Archbishop Chaput: A brief chronology and curated quotations

I posted two weeks ago about +Chaput choosing to make public that his retirement paperwork had been accepted prior to him even handing it in HERE, and choosing to go to the margins to do it; this parish is literally three miles from the Delaware state line. HERE

In that post, I described +Chaput as an “enigma.” That is an understatement. Yesterday, he issued a statement saying that the death penalty is morally wrong, antithetical to the virtue of justice, and that it needs to be abolished. The exact quote is at the end of this post. Leading up to it, I give you a little chronology and some recent examples from the enigmatic archbishop.


1944 Born to French Canadian and Native American parents, Condordia, KS HERE

1965 Enters the Capuchins

1968 Solemn profession OFMCap

1970 Ordained by Bishop Cyril Vogel, Diocese of Salina

1976 Campaigns for Jimmy Carter, first pro-abort presidential nominee HERE

1980 Campaigns for Carter’s re-election (against staunchly pro-life Ronald Reagan, and he’s still super proud of it, see link above)

1987 Meets Pope JPII for the first time, in Phoenix, AZ

1988 Named Bishop of Rapid City by JPII

1997 Named Metropolitan Archbishop of Denver by JPII

1997 Meets Jorge Bergoglio for the first time HERE

2005 The death penalty is not intrinsically evil. Both Scripture and long Christian tradition acknowledge the legitimacy of capital punishment under certain circumstances. The Church cannot repudiate that without repudiating her own identity.” HERE He goes on to express his personal opinion against it.

2008 “Can a Catholic in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate? The answer is: I can’t, and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics, people whom I admire, who may…Catholics can vote for pro-choice candidates if they vote for them despite, not because of, their pro-choice views. But [Catholics who support pro-choice candidates] also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it.” HERE This is from the same First Things article during the Obama campaign where he fondly recalled campaigning for Carter…how does one square “I can’t and I won’t” with his support for Carter? Also, his use of the term “pro-choice” is absolutely disgusting.

2011 Named Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict XVI

2013 “The Catholic Church respects the law, including immigration law. We respect those men and women who have the difficult job of enforcing it. We do not encourage or help anyone to break the law. We believe Americans have a right to…secure borders and orderly regulation of immigration.” HERE 

2013 Pope Benedict’s “legacy will be a body of theological reflection that is unmatched in the history of the church, actually, I think that he will be a doctor of the church someday…” HERE

One month later…

2013 Pope Francis (sic) “is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time.” HERE

2016 “I’ve been a registered independent for a long time and never more happily so than in this election season.  Both major candidates are – what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other…This year, a lot of good people will skip voting for president…or find some mysterious calculus that will allow them to vote for one or the other of the major candidates.  I don’t yet know which course I’ll personally choose. It’s a matter properly reserved for every citizen’s informed conscience. HERE This was three months before the Trump vs Hillary election. I wonder what happened to “I can’t, and I won’t?” No mysterious calculus needed.

2017 “Immigration arrests are happening all over the United States and within our own archdiocese. The broken families they leave behind are a social disaster, not just now but in the years to come…the evidence is irrefutable that bad law makes hard cases; cases of real suffering with human faces…we need to demand a better grasp of justice and common sense from the people who make our laws.” HERE 

2018 “I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic.” HERE “No red hat? After all I’ve done for you? Then just give me retirement.”

2019 “In late July the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reinstituted capital punishment for persons on federal death row…U.S. bishops were quick to express their dismay at the decision, and having written and spoken against the death penalty for nearly 50 years, I emphatically join my voice to theirs…Killing persons in the name of justice is needless and wrong…We need to abolish the death penalty now.HERE 

20 thoughts on “Archbishop Chaput: A brief chronology and curated quotations

  1. A reed shaken by the wind? (Matthew 11:7b)

    We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16)

  2. you left out a few things.
    Chaput is a member of the Potawanamie tribe (i.e. not a “fake” Indian like many who claim that heritage). For many years he was active in the Kateri meetings of Catholic Native Americans. He was bishop of Rapid city (which included many Native Americans who were becoming lost to the faith due to alcoholsim and the corruption of the reservation systems).
    He then moved to Denver, which also included many Native Americans. When there, he cleaned up the place and encouraged vocations.
    Then he was sent to Philadelphia to clean up the place after “Uncle Tony” and his homosexual clique were exposed.
    I have no problem with being against the death penalty in the modern USA (although in the third world and in the past it was necessary for the safety of the communinty, so I disagree with the Pope’s broad prohibition of it).
    But Chaput has always been prolife.
    As for immigration: the Catholic church has always supported the rights of immigrants: as far back in the 1840s when my relatives arrived half starved, it was the first black bishop, Bishop Healy, who defended the rights of the Irish and French Canadian immigrants against the “know nothing” movement in Boston and in Maine.

    1. There is a difference between immigrant and illegal immigrant. A country’s immigration laws are to be respected and obeyed. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”, says Jesus Christ. Mass illegal immigration equals invasion.

  3. Please pray very much for us here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Chaput certainly isn’t perfect but I shudder to think what’s in store for us after he leaves. St. John Neumann and St. Katherine Drexel, Ora pro nobis!

  4. Thank you for this timeline, Mark. I had a verbal tussle with my pastor over Chaput’s ‘enigmatic’ (I call them contradictory) statements regarding Capital Punishment. I was not aware of the same difficulty with his pro-abort candidate support and voting advice.

    I place Cdl Burke in the same category as Abp Chaput: enigma, dark horse. I only became aware of one of his likely “irregularities” last evening. I am probably “Johnny come lately”, but if the details from Roman Catholic Faithful’s 2003 newsletter are correct then my misgivings about Cdl Burke seem to have a foundation. http://callmejorgebergoglio.blogspot.com/2015/10/good-news-bruce-jenner-cardinal-burke.html

    Perhaps when enigmatic-yet-possible “white hats” publicly redress their past mistakes and errors in judgement it will give them room to allow for others’ well founded doubts about the situation in the Vatican.

    Who else besides Bishops Rene Gracida and Msg Bux have publicly called for an investigation into BiP?

      1. I have to put this out here. I know Cardinal Burke personally, and have for (at this point) the majority of my life. I am not a confidant, but I know him well enough to know him, if that makes any sense.

        Cardinal Burke – as one of the most senior, orthodox members of the clergy left, draws all sorts of flack, from heretics (for obvious reasons) and trads (for nor doing enough).

        Knowing him personally, I can assure you that Cardinal Burke has always – ALWAYS – to my knowledge, done his duty as he saw it, regardless of how difficult or distasteful it might have been to him personally. And as the Church’s foremost canon lawyer, he has a very well defined concept of what that duty is. He is also a deeply caring man, and truly pastoral – not in the permissive sense that the term is commonly abused to mean.

        How can he be carrying out his duty when he is so often silent? Because Cardinal Burke is first and foremost a prudent man. In ordinary times, prudence is the most important virtue of the churchman, because he is the man at the tiller; his job is to preserve, safeguard, and teach the deposit of faith handed down to us from Christ by the Apostles. More reflection, rather than less, is usually a good thing when debates occur over centuries rather than days. These chaotic times are the exception, not the norm. The question is whether the Lord sees Cardinal Burke’s deliberate action as prudent caution, or a failure of decisiveness leading to a decisive failure?

        Third point. I spoke with Cardinal Burke in January at a talk he gave in St. Louis, and from his surprisingly blunt remarks then he believes that Benedict is in error. He does not believe Benedict is still the pope, and believes the current situation of having two bishops in white is only promoting confusion. Make of that what you will.

        Final remarks. We have to remember that as Catholics, obedience is a virtue. We are not Protestant heretics, elevating our heterodox judgement above the Church. Our clergy take oaths of obedience, and are taught or are supposed to be taught that insofar as possible they are to conform not just their actions, but their intellectual judgment and will to their superiors. It just so happens that for the first and hopefully last time in history, the Magisterium has been almost completely cooped by heretics, sodomites, communists, Freemasons, and Satanists. Our clergy are chained by oaths of obedience to a chain of command that is almost from the top down to the pews in open rebellion against God. The very oaths of obedience that in times past cultivated docility and corrected the faulty and failing judgment of individual men have been used to turn the Magisterium against the true religion.

        Our clergy not just won’t, but CAN’T fix this. It’s up to us. The laymen. The pewsitters. The privates and weekend warriors of the Army of God. We have to step up to the plate, because no earthly power can save the Church. We’ll probably fail as well, but it doesn’t excuse us from our duty to make the attempt.

        Just my 2c. Pray for Cardinal Burke, because if the man isn’t a saint he still suffers like one.

      2. I have no idea of whether he knows the full third secret. Like I said, I am not a confidant of his. I just know him enough to know him, and like most of the faithful in St. Louis love him dearly. God bless him and keep him.

  5. The best argument I have heard against the death penalty is only an argument against it in practice, not in principle. Basically, in this current day and age, I wouldn’t trust the US government to get the mail delivery right, much less decide issues of execution. But a just society, with men of integrity at the helm, capital punishment is admissible.

    1. The precision you’re searching for is that Death Penalty and Capital Punishment are not synonymous. You can build a case against Capital Punishment, but there is no way you can claim the Death Penalty goes against justice.

  6. Uriel: Thank you for your input. I appreciate your 2 cents. I agree with you that the laity having not taken a vow of obedience have more liberty to act than do the clergy. We of course do not have the authority to do other than to stand on Truth and to present our doubts regarding the irregularities that Cdl Burke was so blunt about when you spoke with him in January.

    Perhaps as a friend but not confidant of the Church’s foremost Canon Lawyer you might put to Cdl Burke whether or not recourse to the virtue of Equity could possibly relieve Pope Benedict from being in error in his “difficult yet triumphant” decision. Equity/Epekeia being defined as: A liberal interpretation of the law in instances not provided by the letter of the law. It presupposes sincerity in wanting to observe the law, and interprets the mind of the lawgiver in supplying his presumed intent to include a situation that is not covered by the law. It favors the liberty of the interpreter without contradicting the express will of the lawgiver.

    I believe this is an important part of the examination and I would appreciate Cdl Burke’s response to the specific matter of Pope Benedict’s possible recourse to the virtue of Equity if/when you have the opportunity to ask him. Thank you.

    1. I have been considering for some time sending Cdl. Burke a letter about this particular topic requesting some clarity, and I may still do so. Unless it is inappropriate to do so I would definitely report what he said.

      I have been more and more certain recently that we will be given a sign as to when we need to abandon ship – probably Bergoglio promulgating an invalid mass.

      1. Uriel, I hope that you do send him a letter on the topic of BiP. It seems ever so reasonable that with so much chaos and confusion whether from Modernism or Apostasy that to have doubts clarified by and examination into the renunciation speech would be a boon to the floundering faithful. Thank you ahead of time.

        As for a specific sign to be given in the future, It seems to me that we’ve been given oodles of signs already that tell us which ship isn’t Jesus’ ship. God’s timing and plans are the best and He knows what will get our collective as well as individual attentions. Maybe there are bigger signs to come, but maybe the Babe in the manger, the signs in the Heavens, and the Risen Savior were supposed to be enough. On the other hand, two men both calling and showing themselves to be Pope is a pretty darn big sign.

      2. Thanks Islam_Is Islam. I agree about the signs and wonders we are currently seeing, but I meant along the lines of a specific sign to 100% bail; that the FrancisChurch is no longer sharing a liturgical, juridical, and physical space with the real church; that the real church will need to go underground, for a time. I suspect that sign will be the promulgation of an invalid mass… because, as much as it is disordered and terrible, the NO is still valid (most of the time). The Eucharist is confected. What happens if/when “Pope Francis” (sic) changes the mass so that it is not, and most everyone goes along with him? Or are we not yet at that point, will our Lord deliver us before that happens?

        I am also wondering about Ann Barnhardt’s assertion that the Pope, and the Church will always be visible. Will it? Or will it be ‘laid in the tomb’ like our Lord, visible only as the Chestertonian “presence of the absence of God”?

        Please God I will find the words to talk to Cardinal Burke about this matter.

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