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Archbishop Chaput on Pope Francis: It would be a mistake to describe him as a "liberal"

During an address at the Napa Institute, Archbishop Chaput examined the pope's views on economic justice.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 1:58 PM Comments (43)

is  Pope Francis a socialist, or even a Marxist? No, says, Archbishop  Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who tackled the pope's views on economic justice during an address at the 2014 Napa Institute this weekend. 

I think  it would be a mistake to describe him as a “liberal” -- much less a “Marxist.”  As I told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in an interview some weeks ago, words like "liberal" and "conservative" don't describe Catholic belief.  They divide what shouldn’t be divided.  We should love the poor and love the unborn child.  Service to the oppressed and service to the family; defense of the weak and defense of the unborn child; belief in the value of business and belief in restraints on predatory business practices -- all these things spring from the same Catholic commitment to human dignity. There’s nothing "progressive" about killing an unborn human child or allowing it to happen.  And there’s nothing "conservative" about ignoring the cries of the poor.

Archbishop Chaput suggested that Pope Francis was not letting anyone off the hook from their own personal responsibility to care for the poor, and he argued that the New Evangelization woujld fail witout a compelling witness of such service. He concluded, "At the heart of this pope’s thoughts about economic justice is not a theory or an ideology, but the person of Jesus Christ.  And all of us who call ourselves Christians should see in that a reason to hope." The text of Archbishop Chaput's address here.

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.