Thursday, February 26, 2009

Archbishop Chaput on Catholic Politcal Vocation

This is the entire text of Archbishop Chaput's speech in Canada.
It is well done and I recommend all to read it.
It can be best summed with his concluding paragraphs:

Anyone who hasn't noticed the despair in the world should probably go back to sleep. The word "hope" on a campaign poster may give us a little thrill of righteousness, but the world will still be a wreck when the drug wears off. We can only attain hope through truth. And what that means is this: From the moment Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life," the most important political statement anyone can make is "Jesus Christ is Lord."

We serve Caesar best by serving God first. We honor our nation best by living our Catholic faith honestly and vigorously, and bringing it without apology into the public square and its debates. We're citizens of heaven first. But just as God so loved the world that he sent his only son, so the glory and irony of the Christian life is this: The more faithfully we love God, the more truly we serve the world.

Archbishop Chaput lists four things Catholics should be reminded of

  1. "all political leaders draw their authority from God"
  2. "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs"
  3. "It doesn't matter what we claim to believe if we're unwilling to act on our beliefs."
  4. "The Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."
I do disagree with Archbishop Chaput on President Obama's election:
But it does place some of today's talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective. Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That's the mandate.
To fix an economic crisis, we would expect the use of economists and to have an understanding of how the economy works. President Obama was elected, but this does not mean that he was elected to interfere with something he knows very little of. Electing an official does not grant someone the ability to meddle with things they do not know. Remember voters aren't experts on all things. Should they vote to fix the economy if they know little of it?
Let us remember Bryan Caplan on 20/20, "If you do not know what you are doing, you are not doing the country a favor by voting."

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Great concluding paragraphs.