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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Congratulations Philadelphia!


Archbishop Chaput of Denver has been appointed to Philadelphia to succeed Cardinal Rigali. Congratulations to the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia! The Denver website carries his biography and curriculum vitae.

Archbishop Chaput showed his media skill by giving John Allen an extended exclusive interview with the only condition that it be embargoed until the appointment was officially announced.

When he was Bishop in the Diocese of Rapid City Archbishop Chaput welcomed the FSSP there, and he had an FSSP parish in Denver. He has been outspoken on the question of pro-abortion politicians not receiving Holy Communion, he opposed the visit of President Obama to Notre Dame and has spoken against the legalisation of gay marriage. His many publicised addresses have been inspiring for Catholics seeking clear teaching.

He is also a kindly, pastoral man who has given true fatherly leadership in the spirit of St Francis (he is a Capuchin.) Here is the last of the questions in John Allen's interview:
What about your role as a spiritual leader for the archdiocese? Is there any particular devotion or practice of prayer, for example, that you want to promote?

I'm firmly convinced by a lifetime of being in the church that the traditional practices of the church are the ones we need to follow, and if we follow them, we really will be able to engage in all these issues in an appropriate way. The first thing is regular prayer, and for priests that means the divine office and the daily celebration of the Mass. Beyond that, we should embrace the sacramental life, which means personal confession as well as encouraging others to enter the sacrament of confession. There's also fasting … Jesus tells us that 'some devils can't be driven out without fasting.' We need to find time for spiritual reading, especially the reading of the scriptures. I don't think adding new devotions to the traditional practices of the church is necessary, and sometimes it's confusing and end up sapping away time.
Many people find praying the rosary daily to be a very important thing. Certainly devotion to the Blessed Mother is an intrinsically necessary part of Catholic life, because Mary is the mother of the church and our mother personally. Christ gave us Mary as our mother, and we should take that seriously. If we believe these things and faithfully apply them to our lives, we'll work our way through this.

I think devotion to the saints is also an important part of this. As a bishop, I have a huge devotion to St. Augustine and to St. Charles Borromeo. I've been blessed to have Charles Borromeo as my personal patron. His feast day is my name day. I really do depend on them a lot in the Communion of Saints. Also, St. Francis is in some sense the foundation of my spirituality.
Diane at Te Deum Laudamus has a helpful most with lots of links: Archbishop Chaput leaves the Rocky Mountains for Philly
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