Archbp. Chaput: a smaller Church of fewer believers rather than compromise orthodoxy

16_08_14_Madonna_del_Soccorso_01Every once in a while people opine about whether or not it would be good (and not just inevitable) to have a smaller, leaner, more faithful Church rather than one filled (mainly?) by mere cultural Catholics or CINOs. Benedict XVI spoke about a “creative minority” in larger society. This speaks to our Catholic identity, which has been so devastated since the 60’s by enervated and even faithless preaching of pabulum or downright error, feckless leadership in the public square, and flaccid, aimless, evacuated liturgy.

John Allen at Crux 2.0 has a report about comments made by Philly’s Archbp. Chaput at Notre Shame, for the 2016 Bishops’ Symposium, “Reclaiming the Church for the Catholic Imagination.” It was sponsored by the USCCB and an ND think tank.  My emphases and comments.

Philly’s Chaput welcomes idea of smaller, holier Church

In a stark prognosis for contemporary Catholicism, [To use an image from the ancient world, the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop.] a leader of the conservative wing of the U.S. hierarchy has said that “a smaller, lighter Church” of fewer but holier believers is preferable to one that promotes inclusion at the expense of orthodoxy.  [I think not all of his fellow bishops agree with that.]
In a speech delivered Oct. 19 at the University of Notre Dame, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput also suggested that many prominent Catholics are so weak in their faith that they ought to leave the Church. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
Chaput singled out Democrats such as Vice President Joe [the Theologian] Biden and vice presidential nominee Tim [Quisling] Kaine for special criticism, linking them to the concept of a “silent apostasy” coined by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and saying Catholics who do not champion the truth of Church teaching are “cowards.” [YES!]
“Obviously we need to do everything we can to bring tepid Catholics back to active life in the Church,” Chaput told a symposium for bishops and their staff members at the South Bend, Ind. campus. [And that project, Your Excellency, must be accomplished especially through a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.]
But we should never be afraid of a smaller, lighter Church if her members are also more faithful, more zealous, more missionary and more committed to holiness.  [They will be more articulate and exemplary in the public square.]
Losing people who are members of the Church in name only is an imaginary loss,” he continued. “It may in fact be more honest for those who leave and healthier for those who stay. We should be focused on commitment, not numbers or institutional throw-weight.”  [Right.  What would we be losing by losing them?  The occasional presence and contribution at Christmas and Easter?]
Chaput’s ideas channeled a lively and long-standing debate in Church circles – intensified by Pope Francis’s open-arms approach to ministry – about whether Catholicism should be a smaller and more tradition-minded community, or a larger and more inclusive Church of imperfect believers at various stages in their spiritual pilgrimages. [Get! Out!]
In the context of the coming presidential vote, Chaput’s speech was also the latest in a series of pronouncements by conservative bishops and Catholic activists who have blasted Democrats [The Party of Death] as Election Day draws closer.


You can read more of Allen’s report on this speech over there.

The full transcript of Chaput’s talk is HERE.

I like the way he started out:

As I sat down to write my talk last week, a friend emailed me a copy of a manuscript illustration from the 13th century.  It’s a picture of Mary punching the devil in the nose.  She doesn’t rebuke him.  She doesn’t enter into a dialogue with him.  She punches the devil in the nose.  So I think that’s the perfect place to start our discussion.

This all brings up the contended point:

Should they just get out?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. MacBride says:

    It may surprise many of you, but the majority of Catholics in the pews are lost as well, not just the CINO that attend a few times a year.

    Just the other day, I was at an EMS conference and met up with a Catholic friend of mine from a town about 2.5hrs from me. She and her husband are Sunday church goers. She started telling how she loved the new priest because he completed Mass in 45mins…how her husband was at a Masonic thing that weekend – he had recently joined the lodge..then the discussion went to how she thought women should be priests..yikes!

    How many of these people would convert if the Church got serious and started teaching authentic Catholicism..who knows?

  2. cwillia1 says:

    We should not choose a smaller church but we should accept it as a consequence of what we need to do. It damages the Church profoundly when the Bidens, Kaines and Pelosis of this world claim falsely and publicly to be faithful Catholics and are admitted to the sacraments. But the rot extends deeply into the institutional church and seems to be spreading under the current papacy.

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    An address long overdue. Its depth and veracity will in all likelihood draw suppressed ire from a large swath of the ecclesiastical elite and definitively halt any advancement in the hierarchy. It is ironic that such a fine shepherd will be viewed as lacking in mercy, when it is well known only the truth, the Truth, can set us free.
    Authentic mercy is generated by Wisdom. Releasing the aberrant from the shackles of their blinders and setting before them their actual relation to Christ and His Church will often bring about conversion. As time goes by more will avail themselves of Grace. When we appear not to value that which indeed is most precious how can we expect others to respond?
    “It may in fact be more honest for those who leave and healthier for those who stay.” I would say healthier for all, and ultimately far more fruitful. We need allow space in individual lives for God to act if and when our own best attempts have proved futile. We need be mindful of the power of Baptism. Its indelible effect on our nature will not be thwarted easily, even if it appears to be from our perspective. A baseless inclusiveness provides an impediment, a cozy, which is ultimately a prison. As painful as it is, circumstance requires a release from a fraudulent security.

  4. greenlight says:

    Just like a cancer, the more the errors and confusion spread, the more extreme and painful will be the remedy.

  5. kiwiinamerica says:

    A smaller church? Chaput’s words are Francis-heresy. The pope tells us almost daily, that all the baptized belong to “the Church” (except “rigid”, faithful Catholics, of course).

    Bye, bye red hat, Archbishop.

    [I didn’t understand that… until the last point, of course.]

  6. rickamdg says:

    Those lacking proper instruction in the faith from their “Catholic” schools, and their “Catholic” priests and bishops, can’t really be blamed of their confusion, can they? Even egregious examples like Biden have been accommodated by Bishops and priests for decades. Should they be pushed or even nudged out now? Maybe with a return to real sacred liturgy, and with Bishops and their priests teaching the Faith, such people will either grow as Catholics or leave of their own accord.

    One specific suggestion: How about our leaders openly acknowledge the fact that most Catholic couples practice contraception and that this is a sinful practice. After “winking” at this for decades (extending before the 1960s, by the way), it would be a bit of shock, naturally, but it may send the message that being a faithful Catholic isn’t the easy road so many of us prefer to take.

  7. John of Chicago says:

    A truly remarkable and apt coincidence… the first few verses of this morning’s Gospel.

    “Jesus addressed this parable
    to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
    and despised everyone else.
    “Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
    one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
    The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
    ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
    greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
    I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’”

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    An image of Mary punching the devil in the nose:

    Archbishop Chaput: Be like Mary. Punch the devil in the nose.

  9. scotus says:

    Fact Number One: We are all sinners. Okay, some may be bigger sinners than others but it is not up to us to judge the sinfulness of other people.
    Fact Number Two: Protestants have been searching for the perfect church for the past five hundred years and look where it has got them. Split after split after split. They keep going off to set up the Church of the pure and holy and what inevitably happens? Some decide that the others are no longer pure and holy so go off to set up a different church of the pure and holy.
    Fact Number Three: Jesus said in several of his parables that the Church would include some who would, eventually, be cast out but that would come later, not now.
    So let’s not go down the road of pursuing a Church made up only of the pure and the holy.
    But a Church which teaches the truth and expects all adherents to follow that truth – that’s a different matter altogether. We’ve got to go back to being such a Church, whatever the consequences. But how is it to be achieved? The likes of Biden and Kaine aren’t going to go voluntarily (assuming they continue to deny Church teaching). So how do you get rid of them? And they aren’t the big problem. The bigger problem is the theologians who sustain them in their dissent. And that is not a small group of people. For example, five years ago a document called ‘Church 2011: A Necessary Departure was drawn up. This called for, among other things:
    “Freedom of Conscience: Respect for individual conscience means placing trust in people’s ability to make decisions and carry responsibility. It is the task of the Church to support this capability. The Church must not revert to paternalism. Serious work needs to be done especially in the realm of personal life decisions and individual manners of life. The Church’s esteem for marriage and unmarried forms of life goes without saying. But this does not require that we exclude people who responsibly live out love, faithfulness, and mutual care in same-sex partnerships or in a remarriage after divorce.” It was signed by
    Full text and list of signatories here.
    According to Wikipedia (German edition) this statement has been signed by 311 Catholic theologians, of whom 211 are active professors. God help any Catholic studying theology at a university in Germany.
    So clearing out the stables would not be a small job.

  10. Kerry says:

    Is Athanasius the patron Saint of Balsamic vinegar?

  11. msmsem says:

    “whether Catholicism should be a smaller and more tradition-minded community, or a larger and more inclusive Church of imperfect believers at various stages in their spiritual pilgrimages.”

    This is a false dichotomy at best. There is no question that the Church is composed of “imperfect believers at various stages in their spiritual pilgrimages” – that’s all of us. None of us are perfect. But the key is that we are striving to make progress towards perfection.

    A more appropriate dichotomy would be “smaller, more orthodox community of those seeking holiness, or a larger, more inclusive community of those who want ‘religion’ on their own terms.” I have no problems with “imperfect believers” coming to Church as long as they desire to be fed with the truth of the Catholic faith – in fact, I desire that they come! But the problem is when they come to Church thinking that they are not in need of conversion (as we all are).

  12. Joseph-Mary says:

    Archbishop most likely will not have that cardinal’s hat under the present administration! As for Our Lady and the nose punch (thinking also of St. Nicholas and Arias): she is a powerful means of remaining true to the faith and the age old teachings! We desperately need Marian devotions to grow and spread! (Thank you Fr. Michael Gaitley). Marian consecration has raised up a blue army of the little but faithful ones. Those who embrace Our Lady draw ever closer to her Divine Son. Also recall that it is she who crushes the head of the evil one. And the ROSARY is a powerful weapon! Those who are faithful to it will find themselves drawn more to daily Mass, daily prayer, turning from sin, and regular confessions. The promises of the Rosary still hold such as “The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.” All the promises may be found here:
    The faithful ones will “fight” with the Crucifix in one hand and the Rosary in the other and unto death. The others will go the way of the world, continuing on that path with their votes for culture of death politicians.

  13. Chris Rawlings says:

    The notion of a smaller, more spiritually fortified Church is always presented by mainstream or liberal media, Catholic and secular, as a kind of prescriptive desire of orthodox Catholics, as though we want to purge the Church utterly leaving only we the spiritual elite.

    Phooey. Surely some orthodox Catholics do actively want a small Church containing only the most rigorous souls. It’s an understandable reaction to the scandal of a libertine era, even though it’s misguided and usually understood by faithful Catholics to be such.

    When Pope Benedict or Archbishop Chaput reference a smaller Church, I think it’s largely descriptive, as if to say that a Catholicism in which anything, or almost anything, goes with regards to basic Christian morality, is not a Catholicism with a durable future. A Catholicism in which supporters of a feticidal death cult like Planned Parenthood or a dystopian embrace of the demonic confusion of gender ideology can actually claim to be good Catholics without everyone laughing garishly in their faces is not a Catholicism that will last long. These are debates about the fundamental nature of the human person, and there is obviously room for Catholic disagreement about the most prudential route to ending abortion and supporting women in need, or how best to help young people struggling with their sexuality and personal identity. Supporting legalized abortion and same-sex marriage is not, however, an area where reasonable and decent Catholics may disagree.

    Maybe misguided souls will quickly come to embrace the fullness of truth within the Church’s moral teaching. Let us pray. Or perhaps some painful chastisement arises to force the Church to more clearly live the delineating principles that make us Catholics, or maybe many just leave the Church after realizing that Secularism in a chasuble is even worse than ordinary Secularism. Most of us don’t know exactly how or when the Church will confront this particular internal crisis. But the prediction that the Church will be left in the end in a smaller and more spiritually inflamed place is probably a very reasonable expectation.

  14. hwriggles4 says:

    One point that is not mentioned enough is that there are Catholics parishes today that have become more like “social halls” than places of worship. While I agree that we need “community and fellowship ” (which is one reason I am an active Knight in my council, and also do some pro life ministry), the social aspect should not be the main focus. In my younger days, I was part of a Catholic Young Adult Group (and was eventually a vice president), and we had a good balance between spiritual and social, hosting Eucharistic Adoration one hour a week and starting our monthly meeting with Mass, followed by dinner and a Catholic speaker.

    I have also had Protestant friends tell me they felt that some of their churches were becoming more like social halls too. Again, we need a balance.

  15. SCANDAL is the biggest problem caused by cultural or CINO Catholics. They gravely harm themselves and many others by their example and broken theology. This is on them and their bishops for not addressing it (taken as a clear message by many).

    It is complete hooey for a bishop to say that the matter is between the individual and their pastor when the individual’s error is shouted from the rooftops on the public square again and again. IF bishops responded strongly, including via Canon 915, the ship would turn around. Scandal would be significantly lessened and most of the individuals involved would reform or leave.

  16. KatieL56 says:

    I was on a site the other day in which a poster lamented a bishop (Arch. Chaput) ‘shaming people by name’ as ‘Unchristian’, and others who had the usual blather of ‘but Pope FRANCIS says we are all one and to stop arguing” and “if we are ALL the Church how can we be smaller” etc.

    I think that somehow a lot of people think that if this smaller church came about it would somehow last forever. But wouldn’t the whole idea of a smaller church, in the sense that Archbishop Chaput is speaking of, be not just to fortify those within, but also to attract those outside?

    Hasn’t this been the case throughout history? When “the world awoke and groaned to find itself Arian”, weren’t those in the ‘smaller churches’ the ones who wound up regaining the rest of the Christian world for the Faith? When England was going through the “Reformation” and France the Terror, weren’t those ‘smaller churches’ the ones who wound up if not winning back all the people, at least maintaining the Faith and (though it might be taking centuries to accomplish) keeping it strong so that it will keep on attracting others?

    I already live in a place where the Faith has already been mostly turned to the “American Catholicism” of the 1970s, where the Mass is ad libbed, the focus is on worship of the community, and in the few places where ‘smells and bells’ instead of burlap and tambourines exist (please don’t remind me, our ‘closing song’ today had a tambourine, and badly played at that), those places still have the same ethics as all the rest. . .All the ‘trappings’ of old time Catholicism but almost none of the teaching that goes along with it. So I know what ‘smaller’ is. I go to my incredibly illicit ‘gathering’ and pray, and I come home and try to bring up the little ones with a counteraction not just of having all the pictures, prayers, etc. in our home, but why this, and not Father Adlib McLibby, is Catholic teaching, and why we can enjoy the beauty of earthly things of all kinds not simply because they are good, and by golly, we the holy people of MercyLand deserve it!, but rather, that God has given them for us to enjoy. . and that He also sends things to test us that we do NOT enjoy but which will help us, in some way, to love and serve Him more even that just reveling in our wonderful selves and ‘nature’.

    I believe that even though most people seem to enjoy basking in the Church of Feeling Good, that many feel a longing, not exactly for facing tough times, but a dimly sensed idea that somehow feeling good about ourselves is not enough, that God has given us something to strive for. That yes indeed there is a battle, and if we aren’t part of it in some way, even in a way that might scare us for losing our bodies/social standing etc., that we are going to wind up losing all those things anyway, and more. And I believe that when the time comes that we start seeing the smaller church not just in what we can dismiss as ‘fringe people/groups’, but coming to many of the people in ‘important areas’, and when the media distortions become so broad that even the most gullible is no longer deceived, that people will start to see first the joy, in the midst of suffering, then the beauty, in the midst of ugliness, and finally the Truth, of those ‘smaller churches, in the midst of the ‘Big Lie’ we find so many hearing today. And then those smaller churches will grow and grow and grow.

  17. Tom A. says:

    Few, I would wager. Very few.

  18. Absit invidia says:

    He couldn’t be any more clearer of the reality in our church. Either the Faithful get with the program and believe – and put into practice with our voting and in our daily lives – in the bare minimum that the Church requires: pro-life, true presence, traditional marriage, sacramental confession, etc. or get out and stop trying to tear down the church and mild into the image of the vile democrat party platform.

    The bishop said it best here:
    “Losing people who are members of the Church in name only is an imaginary loss,” he continued. “It may in fact be more honest for those who leave and healthier for those who stay.”

  19. Tom A. says:

    Francis is stacking the deck of cardinals to ensure a return to tradition and authentic Catholicism is virtually impossible for decades to come barring some supernatural event (which seems likely each passing day). In the meantime find a traditional catholic community, restore your traditional catholic identify, and pray lots of rosaries.

  20. Thomas Sweeney says:

    The SSPX, FSSP and the ICTK among others are doing a great job, sadly they are not widespread enough to help the majority of Catholics.
    As an aside that is somewhat flippant, I sometimes think that Pope Francis is a worthy successor to Juan Peron rather than St. Peter.

  21. excalibur says:

    In 2012 Catholics went 50 – 48 Obama over Romney.

    A recent IBD poll has a solid lead for Trump among Catholics, 50 – 39. Maybe they are paying attention to what a Hillary win means for SCOTUS and abortion. We’ll see when the votes are actually cast.

  22. Gabriel Syme says:

    Thomas Sweeney,

    The SSPX, FSSP and the ICTK among others are doing a great job, sadly they are not widespread enough to help the majority of Catholics.

    That is true, but then we Catholics have the obligation to make the effort to go to them, (or traditional-leaning Diocesan clergy), where possible. Its not just up to the clergy, we lay people have a role to play too. We have to show our love for our good shepherds and “back them up” where possible.

    I know several people who like the traditional mass and associated preaching / orthodoxy; yet they baulk at the thought of even a short drive to get to such a mass. Instead they continue to attend (and fund) local, puerile, unorthodox Parishes – because that takes little effort and is what they are used to.

    Catholics voting with their feet will be one of the main drivers of change in the Church. Driving even one hour to mass is not a lot to ask, if it means attending a Holy mass where one will experience the authentic faith.

    If orthodox Catholics continue to attend and fund Churches which are “protestant-in-all-but-name”, then ultimately they are part of the problem, not the solution.

    I used to attend a Jesuit run parish, indeed got married there. I have great affection for the clergy and many parishioners, but what goes on there is simply not the Catholic faith. They have a very beautiful Church. I now attend much more modest looking Diocesan and SSPX Churches, and donate more money than I ever did to the Jesuits, because what I (and my baby Daughter) get there is Catholicism.

    At SSPX Sunday mass this weekend, the priest remarked from the pulpit how “some people” seem to be in love with Martin Luther and are preparing to “celebrate” the disaster of the reformation. He rolled his eyes when saying this and it was clear to whom he referred. He went on to say “But We do not celebrate the reformation. We are not interested in Martin Luther, or anything he has ever done, said or written – even before he became a heretic”. I nearly jumped up, fists clenched, and shouted “Yeah!” I LOVE IT. Such a breath of fresh air from the puerile “small c” catholicism I grew up with.

    Despite the Vatican having long since said its OK to go to an SSPX mass, many people still waver. To me, that’s like saying “Oh, these French Resistance meetings are considered illicit by the Nazi authorities, therefore I do not think I can attend”.

    Whether its SSPX, FSSP, ICKSP, or good Diocesan priests saying the traditional mass – Catholics just need to get there by any means possible. And be prepared to offer time, effort and money, according to our personal means.

    WE are taking back the Church. Lets do this!

  23. bookworm says:

    Whether we should “welcome” a smaller Church depends on what you mean by welcoming. If you mean it in the sense that a person in danger of death from gangrene in both legs would “welcome” having them amputated to save his life, I could understand that; the patient would be glad to be rid of the disease, but would never regard the loss of his limbs as a positive good or something to be proud of. If it means we should regard it as an opportunity for the Church to regroup, become stronger and eventually burst forth with renewed evangelization efforts, and not as a sign that everything is lost or as an unmitigated disaster, ok.

    But the danger is that it will be “welcomed” as an opportunity for those who remain to think of themselves as a spiritual elite. C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape states in one of his Letters that “we want the Church (Lewis would have been thinking primarily of the Anglican Church, but the statement would be applicable to any church) to be small not only that fewer men may know the Enemy (God) but so that those who do may acquire the uneasy intensity and defensive self-righteousness of a secret society or a clique.”

  24. un-ionized says:

    hwriggles4, that is right, social halls they are, country clubs in fact. I was once taunted by a priest, of all people, for not having any friends at our parish. I have lots but I am not openly courting favor to get into the inner circle, hence, friendless, oh dear.

    Pray until tired, pray some more.

  25. Should they just get out?

    If they had any personal integrity, they would. But, of course we’re talking about public figures and politicians…so the word ‘integrity’ might as well be a term in a dead foreign language.

    I’d like to say ‘don’t let the door hit you in your —‘, but I’d probably be accused of being non-inclusive and hating Vatican-II.

  26. FrAnt says:

    Nine years ago I became a pastor and sole priest of a suburban, mostly middle-class New York parish. One of the first things I noticed was that there was a high number of CINO’s who caused the greatest amount of turmoil, especially in Religious Ed. I did shake things up by making Mass attendance the foundation of our program. Could you imagine, I was insisting they participate at Mass to advance in Religious Education? Over the next few years, a number of these families left migrating to the next parish.
    In the third year of this migration, the DRE of the other parish called to inform me that they were taking on a lot of my families. The DRE was surprised by my answer, “Yes, I know.” To which she asked, “Don’t you care?” I said, “No. When they were here, they took up a majority of my time, my DRE’s time, and the time of families who wanted to be active participants of my parish. Since they have left my parish has become a place of prayer, learning, and service.” After a few more minutes on the phone, her confusion must have gotten the better of her, she bid me a good day and ended our conversation.
    Our parish is here for all who are serious about the worship of God and the service of neighbor as found in the Catholic Church. If a family thinks that I have to be nice, they might want to try the neighboring parish.

  27. PTK_70 says:

    I’m with scotus. If there’s a purge, it should be at the “officer” level in the Church. If or when that happens, the “enlisted members” (the faithful or not-so-faithful in the pews) will either be confirmed in the faith or they will get out.

  28. PTK_70 says:

    Without implying that I agree with kiwiinamerica, I’m pretty sure that the meaning is roughly this: “+Chaput’s words are, in the mind of Pope Francis, anathema.”

  29. Charlie says:

    I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to tell people to ‘get out of the church’.
    Better to try reason and faith-though that might not be allowed these days.

  30. Chuck says:

    +Abp Chaput is my shepherd and I feel blessed as a result. Shortly after he published his norms on how to deal with irregular situations (following the tradition of church and not the zeit geist) after AL was published and before Holiness’ leaked letter to the Argentinian bishops, he was attacked by the CINO mayor of Philadelphia. After that I sent him a handwritten letter thanking him for upholding the traditional teachings and assured him of my daily prayers. The fact that he was passed over for a red hat, and after this I doubt if he’ll ever get one under this pontificate I am a ashamed to admit I am a little happy… it means I get to keep him longer. May God bless him and others who defend the church. I checked out the responses to his speech at other sites and was saddened but not shocked by some of the responses. I keep thinking of Jesus and the adultress…I do not judge you but go and sin no more. It’s that “sin no more thing” which many seem to forget. Today’s gospel is the root of the Jesus prayer which say often, very often, everyday. Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

  31. LorenzoCanuck says:

    I’m with bookworm and John of Chicago: the fact that many will fall away is a tragedy and a cause for grave concern, because many will be farther from salvation since they won’t even have the half-listened pronouncements of the hierarchy to drop vague reminders of the truth.

    We have to somehow thread the needle and assert orthodoxy but also invite people to embrace that orthodoxy with fervour. We cannot succumb to the temptation of using the teachings of the Church as reducing valves to restrict entry to the unwashed or ambivalent, to the myriad of middling or confused people who comprise the majority of humanity (don’t let the pols be the image of the average Catholic!). Instead, we must live the Faith joyfully, because Truth is Beautiful and is attractive in and of itself. Many of those who are ignorant of what the Church teaches will embrace it, if only someone would show them.

    If those outside the Church see that those who call themselves “traditional” or “orthodox” are always sulking about the cancer within the Body of Christ they will be repelled, and rightly so. Instead, let us remember that Christ is Risen and that nothing the heretics do will dissolve the Kingdom.

  32. SenexCalvus says:

    FrAnt: A number of my physician friends complain about two types of patients: on the one hand, “seekers,” who come to the ER in search of prescriptions for narcotics; and on the other, non-compliants, who refuse to act on their physician’s advice. Is health the goal of therapy, whether physical or spiritual, or comfort with one’s diaease? Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when Pope Bergoglio tells seekers and non-compliants that their physicians have been too harsh. This is, after all, what quisling clerics have been teaching since they surrendered their faculties to the APA.

  33. teachermom24 says:

    I know this wasn’t the main point of the post, but I lost track with the reference to “Notre Shame”. I just sent my son back to the University of Notre Dame, the university of “our Lady”, following fall break. There may be many things wrong there, but there are many thing right and very good. My son is a faithful Catholic who is realizing his vocation through the guidance of faithful priests on campus and the fellowship of many faithful Catholic students. Oh, and my eldest son graduated ND in 2012 (is a faithful Catholic now), and my 3rd son will apply for admission next year.

    Please do not consign the school to the trash heap of whatever it is you don’t like. That is uncharitable and unfair. Notre Dame is much bigger and more complicated than a simplistic black vs white, traditional vs modern, conservative vs liberal view of life.

  34. SenexCalvus says:

    What was it, I wonder, that ND wanted to honor in Vice President Biden when it conferred on him its Laetare Medal? Was it that he supports pro-abortion legislation (pro patria) or that he was soon to “marry” a homosexual couple in his government-sponsored housing (pro Ecclesia)? As a teacher, I, too, am complicit in the evil that masquerades as an institution dedicated to Our Lady. I’ve written letters of recommendation for applicants.

  35. Dave N. says:

    After his various run-ins with the Lepanto Institute, I’m more than a little skeptical of Abp. Chaput, but I think here he makes great sense; however; where should the “cuts” come and how deep should they go? Those not agreeing with the Church’s stance on artificial contraception would leave how many in the Church? 10%? Fewer? Tack on issues like IVF, abortion, gay marriage, the death penalty, and…who would be left exactly?

    Certainly a number of institutions like Notre Shame, Georgetown, plenty of other Jesuit schools sorely need to be dumped as well. The Church is well overdue for a pruning.

    But I think the real problem is that at least since HV, the faithful or not-quite-so-faithful have never once been encouraged to make a real choice between affirming the true faith or leaving the Church. And by now there are so many elephants in the room, there’s barely space left to breathe.

    I honestly think that given some sort of an ultimatum (maybe that’s too strong, so we will call it a “choice”) MANY, MANY Catholics would chose to clean up their act, repent, and side with the Church—and the Church would be utterly and amazingly transformed! Now, where’s the bishop brave enough to do this? (Sorry, it won’t be Abp. Chaput.) I’d venture to say such a man has yet to be appointed, but I have great faith he will be someday. However, it’s not going to happen under this Pope.

  36. Thorfinn says:

    bookworm: The key to avoiding any whiff of a small/pure clique is reclamation of missionary spirit. The cultural wasteland spits out an untold number of battered souls desperate to experience true love; our task is to continually, personally, present to them the love of Christ.

  37. Chuck says:

    Dave N. I would suggest we start winnowing with abortion. Too many of my friends and acquaintances are using seamless garment arguments. At least one of my friends is a Knight of Columbus and should know better. Once the hierarchy gets serious about applying corrective measures to those whose scandal is public then we can work with those who have been poorly served and catecized and bring them home.

  38. un-ionized says:

    teachermom24, don’t worry. childish name calling has been a large part of the discussion here for several years. just keep doing what you are doing.

  39. Filipino Catholic says:

    Allegory of the Silver:

    The Church is like a fine silver mirror reflecting the brilliance of the sun, whereas the influence of the world is like sulfur in the air (“smoke of Satan”). As time passes without regularly cleaning the silver, it begins to tarnish and blacken due to the corrupting influence of aerial sulfur. Yet the true beauty of the silver remains, hidden under the layer of tarnish (like the allegorical reading of Cant. 1:4).

    There are numerous ways to remove silver tarnish, some of which purify in driving off the sulfur while retaining the silver, and some of which separate the tarnish from the untouched silver. All of those methods are aggressive — abrasion, acid baths, high-temperature roasting — and signify trials and tribulations for the Church. Some will come to their senses and cleave to the Apostolic Faith, some will be driven off altogether.

  40. Former Altar Boy says:

    Don’t worry the naysayers, Archbishop Chaput. You are in good company.

    “Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith.”
    –St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597)

  41. Absit invidia says:

    Charlie, the Church Herself autheorizes it with its disciplinary tool of excommunication. Moreover Christ Himself thought it a good idea when he threw money lenders out of the temple – tolerance in the face of extreme error is no virtue

  42. tlawson says:

    Totally, totally agree with Fr Z that it has to start with the authentic revitalization of The Mass. I just don’t understand why even a “heavy-hitter” like Abp. Chaput isn’t a big guy or big fan or big participant in this primary, vital area. The Mass IS The Faith. Making, or permitting, It to be casual in whatever way(s) is, ultimately, destructive to The Faith, and to the life of the Church. No wonder so many Catholics are confused and half-hearted, when in most places The Mass is a happy sing-along, all about them “doing things.” Come, Lord Jesus.

  43. JonPatrick says:

    I suggest that anyone who considers driving those who do not follow Church teachings out of the Church as being uncharitable go read 1 Corinthians 5 and see what St. Paul says about it.

    I personally believe the coming persecution of the Church here in the US and in Europe will take care of this as the CINO’s either leave or form a Chinese style government controlled church in name only with the real Church underground.

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  45. Tom A. says:

    The Church does not exclude any one single soul. The poor soul excludes himself when he rejects any dogma or doctrine of the Church.

  46. Gilbert Fritz says:

    “Whether its SSPX, FSSP, ICKSP, or good Diocesan priests saying the traditional mass – ”

    SSPX should get their act together and rejoin the church; they are only causing trouble for us where they are.

    And maybe secluding ourselves in FSSP parishes was not a great idea; maybe we could have helped support orthodox diocesan priests and helped to change the diocesan parishes, instead of marginalizing ourselves. The goal should be to have Extraordinary form masses at “ordinary” parishes, and the reform of the Ordinary form; this will have a much greater impact.

  47. Tom A. says:

    Or maybe there are less Catholics in 2016.

  48. LarryW2LJ says:

    I have a hard time escaping the feeling that I am becoming part of a smaller, and smaller minority within my own Church, i.e the type of Catholics that Archbishop Chaput is speaking of.

    I see so many that don’t have the first clue of what Mass is supposed to be about and how to behave in Church. Showing up at First Eucharists and Confirmations and hearing so many still saying “And also with you.” when the Priest says “The Lord be with you.” That change took place in 2011 – five years ago – they haven’t been to Mass in five years?

    It’s disheartening and disappointing; but I’m not sitting on my tuchas waiting for others to do something about it. I’ve volunteered to take part in a program in our diocese called “Relit”, which is training evangelism leaders for within the parishes – and also I am attempting to earn a certificate in “Learn to Lead – Bible Study Leadership”. Hopefully I will become “certified” next May and I can help with the process of bringing some of these weaker souls back into the fold.

    Our priests certainly can’t be expected to do it all alone. With their guidance and help, maybe we can help them.

  49. PTK_70 says:

    “And maybe secluding ourselves in FSSP parishes was not a great idea…”

    Yessir, Mr. Gilbert Fritz, yessir.

    This is how they control boll weevils after all. When you and your friends are sequestered, your influence is minimized.

    Yeast must be diffused through the dough to have its effect.

  50. PTK_70 says:

    @Tom A…..I like it. Who will inform the poor souls** that they have excluded themselves?

    **Especially the preachers, pastors and theologians that willfully, obstinately, mulishly hold Humanae Vitae in contempt.

  51. juergensen says:

    There goes his red zucchetto.

  52. thomas tucker says:

    Only for now, juergensen. Papal reigns, and papal reigns go. He who is persona non grata under one, may be elevated under another.

  53. MikeM says:

    Jeurgensen, I think his chance at a red hat passed when he didn’t strap himself onto the Amoris laetitia train. He was passed over in the recent consistory. It’s especially revealing since, by lifestyle, he’s everything Pope Francis says that he wants in a bishop.

  54. cl00bie says:

    Should they just get out?

    This brings me to a story about our parish receiving a new pastor. This pastor was orthodox. This pastor was dedicated. This pastor was universally disliked by the kumbaya congregation attracted by the prior pastor.

    Many of these people stayed, months in fact, trying their hardest to undermine this pastor and bring him around to their way of thinking. After a while most of them left. The ones who stayed, tried the pastor’s way of doing things to their benefit. We had a smaller and more faithful parish, which soon began to grow into a larger and more faithful parish.

    So to the question. If they’re like the first group of malcontents, get out. You are destructive to the faith of those who remain and are poison to the life of the church. If you’re like the second group, then stay and enjoy the benefits of a more faithful liturgy and a closer relationship with God.

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