Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Birthday: 26 September 1944
Education:

Bachelor’s in Philosophy – St. Fidelis College Seminary, Herman, PA, 1967
Studies in Psychology – Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., 1969
Master’s in Religious Education – Capuchin College, Washington D.C., 1970
Master’s in Theology – University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 1971

Ordination: 29 August 1970
Episcopate: 26 July 1988
Facebook (215) 587-3800 shepherd@chs-adphila.org

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Unclear where he stands on Archbishop Viganò
  • A spokesperson for Archbishop Chaput said he believes Archbishop Viganò’s service as nuncio had been “marked by integrity to the church” but that his specific allegations were not things he could comment on because they were “beyond his personal experience.” (America)
  • On August 30, Archbishop Chaput told a gathering of 300 Catholics that the 2018 Youth Synod should be cancelled. Chaput’s remarks were given at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary during a conference on young people and vocational discernment. Chaput said the sex abuse crisis has resulted in the bishops having “absolutely no credibility.” Chaput also said the proposed synod should focus on the life of bishops. (LifeSiteNews)

Amoris Laetitia

Does not allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • Chaput told a gathering of priests in Texas in 2017 that Amoris Laetitia “has passages of great wisdom” but that Catholics who have questioned the document “can’t…be dismissed.” He also said the laity must be guided in the right direction by their priests and that “fidelity to the received and constant wisdom of Catholic teaching is paramount.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • Archbishop Chaput told Vatican reporter John Allen that he’d like it if Pope Francis answered the dubia. “I think it’s always good to answer questions, clearly.” He also said Christ was “very clear” in the Gospels when he referred to divorce and remarriage as “adultery.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • In July 2016, Chaput issued guidelines that stated divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may not receive Holy Communion unless they “refrain from sexual intimacy.” To allow such persons to receive communion “misleads people about the nature of the Eucharist and the Church,” the guidelines declared. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Liberal Cardinal Kevin Farrell publicly stated that Chaput’s guidelines for communion are causing division. Chaput said he was puzzled by Farrell’s remarks. “The Church cannot contradict or circumvent Scripture and her own magisterium without invalidating her mission.” The “words of Jesus are very direct” when it comes to divorce. (LifeSiteNews)

Pro-life leadership

Actively engages in pro-life leadership
  • In his weekly column published May 9th, Archbishop Chaput urged Catholics to pray for Ireland as the country was approaching a referendum vote to legalize abortion on demand. (LifeSiteNews)
  • While serving as Archbishop of Denver in 2008, Chaput held a prayer vigil and peaceful protest outside a Planned Parenthood abortion center. Dr. Alveda King spoke at the rally alongside Archbishop Chaput. (Catholic News Agency)

Homosexuality

Upholds Church teaching on homosexuality
  • Archbishop Chaput’s guidelines on Amoris Laetitia note that two persons in an active, public same-sex relationship is a “serious counter-witness to Catholic belief.” Persons who are same-sex attracted are called on to live chastely and, like everyone else, “to have frequent recourse to the sacrament of penance, where they should be treated with gentleness and compassion.” (National Catholic Register)
  • In a letter written on February 7, 2018, Chaput told priests and deacons in his Archdiocese that “under no circumstances” may they take part in, witness or officiate at any civil union of same-sex persons, or any religious ceremony that seeks to bless such an event. “There is no truth, no real mercy, and no authentic compassion in blessing a course of action that leads persons away from God,” he said. (Catholic News Agency)
  • In July 2017, Chaput said that while pro-gay Fr. James Martin is someone he admires, Martin’s book on Catholicism and LGBT fails to clearly state that the Church views homosexual acts as sinful. “Jesus didn’t come to affirm us in our sins and destructive behaviors – whatever they might be — but to redeem us,” Chaput wrote in a column. (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
  • Archbishop Chaput issued guidelines in 2016 that disallow persons in his Archdiocese involved in same-sex relationships from holding positions of responsibility in a parish and from carrying out any liturgical ministry or functions. (New Ways Ministry)
  • In October 2015, Chaput told Crux that the term “intrinsically disordered” is “language [that] automatically sets people off, and probably isn’t useful anymore.” He also said that any substitute terminology should not obscure the Church’s view that “same-sex attraction is not part of God’s plan.” (Crux)
  • In 2015, Archbishop Chaput said same-sex attracted persons would be able to participate at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015 but that they would not be allowed to lobby other attendees to positions contrary to the life of the church. (National Catholic Reporter)
  • During a lecture for First Things magazine in 2014, Chaput said same-sex “marriage” activists have been “dishonest” and that pro-marriage leaders have been unfairly characterized as homophobes and bigots. Chaput also strongly denounced gay “marriage” itself and lamented the destruction of “public reason” it accomplished. (First Things)

Abortion politics

Upholds Church teaching on abortion politics
  • In September 2017, Chaput wrote a column blasting pro-abortion U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein for grilling a Catholic judge on her pro-life, Christian worldview during the judge’s confirmation hearings. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In a 2015 column, Archbishop Chaput said there was “no moral equivalent to abortion.” The deliberate killing of innocent life is a “uniquely wicked act.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • Church teaching against abortion “requires absolute adherence” on the part of Catholic voters, who must “stand united” in opposition to it regardless of party affiliation, Archbishop Chaput told Catholic News Service in October 2012. Chaput lamented the Democrat Party’s embrace of abortion and said being good citizens “means giving God his rights prior to the government making its claims upon us.” (Catholic News Service)
  • As Archbishop of Denver in 2004, Chaput said denying the Eucharist to someone is a “very grave matter” and should only be done in “extraordinary cases of public scandal.” He also said Catholics “living in serious sin or why deny the teachings of the church” should refrain from presenting themselves for Holy Communion. He also said “if we ignore or deny what the Church teaches…we are not ‘in communion’ with the Catholic faith.” If Catholics in such a state receive Communion they “engage in a lie.” (The Denver Post)

Contraception

Faithful to Church teaching on contraception
  • In July 2018, Archbishop Chaput added his name to a declaration organized by laity in Philadelphia expressing support for Humanae Vitae. The declaration – “Humanae Vitae at 50” – states that contraception has become the root of the Culture of Death and has resulted in growing disrespect for women. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In April 2018, Archbishop Chaput re-printed a letter he received from a lay Catholic who was 26 years-old and a father of three. Chaput reflected on the letter by praising the man and saying that the future of the Catholic faith belongs to those who commit to “bringing new life into the world and raising their children in truth, and their determination to walk Christ’s ‘narrow way’ with joy.” (First Things)
  • Archbishop Chaput delivered a speech on Humanae Vitae at Catholic University of America in April of 2018. Chaput discussed it’s legacy inside the church and touched on what he called “the ways in which Paul VI called us to lives of self-giving and self-denial, and his predictions if our society refused to take up that call.” (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
  • In June 2017, Archbishop Chaput referred to Humanae Vitae as “perceptive, important and accurate in its warnings.” He also said it serves as a powerful counter-witness to the widespread sexual dysfunction of our age. “I pray that the Church will zealously teach the truth and beauty of this encyclical.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • On the 30th anniversary of Humanae Vitae in 1998, Chaput said “Contraception has released males — to a historically unprecedented degree — from responsibility for their sexual aggression.” He also said “if Paul VI was right about so many of the consequences deriving from contraception, it is because he was right about contraception itself.” (First Things)

“LGBT” ideology

Upholds Church teaching on “LGBT” ideology
  • On October 4, 2018 Archbishop Chaput intervened at the 2018 Youth Synod against the use of the acronym “LGBT.” “There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within…the body of Jesus Christ,” he said. “‘LGBTQ’ and similar language should not be used in Church documents” (LifeSiteCatholic)
  • Archbishop Chaput was one of the chief signatories of an open letter defending Church teaching on men and women and their differences. The letter, titled “Created Male and Female,” was released on December 15, 2017 and signed by leaders of various Christian denominations. Chaput was chairman of the USCCB’s committee on laity, marriage, family life and youth at the time. (USCCB)
  • Despite requests to disallow pro-LGBT priest Fr. James Martin to speak in his diocese, Archbishop Chaput remained silent as Fr. Martin gave a speech calling on, among other things, the Church to stop describing homosexuals as persons who “suffer” with same-sex attraction. The speech was given at a Jesuit church in a gay-friendly neighborhood of Philadelphia in October 2017. (Church Militant)
  • Archbishop Chaput added his name to a statement released by the pro-life, pro-family Colson Center for Christian Worldview in 2016. The statement opposed civil protections for “gender identity” and affirmed that people “are created male and female” and that “the family is the wellspring of human flourishing.” (LifeSiteNews)

Liturgy

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • Archbishop Chaput said that to allow non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion would be a “serious offense before God.” Chaput made his remarks in a column for First Things magazine in May 2018 after several German Cardinals proposed allowing non-Catholics to receive Communion. “This strikes at the very heart of the truth of the sacrament of the Eucharist,” Chaput added. Partaking in intercommunion is to “insert a falsehood into the most solemn moment of one’s encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist.” (LifeSiteNews)

Marriage and Family Life

Upholds Church teaching on marriage and family life
  • Archbishop Chaput urged 1,300 Catholic men to be leaders in their family and called for traditional gender roles in a speech he delivered at the all-male “Into the Breach” conference hosted by the Diocese of Phoenix in February 2018. (Catholic World Report)
  • In 2017, Chaput spoke at a prestigious pro-family conference in California, where he encouraged Catholics seeking to restore culture to get married, have children, and raise them in the faith. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2013, Archbishop Chaput strongly urged priests in his diocese to do everything they can to support the 2013 March for Marriage that took place in Washington D.C. (CatholicVote)
  • While serving as Archbishop of Denver in the early 2000s, Chaput became the first Archbishop in the U.S. to require all marriage prep courses to require Natural Family Planning instruction. Multiple other dioceses followed Denver’s lead. (USCCB)

Education

Upholds Church teaching on education
  • Chaput strongly supported a school in his diocese that came under intense media scrutiny for firing a lesbian, “married” teacher in 2015. Chaput’s statement praised the move, saying it ensures that the Catholic faith is presented in accordance with Church teaching. “They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon,” he said of the school board and principal. (The Inquirer)
  • In March 2010, while serving as Archbishop of Denver, Chaput issued a lengthy statement supporting the decision of a Catholic elementary school in Boulder to refuse admission to the child of a lesbian couple. (America)