There's a database connection problem at the site, currently, but luckily the Catholic League e-mailed me a press release chastising ... me.
This, of course, being a response to my column today at The Philly Post. I suggested that Chaput's priorities—which seem to come down mostly to "making war" on Obama—probably weren't doing much to fix a diocese afflicted with pedophile scandals and lawsuits, massively declining enrollment in the parochial schools, and declining attendance at mass. That still seems true to me.ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT WILL NOT BE SILENCEDCatholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an article that appears today as a post on the Philadelphia magazine blog site by Joel Mathis:
Joel Mathis isn’t Catholic, but that doesn’t stop him from giving some heady advice to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput: just tend to the problems in the archdiocese and drop your criticisms of the Obama administration. Mathis is angry that Chaput has a new e-book coming out tomorrow, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America, that addresses recent attacks on religious liberty. Mathis counsels Chaput to “concentrate on fixing the Catholic Church in Philadelphia,” adding that the archbishop’s alleged “anti-Obama crusade” amounts to “a distraction.”
Catholics like to lecture the outspoken archbishop as well. Last September, no sooner had Archbishop Chaput taken over in Philly when Catholic attorney Nicholas Cafardi offered his instructions. Noting that Chaput likes to comment on the big issues of the day, he said, “Chaput would be well-advised to leave politics aside.”
But Archbishop Chaput will have none of it: he will not be silenced. Indeed, he is delightfully insubordinate—nothing will stop him from opining on anything he wants, and nothing will stop him from faithfully serving his archdiocese. That’s precisely why the Catholic League loves him—he’s a man of steely determination and incredible fortitude.
I wasn't really trying to silence the archbishop—I doubt, in fact, that I have any ability to do so. That said: "Delightfully insubordinate?" To whom is Chaput actually subordinate and cheeky? Is he sassing the pope? No? Maybe Donohue's comments are a bit outlandish.
Then again, it's Bill Donohue, last seen in the New York Times urging bishops to treat the victims of priest sex abuse as enemies of the Catholic Church. “The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one,” Mr. Donohue said. That's a Christ-like ethic, no? If I've irritated Bill Donohue, then it's frankly a happy day.