Archbishop Chaput Installed This Thursday

Many have asked what I hope from Archbishop Chaput’s leadership. Kathy and I hope he will follow all of the recommendations of the 2011 Grand Jury Report. For instance, the Archdiocese still hasn’t removed the Victims Assistance Program from its (and therefore, its lawyers) supervision.

We hope Archbishop Chaput will support a bill for the removal of the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in PA. There is no civil statute for murder in this state. We agree the Catholic Church shouldn’t be unfairly targeted in a bill. The Catholic Church should strive to protect and bring justice to all children. We hope Archbishop Chaput would use his extensive lobbying experience to push for such a bill rather than fight against the idea as he did in Colorado. A Church that puts its institutional interests above even one child is not the Church I learned about in Catholic grade and high school. We were taught what Jesus would do.

For those victims who don’t wish to seek civil litigation (and there are many), we hope Archbishop Chaput will embrace a plan for “Restorative Justice.” (More on this soon). However, so much trust has been lost, I’m not sure this is possible.

We hope Archbishop Chaput will reach out to those who are on the fence and those who have left the Church over the cover up. We hope reaching out is done with more than words. Actions will speak louder.

David O’Reilly writes about Archbishop Chaput in today’s Inquirer, “In his 2008 book Render Unto Caesar, he wrote, ‘Catholics who live so anonymously that no one knows their faith . . . aren’t really living as ‘Catholics’ at all.’ He went on to observe that ‘American democracy depends on people of character fighting for their beliefs . . . forcefully and without apology.'”

That’s just what Kathy and I will continue doing.

“Archbishop Chaput to take post on Thursday,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 4, 2011


9 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput Installed This Thursday

  1. Of course our new Archbishop should support the bill to remove the statute of limitations on child abuse – That goes without saying. And he doesn’t need to say “he’s new on the job, give him time” It doesn’t take much thought to be fair, honest & christian to our hurting, violated abused victims.

    He also should frequently read Catholics4Change and enter a sincere blog. He said he will be giving 3 days to administrative duties.

    After that we will believe he is earnest in helping our Archdiocese & Church!

  2. It was just about 6 months ago that I sat at my computer feeling completely empty and hopeless about all of the findings of the recent Grand Jury report. I googled something concerning the issue and came upon a link for catholics4change. I read a few of Susan’s posts on the C4C site, which she had just created a few weeks before. Finally someone speaking up,finally someone else who was outraged! Finally someone who also wasn’t afraid to speak the truth because to remain silent only allows the culture which allowed the abuse,to continue.
    Over the past few months we have met many great people from all walks of life. We have met advocates who dedicate themselves to the issues which will protect all of our children. We have relationships with those in the law enforcement field who have long known of the horror of abuse that has occurred and was hidden within the Church. We have met other Catholic laity from throughout the AD who also are speaking up and refusing to be part of the problem any longer. We continually hear from people who communicate with us off site- about the problems they have had in dealing with the Archdiocese,many times regarding clergy sex abuse,other times other issues.
    Although we have learned very much over the past few months from all of the various people we have encountered,there is one group which has provided the most valuable insight . This group is the victims and family members,who so bravely have shared the most personal details of their very lonely journey in their quest for justice,honesty and protection of children. I realize this coming week with all of the news coverage and pomp and circumstance with the transition to new leadership, will be very difficult to those who have suffered so greatly by the crimes committed against them as children. We can’t take that pain away,we wish we could. But you are no longer alone,we are not going anywhere .We will continue to use our voices and our passion to speak to the many injustices and crimes that have occurred within the Church community.

  3. Here’s a great start to the new reign. Archbishop Chaput will invite all archdiocesan parishioners to the upcoming Mass on September 27th at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Harrisburg sponsored by the Pa Catholic Conference and the Knights of Columbus.

    There is ample time for archdiocesan HQ to plan for such an event. They can rent busses and charge a nominal fee (cost for transportation) for all Philadelphia parishioners who wish to attend this Mass.

    For those interested in the breakfast forum the next day in Harrisburg, Archbishop Chaput could extend a similar invitation along with the support of the local Knights of Columbus in Harrisburg which is sponsoring the early morning get-together.

  4. Hope springs eternal but unfortunately so does the MO of the Catholic Church. We can hope that Chaput will go with the recommendations of Grand Jury report but by his own admission in the Inquire today he “still hasn’t read the entire first report”, let alone the second. What is he waiting for? What is possibly more important the documented rape of children by clergy? I am baffled.
    Anyone that thinks that he is going to support any adjustment to the statute of limitations on damages is not paying attention to history, The Church’s or Chaput’s. He will actively lobby to protect the Church’s money. He has already stated that Colorado’s was anti Catholic. (Much like Lynn said that his trial is)
    I hope for all the good stuff also but I. will be shocked if we see anything put PR damage

  5. Susan –

    When you post re restorative justice, I hope it will include a commentary on how the failed leadership, from the Vatican to the chancery to the parish, of the Body of Christ neglected to follow the guidelines the USCCB published some time ago on that subject.

    larry mulligan
    GR, MI

    1. Larry, Without accountability, those guidelines are meaningless. Right now, there is no real oversight or ramifications if someone fails to follow them. I was referring to something a bit different. I’ll post more later. I’m still sifting through all the information given to me on the subject.

  6. “In 2006, Chaput put together a coalition that defeated a bill to open a temporary “window” in Colorado’s civil statute for adults who were abused as children.

    In batting down such legislation, “he set the standard for other dioceses across the United States. He wrote the playbook.” said Susan Matthews, founder of Catholics4Change, an abuse victim’s blog. “That’s why he was put here.”

    Despite her qualms, however, she said Chaput has not only responded personally to her e-mails – something Rigali never did – but was surprisingly friendly.
    And that, she said, is “a real change in culture.”

    But if history is any measure, he will talk tough. In a 2006 guest homily at a Mass in Harrisburg, he told Catholic jurists and lawmakers, “Stuffing your Catholic faith in a closet isn’t good manners. It’s cowardice.”

    Thanks be to God I won’t be close enough to be affected by Chaput’s “reign”. When religious figures like him have much more power and influence,as they did back in the day, believers like me are “toast.” [Only slightly in jest, mostly serious.]

  7. Do you believe Rome sent our “new” Archbishop to support a bill to remove the statute of limitations on child abuse???? Wake up people.. Our “new” Archbishop has been moved to Philadelphia to bring all of us back in line i.e. OBEY-PRAY-PAY…Do some research folks and you will find that what he did in Denver is not so nice for the victims and their families.. Quiet frankly, the guy needs to step up to the plate and deal with the problems of OUR church here in Philadelphia ASAP…..That being said, the Eagles have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl then the church supporting the removal of the statue of limitations on child abuse….

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