PHILADELPHIA, September 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Newly installed Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput had some blunt words for politicians who support abortion in an interview with the Associated Press this past Tuesday.
“If they don’t believe what the church teaches, they’re not really Catholic,” he told the AP.
The former Archbishop of Denver was appointed by the Holy Father to head the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in July, replacing retiring Archbishop Justin Cardinal Rigali. He was installed this morning as the 13th Bishop of the Diocese.
Chaput is known as a champion of the pro-life cause. He has been an outspoken proponent for pro-abortion politicians not receiving communion, and has criticized U.S. Bishops in the United States who he says have failed to speak clearly on the matter.
He also made headlines in 2009 when he took the University of Notre Dame to task for inviting President Obama to its 2009 commencement ceremony. Chaput charged Notre Dame with “intellectual vanity,” and agreed with Cardinal Francis George’s assessment that the University “didn’t understand” what it meant to be Catholic.
While pro-life advocates have hailed Chaput’s appointment to the prominent Archdiocese, not everyone is enthusiastic.
An opinion piece published today in the Philadelphia Inquirer criticized the Bishop for “a disproportionate focus” on the issue of abortion.
The article was written by Nicholas Cafardi, dean emeritus of Duquesne Law School, a Catholic law school in Pittsburgh, and former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth.
“Catholicism is not a single-issue faith,” Cafardi wrote.
He went on to urge the Archbishop to “leave politics aside” and focus on “rebuilding trust among the Catholic faithful in Philadelphia who have been wounded by the clergy’s sexual abuse of children.”
Chaput addressed the sex abuse scandal in his interview with the AP, pledging to bring a swift resolution to the investigations that are currently underway.
“It’s not good for anybody to be left hanging,” he said. “It’s not good for the victim, it’s not good for the families of the victim, it’s not good for the priests or the parishes that they serve.”