Thursday, March 03, 2005

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men..."

I've always said it; if the Church can only allow men to the priesthood, it would help if more of them knew how to be men. It applies all the more to bishops.

I met the best of them once.

It was at their annual conference in Washington, back when I used to have press credentials. I was meeting Father Peter Stravinskas for lunch, and he introduced me to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. A pleasant enough fellow, quick with a smile and a joke, Chaput is a Capuchin, which is a historically reformist branch of the Franciscan tradition. But over the years, I've read transcripts of his remarks at bishops' meetings, and interviews in the press. His discourse has a precision worthy of a Jesuit of the old school, or a Dominican of the Thomist tradition.

Those who assembled for Denver's City Club luncheon got a taste of the same the other day, as reported by the Rocky Mountain News:
"One questioner observed that the Catholic Church doesn't appear to care about protecting women hurt by unwanted pregnancies.

"His voice rising, Chaput replied, 'That dear baby who gets aborted is who I'm protecting. Somebody doesn't just get hurt with abortion - they get killed.'

"'Who will take care of the unwanted children?' another asked.

"'I'll take any child that's unwanted and find them a home and take care of the mother,' he said. 'You have my personal pledge on that.'"
The whole piece is full of good comebacks like that. Check it out!

No comments: