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Archbishop Chaput links Reformation, today’s ‘radical self-centeredness’

November 14, 2012

In a laudatory review of Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation, Archbishop Charles Chaput discusses the links between the Protestant Reformation and “today’s relativism and cult of the consumer.”

“Gregory also shows that while the Reformers lit the fuse, medieval Catholics laid the dynamite,” Archbishop Chaput writes. “Late medieval laity were, quite often, profoundly pious. And because they were pious, they minded when their leaders weren’t … Greed, simony, nepotism, luxury, sexual license, and schism in the hierarchy created an intolerable gap between Christian preaching and practice.”

Archbishop Chaput adds:

Many Catholics worked for reform from within. Some had success … One key difference separated these Catholic voices from the Protestant Reformers: The Catholics believed that the Church had her teachings right. She just needed to actually live them.

The Protestant Reformation, on the other hand, eventually led to “metaphysical chaos,” which “has helped shape our politics, economics, and science.”


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  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Nov. 14, 2012 7:21 AM ET USA

    The Church always grows when under attack if the Bishops are leading as they should. This is how the early Church grew when pagan Rome attacked. The Church will fragment when under attack if the Bishops are not leading as Christ led witness the Reformation. Today the Church faces a modern Rome that is pagan and lifeless. Will the Bishops unite and lead the faithful to Heaven or will they cow and lead the faithful to Hell. Our duty as Catholics is to pray they will lead us to Heaven.