Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life"

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver has published his latest book – Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, an inquiry into a matter of utmost importance for Catholics in the United States: What is the role of faith in the public square?

Last week, Fr. Robert Imbelli, a Boston College associate professor of Theology, gave readers an insightful and well-written review of the archbishop’s book in L’Osservatore Romano.

The Archbishop himself appears to be on a whirlwind online promotional tour this week, with multiple appearances around the web:

  • “Vote for REAL Hope and Change” First Things‘ “On The Square” Tuesday, August 19, 2008 – reminding Catholic voters of some basic facts:

    First, surrounding a bad social policy or party platform plank—for example, permissive abortion—with religious people doesn’t redeem the bad policy or plank. It merely compromises the religious people who try to excuse it. …

    Second, there’s no way for Catholics to finesse their way around the abortion issue, and if we’re serious about being “Catholic,” we need to stop trying. No such thing as a “right” to kill an unborn child exists. And wriggling past that simple truth by redefining the unborn child as an unperson, a pre-human lump of cells, is the worst sort of Orwellian hypocrisy—especially for Christians. …

    The right to life is foundational. Every other right depends on it. Efforts to reduce abortions, or to create alternatives to abortion, or to foster an environment where more women will choose to keep their unborn child, can have great merit—but not if they serve to cover over or distract from the brutality and fundamental injustice of abortion itself.

    Third and finally, national campaigns—of every political party—always run on the language of hope, change, and the American Dream. This makes sense. Our leaders should inspire us; they should stir our hearts and call us to live the ideals that make America great. But sometimes the answer to the realities we face is not “yes, we can,” but “no, we can’t.”

    Excellent post, read the whole thing.

  • “Don’t Lie”: A shepherd on Catholic citizenship Q&A with Kathryn Jean Lopez. National Review August 20, 2008.

  • Radio Interview with Hugh Hewitt August 20, 2008. (Maximus @ RomanCatholicBlog posts the links to the podcast for those who missed it).

Meanwhile, it seems that Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput was not invited to pray or speak at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in what former Boston mayor Ray Flynn called a “serious oversight” and an “insult” to the values of pro-life Catholics. Catholic News Agency has the details.

No doubt after declaring their strong and unequivocal support of Roe v Wade and a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay,” the last thing some Democrats want is the Archbishop throwing some cold water on their party, but perhaps they’ll be gracious enough to rectify their error.

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