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No Brotherly Love for the new Archbishop of Philadelphia

9-8-11 Posted by Admin in Abortion, Blog 6 Comments

Today, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are celebrating the installation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. The question thus arises why Nicholas P. Cafardi, Dean Emeritus of the Duquesne Law School, would publish an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer both maligning and accusing Archbishop Chaput of propagating a “one-issue” Catholic Church. That issue, of course, is abortion, a practice that Archbishop Chaput has consistently reminded all Catholics, including Catholic politicians, should be opposed rather than supported.

To imply that Archbishop Chaput does not care about the “broad spectrum of values,” such as caring for the poor and immigrants, is simply silly. This accusation will gain no traction among those who know the archbishop and his 23 years of revitalizing the dioceses of Rapid City, South Dakota and Denver, Colorado. It’s the predictable accusation of Catholics, like Carfardi, who have publicly supported political candidates, such as Barack Obama, with indisputable records of support for abortion.

Carfardi wants the bishops to back off the abortion issue because he knows the kind of candidates he  supports will lose their luster when bishops and priests remind faithful Catholics of their political responsibility. Carfardi even repeats the falsity reported in the New York Times during the 2004 presidential campaign that Archbishop Chaput said Catholics voting for John Kerry were “cooperating with evil.” Carfardi surely knows that the archbishop produced the transcript of the interview it was based upon, showing the New York Times simply got it wrong. It was disingenuous, if not outright rude, for Carfardi to put that bit of misinformation back into circulation.

Although he claims that polling data shows the “culture-war approach” is rejected by most religious voters, Cafardi describes the appointment of Archbishop Chaput to Philadelphia as having “national implications in the 2012 elections.” Though he downplays the effectiveness of pro-life convictions in attracting voters, Cafardi tries to paint Archbishop Chaput with a partisan brush, arguing his “disproportionate focus” on the abortion issue in politics “gives the false impression that the Catholic Church is a religious wing of the Republican Party.” Surely that concern was put to rest in 2008 when 54 percent of self-identified Catholics supported Obama over pro-life John McCain. Such remarks about the bishops and the GOP only serve to underscore the need for Catholic Democrats to put their own house in order.

At the end of his op-ed, Cafardi congratulates Archbishop Chaput for his “demonstrated integrity and strong leadership” in handling “sensitive assignments” given to him by the Vatican. But, it’s impossible to put balance into an appraisal of an archbishop that is intended to poison the well from the first day of his service to Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Let’s hope such an initial volley from Cafardi will remind Catholics of Chaput’s archdiocese of the prayer and support he will need for that community to recover from its recent travails.

By Deal Hudson, Catholic Advocate President & Matt Smith, Catholic Advocate Vice President

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6 Responses to No Brotherly Love for the new Archbishop of Philadelphia

  1. Brian P. Musgrave says:

    This doesn’t surprise me about Duquesne University. I was considering them for a Ph.D. program until I met with one of the instructors in the Communication program and found out how weak he was in the areas of history and theology when it came to talking about St. Augustine. Philadelphia has a good, holy man as an Archbishop now. We in Denver will truly miss him.

  2. Christina Pasterz says:

    Persecution is promised to those who follow Christ.
    We cannot serve two masters…and it’s obvious who serves who and what.
    Moral Relativism is the religion of the “New Age.” This cult, disregards God’s law and His teachings….they deny the consequence of sin is death. I pray for their souls…because in the end, there is only ONE right and one wrong…the choice we make has eternal consequences. The One true God, will not be mocked and those who are mocking Him will find one day the error of their way…ask I said, I will pray for them…because that is what we are called to do. Pray for those who persecute you…bless and do not curse them…vengence is mine says the Lord…leave room for His wrath.

  3. Dale Price says:

    If there was a nice way to say this, I would. But it’s simply not possible: Cafardi is a disingenuous, well-poisoning hack. That’s when he’s not being a partisan shill, of course–Cafardi was a big-time backer of Obama, and an integral part of the President’s Catholic outreach.

    Basically, his recommendation is for Chaput to shut up until the clerical abuse scandal is resolved. That this very conveniently dovetails with his (undisclosed) partisan precommitments is…just one of those coincidences, I guess. And in a crucial swing state, no less! What a happy two-fer!

    You know, it’s interesting that Cafardi’s fraudulent little stinkbomb attempts to portray Chaput as a one-issue partisan. I say “interesting” because the same newspaper published an article six weeks ago noting the Archbishop’s vocal advocacy for immigrants and social services.

    Odd that it escaped the Professor’s attention.

  4. Joseph T. and Rosemary E. Garcia sfo's says:

    I agree with the Archbishop.

  5. Pingback: No Brotherly Love for the new Archbishop of Philadelphia « Faith and Freedom Coalition

  6. Mike Malone says:

    I have followed with great interest Archbishop Chaput….what a wonderful, effective, holy and outspoken bishop he is. Philadelphia has been truly blessed with his appointment. Having said all that his appointment will give heartburn to people like Cafardi. Obviously Cafardi doesn’t understand his role as a teacher in a Catholic Institution or Catholic doctrine. I suggest he read Pope John Paul II’s ‘Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities’ of August 15, 1990 (Ex Corde Ecclesiae). Article 4, paragraph 1 states “The responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the university rests primarily with the university authorities (including, when the positions exist, the chancellor and/or a board of trustees or equivalent body). It is shared in varying degrees by all members of the university community and therefore calls for the recruitment of adequate university personnel, especially teachers and administrators, who are both willing and able to promote that identity. The identity of a Catholic university is essentially linked to the quality of its teachers and to respect for Catholic doctrine. It is the responsibility of the competent authority to watch over these two fundamental needs in accordance with what is indicated in Canon 810.”

    Sadly Cafardi touts the old, worn out and debunked (by Pope Benedict XVI) ‘Seamless Garment Theory’ promulgated by Cardinal Bernardin where he claimed that other social issues carry the same weight as abortion. Logically one must be alive to suffer social injustice so the premise of his theory is badly flawed). Life is the first among equal social justice issues.

    This begs a couple of questions; holding the public views that he does why is he employed by a Catholic university? Obviously he is either pro-abortion at worst or tolerant of it at best; should he not resign and seek employment at a secular university? I suggest he might want to check Catholic doctrine with respect abortion and then run to the nearest confessional….or does he believe in Confession I wonder?

    Anyway…there is a new sheriff in town and I don’t think Cafardi’s public opposition only serve to bring him and the university onto Archbishop Chaput’s radar screen.

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