Friday, July 22, 2011

If We Don't Love the Poor...

There's been quite a bit of commotion this week over Pope Benedict XVI's naming of Archbishop Charles Chaput as the new bishop of Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Love him or hate him, Archbishop Chaput is an interesting figure in the American Church.

In reading John Allen's interview, I was struck by a number of things said by the Archbishop. Of these, one line particularly interested me: "If we don't love the poor, and do all we can to improve their lot, we're going to go to Hell."

What? Could this line be yet another instance of what some bloggers consider liberation theology, the nefarious bugbear that causes such consternation for certain Catholics? Or is this simply the Archbishop putting bluntly what most of the rest of us know: the salvation we proclaim with our lips and preach from our pulpits is incomplete if our sisters and brothers are left to starve. Jesus didn't come simply to bring a Hallmark card: he brought new life and made people to be fully a part of the human family removing, in so many cases, the stigmas that kept them from entering into full communion with others.


In other news, we finished today our six-week Intensive Latin course. I kind of hit the wall on Tuesday night -- at a certain point, I just couldn't put one more verb or noun into my head! So I started watching the X-Men animated series (from 1992-1996) to give me a bit of a release. It proved salutary, as I did (1) rediscover the energy to continue my studies and (2) reconnected with a show I very much liked when I was a kid!

I return to Cleveland tomorrow for two nights and then I'll return to Detroit. I have some meetings and some work to do next week and then I'll spend a week in Omena, Michigan with other Jesuits for our annual villa. The beginning of the school year is less than four weeks away and I can assure you that I will be squeezing every bit of life out of the remaining days of vacation that I can.


Nan said...

Love the Hallmark line.

Horan Paypah said...

Archbishop Chaput is on my "Bishball" team. is the site of a Catholic "sport" where teams of 3 bishops are followed by bloggers. Actions are tracked as are the things said about the bishops. This week has left me breathless with all the angst, joy, confusion, misinformation, smack-downs, and hijinks over the Chaput appointment. You're right, Chaput keeps his eyes on Jesus and slaps people back into the reality of our vocation as Christians. He's a dynamic and fascinating man. Were it not for Bishball, I would never have gotten to know his mind so well.