Chaput: Hope as Despair, Overcome

For those following the Synod of the Family in Rome, this is a telling and illuminating speech from Philadephia’s Archibishop Charles Chaput:

Paragraphs 7-10 of the Instrumentum did a good job of describing the condition of today’s families. But overall,the text engenders a subtle hopelessness. This leads to a spirit of compromise with certain sinful patterns of life and the reduction of Christian truths about marriage and sexuality to a set of beautiful ideals — which then leads to surrendering the redemptive mission of the Church.

The work of this synod needs to show much more confidence in the Word of God, the transformative power of grace, and the ability of people to actually live what the Church believes. And it should honor the heroism of abandoned spouses who remain faithful to their vows and the teaching of the Church.

George Bernanos said that the virtue of hope is “despair, overcome.” We have no reason to despair. We have every reason to hope. Pope Francis saw this himself in Philadelphia. Nearly 900,000 people crowded the streets for the papal Mass that closed the World Meeting of Families.

Longtime readers of my work know how much a fan I am of Chaput’s “authentic Catholicism” in the public square.

This is brilliant stuff, and we need to hear more of it from our bishops and priests.  Sadly, too much of the Church is attached to government grants, subsidies, tax benefits (see: Germany) and co-operation.

The long experiment in colluding with the social welfare state is over.  The Church was not and could never recapture its mission this way.  Very glad to see Chaput point the way forward — let’s hope that the bishops of the Church have the courage to be shepherds, despite the best efforts of their bureaucrats to obscure hard truths on the ground.

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