A Bishop on Responsibility for the Church's Failings
#1
From Archbishop Chaput and the See of Philadelphia, via FirstThings: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2...gelization

His Grace Wrote:More than five hundred years ago, men came from the Old World of Europe to the New World of America. They brought with them their pride and avarice, their illnesses and sins. But they also brought a treasure beyond price—the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this continent we now share is different and better because of it. My own Native American ancestors, people of the Prairie Band Potawatomi tribe, heard the Gospel preached by Holy Cross and Jesuit missionaries and chose to be baptized. They passed down to me the greatest gift of my life, my Catholic faith.

The New World of the conquistadors became, in too many ways, a world of power and greed and the abuse of human dignity. In our day, God calls us to build a new “New World”—a world of mercy, justice, patience, and love. A new “New World” founded on the words of his Son: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:6-10).

The biggest obstacle to that new “New World” is not the enemies who hate us, and not the unbelievers who revile the Church and the Gospel. The biggest obstacle is the Old World that lives in our own hearts, even in those of us who are bishops, and maybe especially in some of us who are bishops: our pride, our cowardice, our lack of trust in the promises of God.

Jesus said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). We need to make those words come alive in the flesh and blood of our own lives; and in the passion of our own Christian witness. In these final days of the Year of Faith, as we pray together here at Mary’s great shrine, may Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Star of the New Evangelization, lead each of us to be made new in her Son—Jesus Christ the Word of God; Jesus Christ the Lord, Jesus Christ the King of this world, and all worlds.

I've never heard such an honest assessment concerning prelates and the catastrophic failures of the Western Church over the past sixty years. God bless His Grace, and may the Father give us, His unworthy servants, the courage, perseverance, and dedication to win souls for Christ the King!
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#2
Thank you for posting this, Philosoraptor.

Archbishop Charles Chaput is my bishop.  He is rock solid and yes, both honest and transparent. 

He has demonstrated this time and again since he came to Philadelphia over two years ago.

It is indeed a relief.

I appreciate what he says here:
Quote:I do know that Mass attendance and sacramental practice have been declining for decades in many North American dioceses, well before the clergy abuse crisis of recent years. And I do know that millions of Catholics in my country and Canada are baptized and even catechized, but they don’t know Jesus Christ—and therefore, for many of them, the language of Catholic Scripture, Catholic worship, and Catholic moral reasoning is incomprehensible.

Again, we bishops are responsible—not for every failure; not for every mistake; and not for things over which we have no influence or control. But we do have the duty to examine ourselves and our work honestly; to correct each other frankly; to reform our hearts; and to give our lives zealously, completely, without counting the cost, to serving God and our people. A friend once sent me a line from the English poet, T.S. Eliot, and it has stayed in my memory ever since: For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. Success in the work of evangelization belongs to God, in his own time, in his own way. But the work belongs to us, now. And it needs to involve more than passing along good doctrine. It needs to lead our people—including the well-catechized—to embrace Jesus Christ and his teaching in a new, more personal way.
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