NEW ORLEANS, October 5, 2005 ( – New Orleans Archbishop Emeritus Philip J. Hannan, gave an interview Tuesday to the Catholic news website Spirit Daily in which he said in reference to hurricane Katrina, “I think it’s up to us to preach very strongly and candidly and directly to say that this was a chastisement from God.” The Archbishop, 92, stayed in the suburb of Metarie during the hurricane and was believed missing for a few days while phone lines were down.Â

Archbishop Hannan who led the diocese from 1965-1988, explained his belief that the hurricane was a Divine chastisement saying, “we are responsible not only for our individual actions to God, but in addition to that we are also citizens of a nation and in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, it says that a nation has a destiny and we are responsible whether we cause it or not for the course of morality in that nation. We are responsible as citizens for the sexual attitude, disregard of family rights, drug addiction, the killing of 45 million unborn babies, the scandalous behavior of some priests—so we have to understand that certainly the Lord has a right to chastisement. If you ask me if the Lord knew of this, this was the greatest storm in the history of the nation. He is the creator. He certainly permitted this. It would be as silly as asking if Henry Ford knew how a car worked.”

Archbishop Hannan, who now runs a local Catholic television station, says that God’s message with the chastisement – to quit immorality – must be passed on to future generations.“I keep telling people, you have got to talk about this chastisement, you’ve got to let not only your children and grandchildren,” he said.“We should tell our descendants just how terrible it was so they will understand that it was a chastisement and should improve our morality.”

Read the full interview with Archbishop Harran on Spirit Daily here: