Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

10/11/2009 (4 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 (4 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Vocations

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


Archbishop José H. Gomez on Praying for Priests and Promoting Vocations

Image of Fathers Manuel Bravo, Chan Woo Lee, Eben MacDonald and Nabor Rios turn to the assembly gathered for their ordination to the priesthood June 2. VICTOR ALEMAN

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Every priest is a sacrament - a sign and instrument that brings men and women to the encounter with the living God. So in this Year of Faith, we need to refocus ourselves, especially in our families, on helping men to hear this beautiful and noble calling from Jesus. ... continue reading


COL EXCLUSIVE: Fr. Pontifex - See what this priest does to deliver his powerful message Watch

Image of Fr. Pontifex during a recent recording session for

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

He is a growing personality in the Catholic world and represents a new movement to engage the youth and reconvert the lost. Is he the Pope? A new bishop? A pop star? Well, he's not any of these things - yet. However, Fr. Pontifex, may eventually be all three, God ... continue reading


Sisters of Bon Secours Host Project Good Help to Assist Underserved in Baltimore

Image of Volunteers work side-by-side with the Sisters of Bon Secours to assist the poor of innercity Baltimore by serving in a soup kitchen, women's resource center, a community garden and within senior housing.

By Jennifer Murphy, Communications Associate

The Sisters of Bon Secours, an international community of Catholic women religious (sisters) with ministries in healthcare, human and social services, education and spiritual retreats, is welcoming volunteers to participate in Project Good Help®. This annual ... continue reading


Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Move to Ireland's Stamullen Priory Watch

Image of Stamullen Priory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

They seek to bring healing to a wounded Irish Church. I believe they are a first fruit of her restoration and a sign of her future contribution in a new missionary age. God has not abandoned the Church in Ireland. The Purification of the Church always precedes her ... continue reading


Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Become Missionaries to the Irish Church Watch

Image of Our Lady of the Cenacle Icon of the Monastic community

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, and the brothers gathered with him, represent the best of the monastic life.  They are moving their entire community to Ireland, a land which once gave the world monks, missionaries, and martyrs. They are doing so in order to help bring ... continue reading


Knights of the Holy Eucharist Announce Facebook Page Watch

Image of Brother David with Mother Angelica

By Knights of the Holy Eucharist

Young men 18 and older interested in our community are welcome to visit for up to two weeks. This way they can participate in our work and prayer and make a pilgrimage to this Shrine.Knights of the Holy Eucharist Announce Facebook Page HANCEVILLE, AL (Knights of ... continue reading


Child Casket Fund: Trappist Monks of New Melleray Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy Watch

Image of Caskets lovingly crafted by the Monks of New Melleray Abbey

By Deacon Keith Fournier

 New Melleray is a Cistercian (Trappist) monastery located in the beautiful rolling farmland south of Dubuque, Iowa. Thirty monks live in community - praying and working for the salvation of the whole world. Crafting childrens caskets is an act of love and a ... continue reading


All Vocations News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2014 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, ... 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