Archbishop Chaput

The news across the Catholic blogosphere today is Archbishop Chaput’s new assignment to Philadelphia to replace retiring Cardinal Rigali. Traditionally, the archbishop of Philadelphia has been a Cardinal, so this move is seen as an imminent elevation for the archbishop – one that is long overdue.

I lived in Denver until the beginning of this year, still visit there frequently, and hope to move back soon. I can say this is sad news for the Denver church. Archbishop Chaput is an amazing man. He welcomed me into the church in 2005 during the Rite of Election. Last year, he granted me a private meeting, during which I received his blessing, and I have been able to exchange correspondence with him.

Whispers in the Loggia describes Archbishop Chaput as “brash, outspoken and fearless — energetic, colorful, cultured… indeed, even hard-core….” I agree with all of those except for the first, he is not brash. Yes, he is unapologetic in being an orthodox bishop. He stands for Catholic faith, but does so in a gentle way. His statements are always measured and thoughtful. He is not unnecessarily confrontational. Yes, he is “pastoral.” Then again, no one thinks a response is gentle when that response opposes one’s own beliefs. No matter how gentle he is, the pro-abortion, and gay lobby will call him “mean.” He has taken unpopular positions and is criticized by both conservatives and liberals.

Still, no other bishop has been more open in reforming the Church in the aftermath of the priest abuse scandal. It is no wonder the Pope is rumored to have picked Archbishop Chaput over the candidates he was offered. He is the right man for the situation in Philadelphia where his biggest challenge will be to heal that church in the wake of a renewed abuse scandal.

But there is more to Archbishop Chaput than that. The Catholic Church of Northern Colorado (the archdiocese of Denver) is growing. The growth of vocations continues as well. Last year, the archdiocese had to expand the St. John Vianney Seminary, which is located on the same campus as the archdiocese’s headquarters. Thanks to his leadership, the church in Denver is healthy.

Archbishop Chaput has the heart of a shepherd. Anyone who claims he is aloof has simply not met him. He is approachable by anyone. I’ve seen him greeting people for about an hour at the front doors of the basilica after mass to greet anyone who desires to meet him. He didn’t leave until everyone had the opportunity.

Philadelphia, Denver’s loss is your gain. You are about to be blessed more than you know.

Ripped from the headlines

Headline: NY DEC Warns That Giant Hogweed Plant Could Cause Blisters, Blindness.

Coming soon, the movie: The Planteriminator

Synopsis: “Parks and Recreation maintenance worker, Howard Moore, is an everyday guy, until one day at work he comes across a GIANT HOGWEED. With nothing but a weed puller, a bottle of Roundup, and he wits, he now battles in apocalyptic Central Park to save himself, his coworkers, and….THE WORLD!” (Dum, dah, DAH).

(Hat tip Jimmy Akin for the news and Zach Ricks for the movie title.)

“Sexualize me, but don’t sexualize me”

Rebecca Watson is a “skeptic” (i.e. agnostic with atheistic tendancies) who is leading a crusade against Richard Dawkins. It started when Watson wrote about an early morning elevator encounter that she had where an inept suitor hit on her.

Just a word to the wise here, guys. Don’t do that. I don’t know how else to explain how this makes me very uncomfortable, but I’ll just sort of lay it out: I was a single women in foreign country in a hotel elevator with you, just you, and I. Don’t invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.

Dawkins commented on the encounter and basically said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal. That got Watson’s feminist hackles up and she is leading a boycott of his work. Now her fans want to boot Dawkins out as a leader of the atheist movement.

The entertainment value of atheists cannibalizing their own is somewhat humorous. Even more funny is how Watson is crusading against being sexualized when this is the woman who has previously published “pin-up” calendars sexualizing women. Last year, she promoted other nude calendars featuring nude men and women as “sexy.”

So to summarize, the woman who started “an organization dedicated to promoting skepticism and critical thinking among women around the world” sexualizes women while railing against the thought crime of being sexualized.

Here is a thought. If you don’t want to be sexualized, don’t participate in the systematic sexualization of women. That would be a good first step in promoting critical thinking among women.

(hat tip: Mark Shea)