Chaput: Bishops Must Present Unity
An April 14 article in The St. Louis Review featured Capuchin Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.'s address to the Right to Life Club at the University of Notre Dame. In the address, the Archbishop spoke on the reason for the disunity among Catholics on moral issues in the public arena. The reason for this disunity, said the Archbishop, was the disunity among the bishops themselves.
The reason ... is that there is no unity among the bishops about it... There is unity among the bishops about abortion always being wrong, and that you can't be a Catholic and be in favor of abortion — the bishops all agree to that — but there's just an inability among the bishops together to speak clearly on this matter and even to say that if you're Catholic and you're pro-choice, you can't receive holy Communion. - Archbishop Chaput
According to the article, penned by Ann Carey of Catholic News Service: Individual bishops probably do take such a stand privately more often than anyone knows, the archbishop noted, and he said he is not in favor of refusing Communion without giving private notice ahead of time to the person. He emphasized, however, that Catholics who support keeping abortion legal should be told that they will not be given Communion and not to present themselves to receive it. Archbishop Chaput said he and others have been trying to move the U.S. bishops' conference to speak clearly on this issue for a number of years. However, there is a fear, he said, that if they do so, the bishops might somehow disenfranchise the Catholic community from political life, making it difficult to get elected if a Catholic politician has to hold the Church's position on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The strategy clearly has failed, he continued, "So let's try something different and see if it works. Let's be very, very clear on these matters," and he asked the audience to "help me to convince the bishops on that subject." The archbishop's talk on "Politics and the Devil: Living in a World of Unbelief" touched on many of the topics in his 2008 book, "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life" (Doubleday Religion). "There is no such thing as morally neutral legislation or morally neutral public policy," he said. "Every law is the public expression of what somebody thinks we ought to do. The question that matters is this: Which moral convictions of which somebodies are going to shape our country's political and cultural future?" The answer is obvious, Archbishop Chaput continued: "If you and I as citizens don't do the shaping, then somebody else will. That is the nature of a democracy. A healthy democracy depends upon people of conviction working hard to advance their ideas in the public square respectfully and peacefully, but vigorously and without apologies." ... [Full Article] (Source: St. Louis Review)