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Archbishop Chaput: shutting down charitable services is ‘very much a possibility’

Catholic World News - April 04, 2012

Commenting on the Obama administration’s contraceptive-coverage mandate, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said that “shutting down services is very much a possibility if the circumstances require it.”

“We can’t violate what we believe as Catholics in order to do good works as Catholics,” he said in an interview. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

Archbishop Chaput added:

The government doesn’t have the right to force religious believers and institutions to violate their religious convictions. But that’s exactly what the White House is doing …

The most important thing [Catholics] can do is realize that constitutional guarantees are just scraps of elegant prose unless people fight to keep them alive. This country has no special immunity to anti-religious bigotry in our courts and legislatures. If we don’t press our lawmakers to defend the rights of religious believers and communities, then we’ll lose those rights. It’s already happening.

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  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Apr. 09, 2012 10:15 AM ET USA

    To Obama, Catholic Charities is General Motors. The Government takes it over from the Church, changes its name, adds those pesky mandates to its services, and otherwise leaves it as is, guarantee-ing no job loss to the tens of thousands of Catholic employees who I suspect will be faced with a Thomas More moment -- my job or my faith.

  • Posted by: impossible - Apr. 06, 2012 12:06 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Chaput is wrong when he says, “This country has no special immunity to anti-religious bigotry in our courts and legislatures." Our “special immunity,” so to speak, resides in the voting booth. Courageous actions of all bishops are the solution: (1) Obey and Enforce Canon 915; (2) Formally excommunicate “Catholic” politicians who have informally excommunicated themselves; (3) Promptly admit problem with Faithful Citizenship and issue a clear, honest Voters Guide.

  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - Apr. 05, 2012 1:44 PM ET USA

    The Obama Administration would be thrilled if the dioceses shut down their social services. That's the whole point! If the dioceses refused to shut down those services, could Obama withstand the public scrutiny and media attention on a heavy-handed White House's Justice Dept. fining and jailing peacefully protesting bishops? I doubt it. Call their bluff and see how far they go - just in time for an October surprise.

  • Posted by: dagbat - Apr. 05, 2012 1:04 AM ET USA

    Perhaps Archbishop Chaput is on to something here and maybe the Catholic Church and its institutions should in fact go ahead and walk away. Might it be better for the Church to go it alone? Wouldn’t this action be a catalyst for a revitalization of the Church in America? Isn’t this something that the Church desperately needs? What an opportunity for the Church to once again become the shining Beacon of truth, hope and compassion that it once was. Many Catholics are confused and angry with their Church and its Americanized watered down brand of Catholicism. They no longer know the difference between right and wrong, and the Church is no longer there to help them. Is it any wonder that the Church in America is in decline? In days past, Catholics always found ways to support their Church, schools, hospitals, and other institutions, so why can't Catholics today also find ways to do the same, even if the costs are much greater today? Sure it will take hard work, sacrifice, drive, and dedication but that is nothing new for Catholics. It will also require strong faith, prayer, and a call for the intercession of the Holy Spirit (to bring back all lost Catholics to the fold once again). For with God all things are possible. Yes, perhaps it is time to take a stand and say - no more government hand outs wanted! Let’s remove once and for all the heavy yoke of government secularism and religious intrusion from the backs of the Catholic Church, its institutions, and its holy flock.

  • Posted by: dagbat - Apr. 04, 2012 11:59 PM ET USA

    Clear and steadfast action based on fundamental Catholic principles (instead of for dialogue, accomodaton, concensus building, or political expediency). Bishop Chaput is a breath of fresh air. Finally the sleeping giant Catholic Church appears to be awakening.

  • Posted by: sarsok8679 - Apr. 04, 2012 8:26 PM ET USA

    The Church should not and never surrender to this anti-christ. Rather, she should publicly disobey this HHS mandate. If the Church gives up her hospitals, which is what this administration wants, they would go to those who will follow the dictatorship of un-elected bureaucrats. It would be much better to go to jail than, surrender her sovereign rights.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 04, 2012 12:41 PM ET USA

    I respect this particular Archbishop greatly..., as I am sure do many others, and it is a delicate matter to me not to take away from his annointed prominence. I would believe that this man of God now knows what we in the Church are dealing with. Only a committed man would bring up the "nuclear option..." However, I would hope and pray that this radical intervention would only be a "last resort," that the possibility be kept discrete, and that it would be conremplated with great wisdom.

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