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Archbishop Chaput installed in Philadelphia

CWN - September 09, 2011

Archbishop Charles Chaput was installed as the thirteenth ordinary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on September 8. The prelate’s predecessors include St. John Neumann (1852-60), and, in more recent times, Cardinals John Krol (1961-88), Anthony Bevilacqua (1988-2003), and Justin Rigali (2003-11).

Comparing his installation to a marriage arranged by the Pope, Archbishop Chaput preached that “for any marriage to work, two things need to happen. People need to fall in love, and together they need to be fruitful. That's what we need to dedicate ourselves to today--to love one another and be fruitful together in the new evangelization.”

“It's crucial for those of us who are bishops not simply to look like bishops but to truly be bishops,” he continued. “Otherwise, we're just empty husks--the kind of men Augustine meant when he said, ‘You say, 'He must be a bishop for he sits upon the cathedra.' True--and a scarecrow might also be called a watchman in the vineyard.’”

“This Church in Philadelphia faces very serious challenges these days,” he added. “There's no quick fix to problems that are so difficult, and none of us here today, except the Lord Himself, is a miracle worker. But the Church is not defined by her failures. And you and I are not defined by critics or by those who dislike us. What we do in the coming months and years to respond to these challenges - that will define who we really are. And in engaging that work, we need to be Catholics first. Jesus Christ is the center of our lives, and the Church is our mother and teacher. Everything we do should flow from that.”

Born in 1944, Archbishop Chaput made his solemn profession as a Capuchin Franciscan in 1968 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1970. He has appointed Bishop of Rapid City (South Dakota) in 1988 and Archbishop of Denver in 1997.

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