ROME — One of the most closely watched American delegates at this month’s major gathering of bishops at the Vatican will not be participating in this week’s deliberations.
Crux has confirmed that Archbishop Charles Chaput will be returning home to Philadelphia this week to participate in the funeral mass of retired auxiliary bishop Louis DeSimone.
DeSimone died last Friday, at the age of 96. At the time of his death, he was the third oldest living bishop in the United States.
Chaput will serve as the principal celebrant for his funeral.
During the first full day of Synod discussions, Chaput made headlines when he offered a stinging criticism of what he described as the regrettable lack of discussion on the Church’s teaching on human sexuality in the Synod’s working document.
“There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ,” he said on Thursday.
“This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now. It follows that “LGBTQ” and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way,” he added.
He also offered a rebuke of “wealthy societies” in the developed world, including that of the United States, describing a “moral adolescence” which he said they seek to impose upon others.
Chaput will depart Rome on Monday and is scheduled to return on Saturday.
The Synod of Bishops, which is centered on the theme of “Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” began on October 3 and continues through the 28th.