It been two weeks since Archbishop Chaput’s addressed over 700 participants on the campus of the University of Toronto at St. Basil’s Church. The Archbishop urged Catholics to live out their faith in the public square. He sounded a warning saying that in the United States Catholics “needed be on guard against “a spirit of adulation bordering on servility” that exists towards the Obama administration. Of President Obama, he said, “There’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change”
“I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth — which means candor.”
That Catholics voted for Obama despite his stand on life issues proved Chaput’s point that the “Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years.” In his book, “Rend Unto Caesar” Archbishop Chaput traces the Catholic struggle to be accepted in the United States, which was formed mainly by Protestants. President John F. Kennedy ushered in a coming of age of Catholic respectability. What will that acceptance cost us, if, for it’s sake, we lose our sense of duty, our will, and our nerve to be outspokenly Catholic?
I have a friend who said her father taught her that she needed three things to be happy: “a wish bone, a funny bone and a back bone.” I think our catholic back bone is being tried, but if we are found wanting, there will be no happily ever after in America.