is revealing in today’s church crisis. We are seeing a Two Catholic Church, the Rad Trads attacking the Vatican II Church and the Vatican II Church extending the hand of reconcillliation numerous times but the Trads namely SSPX won’t accept it for a reason deeply rooted on Ab.Lefevbre aspirations that he wanted an “autonomy”. Meaning, they want to exist as a Church embracing Pre-Vatican II Catholic Doctrines only but the Supreme Pontiff has no authority over them. It is very clear that they want to exist as a separate Church but still resembling Catholic tone, a clear indication of what Blessed Ab.Fulton Sheen had prophesied about the “counterfeit church”.
      Plus a confirmation of St.JP2 words that the “counterfeit church” will preach the “anti-gospel”.
      “The heart of the gospel is Divine Mercy” (Pope Benedict XVI), and there are Rad Trads that do not believe in the Divine Mercy revelation and Cardinal Burke et, al are criticizing and opposing Pope Francis teaching on the Mercy of God calling it “false mercy”.
      Personally, I think in the near future we will see the “counterfeit catholic church” electing their own Pope as all their desperate measures using the Council of Media to oust Pope Francis will simply fail.
      The “anti-pope” will be appointed by the counterfeit church that will unite all the Rad Trads as Dr.Marshall envision that future soon.
      I think this is perfect scenario of the Final Confrontation and Pope Francis had said that perhaps God inspired him to chose the name of St.Francis because of the coming war. The unfolding church crisis was very well understood by Pope Francis and precisely predicted by Pope Benedict XVI when he was still a Cardinal or Bishop, and that’s why they both know how to expose and defeat all the church critics & enemies attack thru the power of SILENCE. Both Pope BXVI and Pope Francis are fully united in prayerful silence to defeat the Great Accuser who is now unchained. Matthew18:20 is the powerful weapon of this Two Great Popes and John1:5.

    • Avatar ONG says:

      dekbert wrote:
      //Everyone knows Pope Francis is the problem. The number of people willing to defend him is growing smaller. …//

      Huh?

      Says who?

      What kind of problem would Pope Francis be? A problem to Mammon’s lovers and hypocrites that are a shame to the Body of Christ?

  6. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    These assertions that I keep hearing and reading– that “everyone” knows Pope Francis is either *clearly* heretical, or *clearly* undermining the true Catholic faith, or both, or *clearly* (insert the anti-Pope Francis slander of your choice here)– well, to be honest, such assertions remind me of very similar assertions that I, and my Calvinist Protestant friends, would make about Catholicism as a whole, in the years before I “reverted” to the Catholic Church.

    We would say things like the following, so sure of our “Biblical” understanding:

    “Catholicism is *clearly* anti-Scriptural.”

    “The Bible *clearly* doesn’t teach us to relate to Mary as Catholics do.”

    Catholics *clearly* engage in idolatry”

    and so on and so on….

    and we were wrong! Sincere in what we believed, yes, but we were mistaken! A fervent belied in the rightness of one’s own personal interpretation of the Bible can, sadly, lead to being very sincere, but very mistaken, about Catholicism and a host of other subjects. I write from my own past experience.

    Similarly, Catholics who make strongly negative and sweeping statements about Pope Francis being *clearly* heretical, or of him *clearly* trying to undermine the true Catholic faith, seem to have quite a strong confidence, regarding their own personal ability to rightly interpret both Scripture and Tradition, and then, on that basis, tell Pope Francis, and everyone else, inside and outside of the Church, what is, and is not, “true Catholicism.”

    I can’t buy these assertions, no matter how many Catholics make them, partially because said assertions are built on an ironically Protestant interpretive paradigm for approaching and understanding Catholicism! I recognize a Protestant paradigm re_Catholicism when I see it, having been a committed Protestant for years.

    If you, as a Catholic, are convinced that you and your friends are clearly “more Catholic” than Pope Francis, then you are approaching Catholicism like a Protestant. Yes, I said it, and I mean it. Some. or maybe even most, at this point, of the self-styled “Catholic conservatives” (I used to call myself one), and the “rad-trads,” and the sedevacantists, may well laugh at that statement or become angry at it. Either way, they should be concerned about their self-assurance, for the sake of their own souls and the souls of others.

    Years ago, convinced that I was right in my own interpretation of the Bible, I led at least one Catholic away from the Church, because I was convinced (and helped to convince him) that Catholicism is “anti-Scriptural.” I fervently wish, now, that I had not been so sure in my own assessment of the Church. I did real damage to souls and sincerely thought that I was doing God’s will. When I listen to the negative, sweeping assertions of anti-Pope Francis Catholics today, I am reminded of myself, as a Protestant, when I was so sure of my own “Biblical understanding” and so sure that Catholicism was/is “anti-Biblical heresy”…. but I could not have been more wrong.

  7. Avatar John F Kane says:

    Just a brief comment from someone who often crossed swords in the Denver papers with Abp. Charles. Fran Maier, his special assistant whom he took from Denver to Philly, is most probably the anonymous writer you reference. He ghosts most of Chaput’s writing, even I suspect his books. Many in Denver were glad to see Charles leave when “promoted” to Philly and I’m personally glad he’ll never get the expected red hat. I followed his years in Denver closely and agree with the assessment that he’d never cross the line to schism, but will remain an opponent of Francis even in his retirement. John Kane, emeritus prof. Religious Studies, Regis U. Denver.

  8. Avatar John O’Donoghue says:

    In this article Mike Lewis wrote: “The conference’s topic was on Marriage and the Family, and while I’m unable to find any video or transcripts from the conference, I’m confident that the talks were not a celebration of Amoris Laetitia. (If any transcripts or videos are available, please post them in the comments.)”

    Looks like video of the event has very recently been posted to YouTube at:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HyigzR-N0gk

    I have not looked at the video. And probably will not – life is too short! However, Mike, you asked. This would appear to be it.

  9. Avatar Kathleen says:

    Often as I follow online discussions between different factions in the church – or when I see videos like the one referenced above of Cardinal Raymond Burke – I cant help thinking of the following words by Michael Leunig:
    “There are only two feelings.
    Love and fear.
    There are only two languages.
    Love and fear.
    There are only two activities.
    Love and fear.
    There are only two motives,
    two procedures, two frameworks,
    two results.
    Love and fear.
    Love and fear.”
    To me Pope Francis operates in a love framework. Many of his critics seem distorted by fear.