Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

10/11/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'It's one of the great ironies of the moment that tiny Belmont Abbey would have the courage to challenge Caesar.'

'Today the bigots we face are different. Caesar wears a different suit. He has great media handlers. He bullies religion while he claims to respect it. He talks piously about the law and equality and tolerance and fairness. But he still confuses himself with God -- and he still violates the rights of Catholic believers and institutions by intruding himself where he has no right to be.' (Archbishop Charles Chaput)

'Today the bigots we face are different. Caesar wears a different suit. He has great media handlers. He bullies religion while he claims to respect it. He talks piously about the law and equality and tolerance and fairness. But he still confuses himself with God -- and he still violates the rights of Catholic believers and institutions by intruding himself where he has no right to be.' (Archbishop Charles Chaput)

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/11/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Vocations


BELMONT, N.C. (Catholic Online) – Regular readers of Catholic Online are well aware of our deep admiration for the stellar leadership of Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado. He is the author most recently of Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic beliefs in political Life” They also know of our commitment to promoting the vital work of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, one of the shining stars in the renewal of Catholic Higher Education.

We regularly update our readers on this College’s heroic struggle against the oppressive efforts of the Federal Government, through the EEOC, to undermine their right to truly be a Catholic College by attempting to force them to provide insurance coverage which supports the Culture of Death and violates both their unqualified commitment to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The oppressive actions of the Federal Government violate the First Amendment rights of the College. The College is being ably assisted in this matter by “The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty”, led by Kevin J. Seamus Hasson. (http://www.becketfund.org/).

Archbishop Chaput traveled to Belmont Abbey College to receive an award for his service to the Church and the world. He was named the “Envoy of the Year.” The award was presented by “The Envoy Institute”, located at Belmont Abbey College. (http://www.envoyinstitute.net/) “The Envoy Institute” is a wonderful apostolate which assists in the training of the future leaders for the New Evangelization of Culture. It is led by Patrick Madrid, a best-selling Catholic author and publisher of Envoy Magazine. It assists young men and women in their search for how to live the good life and their “search for Truth” in response to the promise of the Lord Jesus: "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." In this age which has suffered so greatly from what Pope Benedict XVI rightly labeled as a “dictatorship of relativism” the Envoy Institute at Belmont Abbey College is engaged in a vital mission.

Given its extraordinary clarity and timeliness, we present the complete address:

******

The Nature of the State; the Nature of our Christian faith; and the Nature of the Lay Vocation.

Archbishop +Charles J. . Chaput OF.M. Cap.

“Thank you for being here tonight. I'm very grateful for this award - although I need to share with you a quick story. You know, mothers are wonderful tutors in the virtue of humility. Some years ago, when my own mother was still alive, I got a very kind local award in Denver, and I telephoned my mother to tell her. Her response was instructive. She said, "That's marvelous son, but why did they give it to you?" Mothers have the gift of helping their sons see how implausible it is to imagine oneself as a big shot. So the lesson I've learned is this: The greatest value of this award, or any other award in life, is the generosity of the friends who bestow it.

I've been a priest for nearly 40 years. One of the satisfactions God has given me is the number of extraordinary men and women I know as friends. Friendship is the heart of every Christian vocation, from married life to the priesthood. My life has been filled with it. And many of the people I admire most are here tonight: My friend Patrick Madrid and his great witness with the Envoy Institute and Envoy magazine; my friends George Weigel and Jody Bottum; the kind messages from Carl Anderson and Father Corapi; friends from Belmont Abbey and the Becket Fund; and so many more of you that I can't name or we'd be here all night. This is what makes life rich.

People can sometimes earn the respect of others by their actions. But nobody earns the love at the heart of a real Christian friendship. That's a gift. It can't be forced. It's freely withheld or freely given. And when it's given, it means more than any award. So again, I thank you sincerely for this kindness tonight - but I'm much more grateful for the friendship all of us share.My mother taught me the virtue of mercy along with the importance of humility, so my comments tonight will be brief.

I have three simple points I want to talk about: the nature of the state; the nature of our Christian faith; and the nature of the lay vocation. But before I do that, I need to offer two caveats.Here's the first caveat I love this country. Some of you know that I belong to the Potawatomi Indian tribe through my mother. I take great pride in that. Because of it, I'm very well aware of the sins and flaws of American history - both toward the native peoples of the United States, and often toward other countries. But I also know the great generosity and goodness in America, and I believe in the genius of America's political institutions. I take great pride in that, as well. We all should.

Here's my second caveat. No bishop, priest or deacon can do the work that properly belongs to laypeople. My job as a bishop is to be a good pastor - in other words, a good shepherd and guide for the people of my local Church. The word" pastor" means" shepherd" in Latin, and it comes from the Latin verb pascere, which means "to feed." My proper work is to teach the faith, preach the Gospel, encourage and console my people, correct them when needed, and govern the internal life of the Church with love and justice.

There may be many times when a bishop or group of bishops needs to speak out publicly about the moral consequences of a public issue. But the main form of Catholic leadership in wider society - in the nation's political, economic and social life - needs to be done by you, the Catholic lay faithful. The key word of course is faithful. We need to form Catholic lay leaders who know and love the teachings of the Church, and then embody those teachings faithfully in their private lives and in their public service. But once those lay leaders exist, clergy cannot and should not interfere with the leadership that rightly belongs, by baptism, to their vocation as lay apostles. Having said this, I want to turn now to those three simple points I mentioned: the nature of the state; the nature of our Christian faith; and the nature of the lay vocation.

Here's my first point: the nature of the state. I said a moment ago that I love this country. I meant it. America is a great nation; a good nation. This is my home, and, I know all of you feel the same. For Christians, patriotism is a virtue. Love for the best qualities in our homeland is a noble thing. This is why military service and public office are not just socially useful vocations, but - at their best - great and honorable ones. Beginning in the New Testament and continuing right through works of the Second Vatican Council, Christians have always believed that civil authority has a rightful degree of autonomy separate from sacred authority. In Christian thought, believers owe civil rulers their respect and obedience in all things that do not gravely violate the moral law. When Jesus told the Pharisees and Herodians to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's:, and to God the things that are God's" (see Mt 22:15-21), he was acknowledging that Caesar does have rights.

Of course, he was also saying that Caesar is not a god, and Caesar has no rights over those things which belong to God. To put it in modern terms: the state is not god. If's not immortal. It's not infallible. It's not even synonymous with civil society, which is much larger, richer and more diverse in its human relationships than any political party or government bureaucracy can ever be. And ultimately, everything important about human life belongs not to Caesar, but to God: our intellect, our talents, our free will; the people we love; the beauty and goodness in the world; our soul, our moral integrity, our hope for eternal life. These are the things that matter. These are the things worth fighting for. And none of them comes from the state. As a result, the key virtue modern political leaders need to learn -¬and Catholic citizens need to help them learn it by demanding it -- is modesty; modesty of appetite, and modesty in the exercise of power. The sovereignty of states is a good principle. But every state is subject to higher and binding truths.

Here's my second point:

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Vocations

Gaudete Sunday is a Blueprint for Consecrated Life - Year of Consecrated Life Watch

Image of SOLT Sisters on the day of their Perpetual Profession

By Fr Samuel Medley SOLT

I remember the day I started smiling and have not been able to stop since. I was a novice. It was the moment, in a 15 day silent retreat where I discovered in a way that was, at that time and every moment since, beyond my comprehension, how I am tenderly, ... continue reading


What is the Burning Question in Priestly Formation?

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley SOLT

The Word will never be given you without giving you also a mission.  It will make you aware of the suffering of the people right next to you that you didn't notice before.  It will open your eyes and see the world differently, and make you act differently in ... continue reading


Pope opens Year for Consecrated Life with call to joyful witness

Image of

By (CNA/EWTN News)

At the opening of the Year for Consecrated Life, Pope Francis issued a challenge to consecrated men and women, inviting them to lives of courage, communion, and joy. VATICAN CITY, November 30 (CNA/EWTN News) - Nearly 50 years after Vatican II's decree on the Adaption ... continue reading


Tuesday, December 2 - Homily: A Year for Consecrated Life Watch

Image of May we all, consecrated and lay, ask Our Lady to lead us and show us how to live our lives for Jesus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Father reminds us that we are in the first days of the Year for Consecrated Life announced by Pope Francis, comments on the great good that consecrated life brings for the life of the Church, and encourages us all to support consecrated life by our prayers and by ... continue reading


We Need Monks for this New Missionary Age Watch

Image of A part of monastic life and spirituality is also labor, immersed in prayer. Monks support themselves through hard work, dedicated to God and caught up in the ongoing redemptive work of Jesus Christ in and through His Church. They follow a

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Monks are a seed of the great renewals of the Catholic Church. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. We need Monks for the authentic renewal of the Church in this hour. Lord, send your Holy ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone: Vocations Are All About Life Watch

Image of Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. Originally from New York, he was ordained in 1988 by Cardinal John O'Connor. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel's Vineyard, the world's largest ministry of healing after abortion. The Vatican appointed him to the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. He also serves as a member of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

This week (November 2 - 8) is Vocations Awareness Week. Since I began my full-time work with Priests for Life over 20 years ago, one of the first things I became aware of was that many young people today are finding their vocation precisely because of the ... continue reading


You Go Into the Vineyard Too! Every Christian Has a Vocation Watch

Image of Priesthood, Diaconate in Christ,consecrated or religious life,lay ecclesial movements, consecrated Christian marriage - every Baptized Christian has a vocation. We just have to learn to live it!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Church is a seed, sign and beginning of the kingdom, making the kingdom present in a world which is wounded by the effects of sin but waiting to be born anew. The Lord continues His work through us. We are the workers in His vineyard. It matters little what ... continue reading


Leadership Conference of Women Religious taken to task by Vatican for honoring controversial theologian Watch

Image of Conscious evolution is a set of ideas developed in the writings of Barbara Marx Hubbard, who addressed the LCWR annual assembly in 2012

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Using blunt language, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office Cardinal Gerhard Müller rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR for honoring a Catholic theologian judged "seriously inadequate" and for promoting ideas he ... continue reading


A Website for Women to Imagine What a Nun's Life is Like

Image of What's it like? Take a virtual journey as a sister on this new, unique website featuring some of the amazing religious women who provide help to those in need everyday.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Specialist, Sisters of Bon Secours

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international religious congregation of Catholic sisters based in Marriottsville, Md., announce the launch of a unique website, www.LifeAsASister.org. 'Imagine a Sister's Life' allows single Catholic women to imagine what it's like ... continue reading


Trappist monks' spirituality hailed as key to business success

Image of Trappist Monks combine business acumen with spiritual devotion to provide superior workmanship and value to clients.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A spiritual focus on generous service and community is the key to success for the Trappist monks, not only in their business ventures but in all of their pursuits, said a businessman closely acquainted with the order. WASHINGTON D.C., February 26 (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


All Vocations News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter