Breaking News: Chaput To Be Named Archbishop of Philadelphia

The official announcement is expected tomorrow morning. The new Archbishop’s welcome wagon basket is chock full of grief. I won’t begrudge him a cheese steak, but then it’s time to get down to business. The faithful have laid out a to do list that can’t wait.

1. Protect our children.

2. Renew the Catholic Church in Philadelphia.

3. Help give victims of clergy sex abuse every opportunity for justice.

It’s that last one that might be tricky for Archbishop Chaput. While he removed those suspected of clergy sex abuse in Denver, he was very much against the removal of the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse in Colorado. The 2011 Grand Jury recommended its removal here in Pennsylvania. The PA Catholic Conference, headed by Cardinal Rigali, has worked against the removal.

Regarded as a conservative, the first Native American Archbishop has been outspoken on Church-State matters. That seems a good fit for Philadelphia, the most conservative diocese in the country.

Archbishop Chaput is said to be an adept administrator who respects the role of the laity. He speaks plainly and reaches out to the faithful. Chaput will be the first Bishop of Philadelphia since Prendergast (our third) who has served as a pastor. The clericalism that has historically plagued Philadelphia may soon subside under his leadership.

I am cautiously optimistic there may finally be an opportunity for the laity to be heard. Maybe our voices will even reach Rome.

What do you think?

Read more here.

“Denver Bishop to Replace Cardinal Rigali,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 18, 2011

and here

Whispers In the Loggia

36 thoughts on “Breaking News: Chaput To Be Named Archbishop of Philadelphia

  1. FYI… Radio Times on NPR will be discussing Archbishop Rigali’s resignation and related Catholic matters tomorrow at 10am on WHYY. I’m still digesting the news about Archbishop Chaput….

  2. Your voice will never reach Rome. The Vatican just doesn’t care about the child sex abuse scandal, and neither do any of the bishops and priests under them, as is proven in the Philly Grand Jury report or the explosive scandal in Ireland this week, where the Irish people are just realizing that the Vatican doesn’t care.

    It’s part of canon law (church law) to squelch any scandal that could tarnish the reputation of the church. It’s not part of canon law to squelch child sex abuse. Canon law breaks God’s laws, especially the 4th commandment, but the clergy doesn’t care.

    The Catholic church will continue to do what they can get away with, and to test the strength of the congregation, which is both weak and weak minded. The congregation will follow bishop’s laws instead of God’s laws if there is a contradiction because they have a lifetime history of doing what they are told.

    The bad news is that future generations have the truth through the Internet, and they won’t fall for the same thing. Tell a teenager that they have to be Catholic, avoid sex, avoid drinking and drugs, avoid cheating and stealing, and do all that because they are told to by a church that sexually abused children and lied about it?

    Sorry, but they will be smarter than this generation.

    Archbishop Chaput can’t fix that. The only person that could fix that would be someone with the guts and strength to say, “I’m doing what God wants instead of what Rome wants”. There might be a dozen priests that have said that, and they don’t get to be Archbishops.

    The Catholic church is failing because they didn’t practice the simple laws of the religion.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one to think this, but it’s God’s little pun that the future of the Catholic church in Philadelphia is ka-put.

      1. LOL! Well Patrick you may be onto something. I may sound nutty to be mentioning this here but if you’ve ever read the purported prophecies of St. Malachy, the next pope is the last pope “Peter the Roman” whoever that may be. So maybe in a strange way there is hope!

  3. The replacement bishop will fine it hard to do better in protecting children than the outgoing one did.
    The Vatican finally gets it. Bishops that don’t obey must retire! However all bishops obey the Vatican. .Confused?
    But wait. Does the Vatican really get it? Are children more important than church scandal?
    How will the clergy and laity know the Vatican really understands and is now on the moral side and will love children as Jesus Christ Loved children?
    Conservative Catholics believe they are solders for Jesus, to win his battles, and be victorious. In the real military anyone failing to follow orders suffers consequences such as reduction in rank and time in the brig (jail).
    Tomorrow, if the Vatican gives Cardinal Rigali a position in Rome and retirement as a Cardinal as Cardinal Law received from Pope JP2nd, you will know the Pope doesn’t get it! If the Vatican reduces Rigali in rank from cardinal to priest and provides a position for prayer in the US on a priest’s retirement salary, then they are starting to get it!

  4. Most people commenting here are aware of Archbishop Chaput’s history in Denver. Enough said.

    Let’s hope that Chaput takes this opportunity to get it right whereas Cardinals Rigali, Bevilaequa and Krol did everything possible to protect known sexual predators while further exploiting the individuals who were sexually abused.

    That’s fact not fiction.

    Don’t believe me? Then read all three PGJReports.

    After a close reading of both the 2005 and 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury Reports, which detail the failures of the last three episcopal leaders of the archdiocese, it is sincerely hoped that Archbishop Chaput will meet with the leadership of groups like the Greater Philadelphia Voice of the Faithful.

    VOTFGP has tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to open a dialog with church leadership, especially with Cardinal Justin Rigali.

    Since 2005 the words and actions of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have belied the mandates for Accountability & Transparency put forward by the USCCB. More than that, they were downright dishonest as was Cardinal Bevilaequa’s words on a CNN “Newsnight” report on April 26, 2002, when he answered a reporter’s question by saying, “We all are agreed that no priest guilty of even one act of sexual abuse of a minor will function in any ecclesial ministry or any capacity in our diocese.”

    Everyone knows just how disingenuous that statement was.

    A good beginning would be for Chaput to state publicly his and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference’s support of needed legislative reform; namely House Bills 832 & 878.

    He has viciously opposed Statute of Limitation reform in Colorado.

    His words aside, Archbishop Chaput’s real test here in Philadelphia will be whether or not he directs the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to support House Bills 832 & 878.

    However, with or without Archbishop Chaput’s support, the citizens of Pennsylvania should realize by now that the protection and cover-up of sexually abusive priests by the episcopacy of any religious denomination points out the reality that no religious organization, sect or cult, public or private organization can or should be trusted to police itself.

    Criminal acts and the endangerment of children are responsibilities belonging to the larger society. Child protection laws need to be strengthened and brought into the 21st century. Violators and their enables be held accountable according to the law.


    Does Archbishop Chaput support this position or not?

    We welcome Archbishop Chaput to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and look forward to meeting with him for the renewal of the Church in Philadelphia.



    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Victims’ Advocate
    Steering Committee
    Greater Philadelphia Voice of the Faithful

    1. Yes Archbishop Chaput has two choices either to work respectfully with the laity , priests and other religious or work against them…………there is no middle road. The laity want our kids to be safe and want to help victims heal and that can’t be done half a—- pardon the expression but it’s true. Each child and victim is the temple of the Holy Spirit made in the image and likeness of God and therefore they deserve no less.

    2. With all due respect sister, the vatican has sent us a bishop who I believe will “straighten us out”. His record in Colorado is dismall compared to the sexual abuse of children. He fought against any statue of limitations by hiring lobbyist to fight against the law chaput waged an aggressive counteroffensive to defend the church against victims in court.The priest Fr. Thompson he so readily suspended was silently put back in ministry several months later. It will be his way or no way. Like all the others he will put on a good face and then protect HIS church at any cost. Chaput said it all when he himself said” I am against the statue of limitations this bill is a bad law it will lead to “pillaging” the church offers. If that doesn’t say it all.

  5. The Pope is passing his trash. Rigali will no doubt receive some kind of marvelous kingdom to govern. If not, perhaps Rigali can be sent to Kansas City where he can assist Finn, who obviously has no idea of how to handle sexual abuses cases.

    1. Cardinal Rigali, while not headed for justice, is not headed to Rome either. He is promised a retirement in obscurity with a legacy of despair hanging over him. I know it is more than many here believe he deserves.

  6. ..please stop drinking the Papal Kool-Aid.. does anyone actually
    believe in their heart the changing of the guard in Philly is going
    to lead to a pedophile free clergy? in the Harrisburg diocese we inherited Bishop Jos McFadden
    from Philly.. the good bishop, who spent 30 years or so at the heart
    of the Philly dioceses, recently said he was shocked, shocked you
    hear, when he recently learned the abuse of children was so
    wide spread..

    ..the good Bishop also added he didn’t think throwing money at the
    victims would aid in their healing.. DUH..

    Keep the Faith…………..

  7. I am not hopeful at all. Archbishop Chaput is now positioning himself for the Cardinal’s hat. This opportunity for a promotion to Cardinal will force him to keep the company line in tow. This is part of the problem and forces “goodpriests” to be company men and not transformed leaders. We need transformational leadership desperately. Come Holy Spirit!!!!!!!!!

    1. Dr. Nick, I totally agree with you. Please read my response to Sister Maureen as I pretty much said the same thing. I am so disappointed in this choice to lead the Archdiocese, NOTHING will change for the good.

  8. Sorry, but it appears to be business as usual in the RCC. I see Chaput as just another company guy, on his way up the corporate ladder. Instead of providing someone who could empathize with what people are going through, and embracing the conflicted, they just gave us all the finger by putting in an ultra conservative who doesn’t support the lifting of the statute of limitations.

    Will he meet with people such as C4C or VOF? I sincerely doubt it, though just as sincerely, hope I’m wrong.

    As a parishoner, and parent of Catholic school children, all I’m preparing for is more of the same including denial, cover up, and pay, pay, pay….

    1. Deidre, It is so refreshing when people don’t have their heads in the sand. I so agree with you as I have been dealing with the Archdiocese for 18 years as a survivor. I am sorry for those who have hope in their church, NOTHING will change, mark my words.

    2. From the article I just read the first thing he needs is a copy of the grand jury reports……….its nuts……….it quotes him saying he never read them. Maybe that is the first thing we can present him so he can at least say he saw the front cover.

  9. Please tell me I miss read the Bucks County Courier Times it states “Chaput said he hadn’t read the grand jury report” What the h—-! Don’t you think the responsible thing to do would find out why the laity is up in arms? Is this a misquote ………is he that naive or is it a lie. I am sick.

    1. They got it right. Sean Tobin of FOX 29 asked him during the press conference. He said that he hadn’t read them yet. They should be required reading for every Bishop – let alone the one assigned to Philadelphia. Every Catholic should read it. Heck, every parent should read it.

  10. He claims victims forget, in the 60’s can’t forgot those Catholic Boys who took my clothes off and were ready to do something but someone was in the next room, at my work. I wasn’t raped,and not attacked by a priest but won’t forget that night at my work – jealous of my grades. Don’t think victims forget.

  11. I know he has til Sept. but talk about being uninformed with current events in the catholic church considering this is a crisis on an enormous scale.

  12. I don’t believe him. I think he read the grand jury report. I believe it was a tactic. Many of the hierarchy use it….”I’m unaware…I didn’t know…I haven’t read it yet.” This way he dodges any more questions about what he might think of his brother bishop’s actions (or inactions). See the pattern, folks? I’m surprised that any of you here believe he didn’t read it. C’mon…the man has been hand-picked for a specific purpose. And he’s unaware and hasn’t read the very document that is causing all this upheaval? No way. It makes me want to shout to all of you….WAKE UP! You still believe them?!

    The only thing I could possbly say to his “I haven’t read the PGJR ,”….is liar, liar, pants on fire. This is exactly what frustrates me most about the laity…you want to believe him so you can trust him. That doesn’t make it so. TRUST his actions, not his words.

    1. Survivor’s wife,

      Interesting perspective, and a possibility. The new bishop may be lying instead of just grossly incompetent and unaware of the single most important issue in his new job.

      So, is he a liar or just incompetent and apathetic? The sad thing is that there’s no other option.

      Welcome to today’s Catholic church – hide your children,

  13. Despite all the politics and hardheartedness etc. I will still pray for him that the lord softens his heart toward the victims so that he shows compassion and that he works to protect all children because in the end it is only thru God’s will not mine that hearts are changed.

  14. I finally got to see the 2008 movie “Doubt.” It never showed here so I finally found it used for 9 dollars. What do all you folk think of it? For those who don’t know , it involves (Merl Streep) as a nun who suspects her parish priest of molesting a school boy (altar boy.)When I played it at home, I invited my Catholic family to watch. Their verdict: The nun was a b…h, and had no evidence of wrongdoing. I took away from the story [once a play] that she ended with “doubt” she had done right by having the priest promoted to another position somewhere else.

    1. Good movie. I think it shows how manipulative and good at hiding child molesters are and how they have you doubting yourself your judgement your world and even your God. How the lying and coverup make you appear crazy to others when in fact you are doing the right thing. Evil gets rewarded and good is just plan physically and emotionally worn out because it is so difficult to fight someone when it is not out in the open. Most people don’t want to believe you that pure evil exists.

    1. I fought a child molester and it almost destroyed me. If I didnt have Jesus Christ it would have. I am still recovering……….He went to jail………I can relate alot to the movie. I am not a victim but I truly respect victims for surviving and living their lives. What I experienced was horrifying and again I was not a victim.

  15. Philip Seymore Hoffman was one of my favorite actors over the last 10 years or so before I watched “Doubt.” Now, I can never watch him again in another movie. His character, along with the movie sent chills down my spine. Did he do it? Yes! No question about it. Am I biased because I am a clergy abuse victim? Yes, but I’m also smarter about the subject because I am a clergy abuse victim.

    1. Sorry I forgot your name V4J— I have been meaning to write a reply to you since reading one of your other posts. All I can say is: And I hope it isn’t “trite”— I feel your pain.
      Your writing brings tears to my eyes because I think in a small way I can understand something about what you endure.

      The one thing I can assure you of, because I am a believer, I know without a doubt that when Jesus Christ died on that cross , He had you in His mind! It’s the same for each of us— “Christ died for the ungodly… the just for the unjust. When you believe that you are transformed for eternity, and it can never be reversed, lost, whatever. Only believe.

    2. Yes he did. You know how they operate and that is why I think victims should have more say and input into making laws changes in and out of the church.

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