- Sep 18, 2020
Religion in America is not just a matter for history class. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia points to the work of the great French observer of early American life, Alexis de Tocqueville, in concluding that the strength of American society was “the prevalence and intensity of religious belief.” In a new book, Chaput asks what happens when religion is no longer part of our shared common culture? In a word, what happens now?
Following an act of vandalism against at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput called on the clergy, religious and laypeople “to join in prayerful solidarity with the families of those whose final resting places have been disturbed. Violence and hate against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable.”
In the aftermath of an ambush that left five police officers dead in Dallas, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago said, “Every corner of our land is in the grip of terror … It is time to break the cycle of violence and retaliation, of fear and powerlessness, that puts more guns in our homes and on our streets.”
In early July, three separate statements by senior Catholic prelates on the implications of Pope Francis’ recent document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, indicate that the debate it opened, especially on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, is far from resolved.
According to a new set of pastoral guidelines for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia governing implementation of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, people living together outside of marriage, and same-sex couples are eligible for Communion only if they “refrain from sexual intimacy.”
A kerfuffle broke out last week over a lecture given by Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput and sponsored by First Things magazine, generally considered the smartest journal of conservative Catholic opinion in America. In itself it may not loom especially large, but it’s illustrative of something broader. We are entering Phase