5 Crucial Components of Religious Liberty

 

We Are The Worst Enemies To Religious Liberty

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Archbishop Chaput Talk to Catholic Journalist

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. First Things

First, religious freedom is a cornerstone of the American experience. This is so obvious that once upon a time, nobody needed to say it. But times have changed. So it’s worth recalling that Madison, Adams, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Jefferson–in fact, nearly all the American founders–saw religious faith as vital to the life of a free people. Liberty and happiness grow organically out of virtue. And virtue needs grounding in religious faith.

Gertrude Himmelfarb, the historian, put it this way: The founders knew that in a republic, “virtue is intimately related to religion. However skeptical or deistic they may have been in their own beliefs, however determined they were to avoid anything like an established Church, they had no doubt that religion is an essential part of the social order because it is a vital part of the moral order.”

Here’s my second point:

Freedom of religion is more than freedom of worship. The right to worship is a necessary but not sufficient part of religious liberty. Christian faith requires community. It begins in worship, but it also demands preaching, teaching, and service. It’s always personal but never private. And it involves more than prayer at home and Mass on Sunday–though these things are vitally important. Real faith always bears fruit in public witness and public action. Otherwise it’s just empty words.

The founders saw the value of publicly engaged religious faith because they experienced its influence themselves. They created a nation designed in advance to depend on the moral convictions of religious believers, and to welcome their active role in public life.

Here’s my third point:

Threats against religious freedom in our country are not imaginary. They’re happening right now. They’re immediate, serious, and real. Earlier this year religious liberty advocates won a big Supreme Court victory in the 9-0 Hosanna-Tabor v EEOC decision. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: What’s stunning in that case is the disregard for religious freedom shown by the government’s arguments against the Lutheran church and school.

And Hosanna-Tabor is not an isolated case. It belongs to a pattern of government coercion that includes the current administration’s HHS mandate; interfering with the conscience rights of medical providers and private employers, as well as individual citizens; and attacks on the policies, hiring practices, and tax statuses of religious charities and ministries.

 

Why is this hostility happening?

A lot of it links to Catholic teaching on the dignity of life and human sexuality. Catholic moral convictions about abortion, contraception, the purpose of sexuality, and the nature of marriage are rooted not just in revelation, but also in reason and natural law. Human beings have a nature that’s not just the product of accident or culture, but inherent, universal, and rooted in permanent truths knowable to reason.

The problem, as Notre Dame law professor Gerry Bradley points out, is that critics of the Church reduce all these moral convictions to an expression of subjective religious beliefs. And if they’re purely religious beliefs, then–so the critics argue–they can’t be rationally defended. And because they’re rationally indefensible, they should be treated as a form of prejudice. In effect, 2,000 years of moral tradition and religious belief become a species of bias. Opposing same-sex “marriage” thus amounts to religiously blessed homophobia.

There’s more. though. When religious belief gets redefined downward to a kind of private bias, then the religious identity of institutional ministries has no public value–other than the utility of getting credulous people to do good things. So exempting Catholic adoption agencies, for example, from placing kids with gay couples becomes a concession to private prejudice. And concessions to private prejudice feed bigotry and hurt the public. Or so the reasoning goes. This is how moral teaching and religious belief end up getting hounded as hate speech.

Here’s my fourth point:

Unless we work hard to keep our religious liberty, we’ll lose it. It’s already happening in other developed countries like Britain and Canada. The U.S. Constitution is a great document–historically unique for its fusion of high ideals with the realism of very practical checks and balances. But in the end, it’s just an elegant piece of paper. In practice, nothing guarantees our freedoms except our willingness to fight for them. That means fighting politically and through the courts, without tiring and without apologies. We need to realize that America’s founding documents assume an implicitly religious anthropology–an idea of human nature, nature’s God, and natural rights–that many of our leaders no longer really share. We ignore that unhappy fact at our own expense.

Here’s my fifth and final point:

Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith–in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it. Religious liberty is an empty shell if the spiritual core of a people is weak. Or to put it more bluntly, if people don’t believe in God, religious liberty isn’t a value. That’s the heart of the matter. It’s the reason Pope Benedict calls us to a Year of Faith this October. The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t “out there” among the legion of critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the Church, or all three. The worst enemies are in here, with us–all of us, clergy, religious, and lay–when we live our faith with tepidness, routine, and hypocrisy.

Religious liberty isn’t a privilege granted by the state. It’s our birthright as children of God. And even the worst bigotry can’t kill it in the face of a believing people. But if we value it and want to keep it, then we need to become people worthy of it. Which means we need to change the way we live–radically change, both as individual Catholics and as the Church. And that’s where I’d like to turn for the rest of these brief remarks.

Archbishop Chaput: “Accepting A Child With Special Needs Is A Choice Between Courage And Cowardice!”

By: Michelle Bauman -CNA/EWTN news.

“The Character Of A Nation Revealed By 80% Abortion Rate For The Disabled.”

From:  California Catholic Daily

An 80 percent abortion rate of those with disabilities shows the need to restore a fundamental respect for human dignity in America, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.

He underscored that the plight of disabled babies highlights “a struggle within the American soul” that will shape the future of the nation.

“These children with disabilities are not a burden; they’re a priceless gift to all of us,” the archbishop said. “They’re a doorway to the real meaning of our humanity.”

Archbishop Chaput delivered the keynote address at the 13th annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life on Jan. 22.

The conference, which was held at Georgetown University, took place one day before the March for Life, at which hundreds of thousands of Americans annually gather in the nation’s capital to protest abortion and show their support for the dignity of all human life.

“Abortion kills a child, it wounds a precious part of a woman’s own dignity and identity, and it steals hope,” the archbishop said. “That’s why it’s wrong. That’s why it needs to end. That’s why we march.”

He warned that without a strong foundation of faith and morals, America becomes “alien and hostile” to its founding ideals. This threat is clearly demonstrated in the country’s treatment of the poor and disabled, which the archbishop said “shows what we really believe about human dignity.”

In his talk, Archbishop Chaput focused on children with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects development, appearance and cognitive function, and can cause other health problems.

He observed that prenatal testing is now able to detect up to 95 percent of pregnancies that have a strong risk of Down syndrome, and more than 80 percent of the unborn babies who are diagnosed with the disorder are aborted.

These babies are killed because of a flaw in their chromosomes that is “neither fatal nor contagious, but merely undesirable,” he said.

The archbishop lamented the growing tendency of medical professionals to emphasize the possible defects of Down syndrome, thus steering expectant mothers of children with the disorder toward abortion.

Parents and doctors should be realistic about the challenges, understanding that raising a disabled child will involve “some degree of suffering,” he said. However, they should also see the potential and beauty of children with special needs, realizing that no child is perfect.

Archbishop Chaput noted that today, individuals with Down syndrome have longer life expectancies than ever before and can generally “enjoy happy, productive lives.”

“The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is between love and un-love; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear,” he said.

This is a choice that must be faced on both an individual level and as a society, he added, emphasizing that “God will demand an accounting” of how we have used our freedom.

If we really “take God seriously,” we will work to uphold the sanctity of human life and dignity of sexuality in our daily lives, he said.

This means that public officials should live out their Catholic faith in the laws that they support; doctors in the procedures they perform and the drugs they prescribe; and citizens in their actions on public issues, he explained.

He praised the work of people and organizations who aid those with disabilities, recognizing in them “an invitation to learn how to love deeply and without counting the cost.”

Archbishop Chaput urged those present at the conference not to be afraid as they persevere in being an apostle to those around them.

“Fear is beneath your dignity as sons and daughters of the God of life,” he said. “Never give up the struggle that the March for Life embodies,” he added. “Your pro-life witness gives glory to God.”

Although changing the culture is “a huge task,” we must recognize that we are being called by God to do so, the archbishop said. “He’s waiting, and now we need to answer him.”

Archbishop Chaput’s Letter: Complacency is the Enemy of Faith

 

Archbishop Chaput’s Warns of Painful Process of Re-evaluation

 

December 8, 2011
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Dear friends in Christ,

Exactly three months ago, on September 8, I was installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia. In the weeks since, traveling the archdiocese, I’ve been struck by two things I encounter again and again: the reservoir of good will in our people, and the fidelity of our priests.

The Church in Southeastern Pennsylvania has deep roots and an extraordinary legacy of saints, service and public witness. These are profound strengths, built by the faith of generations of Catholic families. But all of these good facts depend on our willingness to sustain them by our actions in the present. Advent is a season of self-examination in the light of God’s word; a season of conversion and looking forward in hope to the birth of a Savior at Christmas. There is no better time to speak frankly about the conditions we now face as a community of believers.

Complacency is the enemy of faith. To whatever degree complacency and pride once had a home in our local Church, events in the coming year will burn them out. The process will be painful. But going through it is the only way to renew the witness of the Church; to clear away the debris of human failure from the beauty of God’s word and to restore the joy and zeal of our Catholic discipleship.

In the year ahead, we have a grave and continuing obligation to help victims of clergy sex abuse to heal; to create Church environments that protect our young people; and to cooperate appropriately with civil authorities in pursuing justice for both the victims of sexual abuse and those accused.

At the same time, we need to remember that many hundreds of our priests — the overwhelming majority — have served our people with exceptional lives of sacrifice and character. Since arriving in September, I have pressed for a rapid resolution of the cases of those priests placed on administrative leave earlier this year. The first months of 2012 will finally see those cases concluded. Whatever the results, the confidence of our people and the morale of our priests have suffered. The hard truth is that many innocent priests have borne the brunt of the Church’s public humiliation and our people’s anger. The harsh media environment likely to surround the criminal trial which begins next March will further burden our lay people and our clergy. But it cannot be avoided.

Finally, the resources of the Church do not belong to the bishops or the clergy; they belong to the entire Catholic people, including the faithful generations who came before us. The Church is a community of faith alive in the present but also connected across the years through time. The Church holds her resources in stewardship for the whole Catholic community, to carry out our shared apostolic mission as believers in Jesus Christ. This means that as archbishop, I have the duty not just to defend those limited resources, but also to ensure that the Church uses them with maximum care and prudence; to maximum effect; and with proper reporting and accountability.

In the coming year we will face very serious financial and organizational issues that cannot be delayed. They must be addressed. These are not simply business issues; they go to the heart of our ability to carry out our Catholic ministries. The archdiocese remains strongly committed to the work of Catholic education. But that mission is badly served by trying to sustain unsustainable schools. In January, the archdiocesan Blue Ribbon Commission will provide me with its recommendations on Catholic education. The Commission has worked for months on this difficult issue with extraordinary sensitivity and skill. It will likely counsel that some, and perhaps many, schools must close or combine. It will also offer a framework for strengthening our schools going forward.

Over the next 18 months the same careful scrutiny must be applied to every aspect of our common life as a Church, from the number and location of our parishes, to every one of our archdiocesan operational budgets. This honest scrutiny can be painful, because real change is rarely easy; but it also restores life and health, and serves the work of God’s people. We cannot call ourselves good stewards if we do otherwise.

These words may sound sobering, but they are spoken with love as a father and a brother. They are a plea to take our baptism seriously; and to renew our local Church with Christian charity, justice and zeal. As Scripture reminds us so frequently: Do not be afraid. God uses poor clay to create grandeur and beauty. He can certainly use us to renew and advance the work of the Church — and he will.

On this great feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, may God grant you and those you love a holy Advent; and lift your hearts; and make you ready for the joy of Christ’s birth. And please pray for me, as I pray for all of you and your families every day.

Gratefully yours in Jesus Christ,

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

HT: Whispers in the Loggia

Archbishop Chaput – Catholic Social Workers Must Be Catholic

Denver, Colo.(CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver has warned Catholic social workers against the danger of Church institutions losing their religious identity amidst increasing hostility from the government and society.

“The more that Catholic universities or hospitals mute their religious identity; the more that Catholic social ministries weaken their religious character… the less useful to the Gospel they become,” he said.

Archbishop Chaput delivered a dual message to Catholic social workers this week, urging them not to let their Christian identity wane and also stressing that the government has no right to impede the work of Catholic institutions.

Archbishop Chaput of Denver

At an address to the Catholic Social Workers National Convention in Denver, he said that civil society consists “not just of autonomous individuals” but communities as well. “Those communities also have rights. Catholic institutions are extensions of the Catholic community and Catholic belief,” he emphasized.

The state has no right to interfere with their legitimate work, even when it claims to act in the name of individuals unhappy with Catholic teaching,” the archbishop said.

Archbishop Chaput’s remarks were made against the backdrop of Catholic Charities in several dioceses across the U.S. shutting down adoption and foster care services after their local states enacted civil union laws.

Despite these setbacks, however, the Denver archbishop said that Catholic ministries “have the duty to faithfully embody Catholic beliefs on marriage, the family, social justice, sexuality, abortion and other important issues.”

“And if the state refuses to allow those Catholic ministries to be faithful in their services through legal or financial bullying,” he added, “then as a matter of integrity, they should end their services.”

“Catholic social ministry begins and ends with Jesus Christ,” he said. “If it doesn’t, it isn’t Catholic.”

“And if our social work isn’t deeply, confidently and explicitly Catholic in its identity, then we should stop using the word ‘Catholic,’” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Archbishop Chaput warned that “a new kind of America” is emerging in the 21st century, one that is likely to be “much less friendly to religious faith than anything in the nation’s past.”

The reason for this, he said, is that “America’s religious soul – its Christian subtext – has been weakening for decades.”

The archbishop observed that religious communities have historically had a great deal of power in shaping attitudes and behavior in the U.S. “And that’s why, if you dislike religion or resent the Catholic Church, or just want to reshape American life into some new kind of experiment, you need to use the state to break the influence of the Church and her ministries.”

He said that in the years ahead, the nation’s religious communities will encounter more attempts by civil authorities to interfere and will find less “unchallenged space” to carry out their work in the public square. “It’s already happening with Catholic hospitals and adoption agencies, and even in the hiring practices of organizations like Catholic Charities,” the archbishop said.

He noted that this increasing hostility towards Catholicism shows how “no one in Catholic social work can afford to be lukewarm about his faith.”

“Being faithful to Catholic teaching isn’t something optional for a Catholic social worker,” said Archbishop Chaput. “It’s basic to his or her identity,” adding that the faith “is much more than a list of dos and don’ts.”

Rather, Catholic teaching is part “of a much larger view of the human person, human dignity and our eternal destiny,” he said. “The content of this teaching comes from God through his son Jesus Christ. It’s defined by the universal Church and then preached, taught and applied by the local bishop.”

Archbishop Chaput concluded his remarks by saying he “painted a pretty stark picture of the America we may face in the next few decades.”

“But we shouldn’t lose heart, even for a minute,” he said. “Our job is to let God change us, and then to help God, through our actions, to change the lives of others. That’s what we’ll be held accountable for, and it’s very much within our ability – if we remain faithful to who we are as believers.”

Archbishop Chaput: Luke Warm Christianity Is A Convenient Form Of Paganism!

The following text by the great Archbishop Chaput was taken from the CNA.  In the text, Archbishop Chaput takes a cue from Cardinal Lustiger and  warns on the growing crisis of faith, and the many different forms of idolatry which have choked the life out of Christians and the Church as a whole.  The Archbishop warns explicitly on the idols of  sex, technology, and the state as being particularly prevalent in our day.  Bold and Red added.

Read and Enjoy.

By Benjamin Moore, CNA

Luke Warm Christianity Is Convenient Paganism

Addressing a gathering of European church officials on March 4,  Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver warned that many contemporary Christians have reduced their faith to a convenient “form of paganism,” which cannot compete with the widespread “idolatry” of modern consumer culture.

Archbishop Chaput offered his observations at a conference in Paris honoring the late Cardinal Archbishop Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who was the Archbishop of Paris from 1981 to 2005.

The Denver archbishop described Cardinal Lustiger as “an unsentimental realist” who dared to speak about disturbing trends in the Church and society – including a lack of faith among professed Christians, leaving a vacuum that would be filled by other “gods” such as sex and money.

“Lustiger named lukewarm Christians and superficial Christianity for what they are: a congenial form of paganism,” said Archbishop Chaput. “The Church needs a great deal more of his medicine.”

Many Christians Have Reduced God To An Idol

He recalled Cardinal Lustiger’s prophetic warnings against “creating alibis and escaping the implications of our faith.” In a passage cited by Archbishop Chaput, the cardinal wrote that “many Christians,” through evasions and misunderstandings, had “reduced the God of the Covenant to a mere idol.”

“The main crisis of modern Christianity is not one of resources, or personnel, or marketing,” Archbishop Chaput asserted. “It is a crisis of faith. Millions of people claim to be Christian, but they don’t really believe.”

“They don’t study Scripture. They don’t love the Church as a mother and teacher. And they settle for an inoffensive, vanilla Christianity that amounts to a system of decent social ethics.”

The Worst Kind Of Phony Christianity!

“This is self-delusion,” he warned, “the worst kind of phony Christianity that has no power to create hope out of suffering, to resist persecution, or to lead anyone else to God.”

Archbishop Chaput said that these weakened forms of Christian faith would not be able to compete with the many modern cults of instant gratification and success.

Cardinal Lustiger, he recalled, had “warned that one of the deepest and oldest instincts of man is idolatry.” The Denver archbishop said he sees that instinct taking on several forms today.

“There are no real atheists in America – quite the opposite,” he said. “We have a thriving free market of little gods to worship. Sex and technology have very large congregations.”

The Modern State Is A Great Idol!

“I was especially struck,” he noted, “by Lustiger’s description of the modern state ‘as one of the strongest forms of idolatry that exists; it has become the most absolute substitute for God that men have been able to give themselves . . .  and it is a tyrant god, feeding itself on its victims.’”

But the Archbishop of Denver said that these human tendencies, leading to the worship of objects and of oneself, could not be driven out by the mere exercise of authority.

To Purge Christianity Of These Great Idols Demands Total Conversion Of Individuals

“The Christian remedy to these idolatries,” he explained, “can never simply be coerced from the outside, by stronger statements from stronger bishops.” He quoted Cardinal Lustiger’s insight that these forms of idolatry “must be exorcised from the inside … To uproot them, we must be converted in depth.”

He also indicated that Cardinal Lustiger’s unique perspective was just as important for U.S. Catholics today as it was for European Catholics during his lifetime. The cardinal’s work, Archbishop Chaput noted, “continues to influence our seminary formation” at Denver’s St. John Vianney seminary.

“He is a Jew who discovers Jesus Christ … His mother is murdered at Auschwitz. He survives the most horrific war in history, but he refuses to hate and despair. Instead, he turns to God more deeply and gives himself to the priesthood.”

“Most of the young men I meet hunger for examples of manliness, confidence, courage and faith,” Archbishop Chaput noted. “Cardinal Lustiger’s personal story is itself a catechesis – an invitation to pursue God heroically.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput – Are Violent Films Appropiate?

Denver, CO  (CNA) edited for length- At a recent film event in Denver that explored the topic of violence in movies, Archbishop Charles Chaput weighed in on the issue, telling CNA that he believes violence to be appropriate in film only if it’s the kind “that teaches us not to be violent.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

CNA caught up with Archbishop Chaput following the event, who explained the significance behind his decision in taking time from his schedule and attending a relatively small, independent film seminar.

“I chose to participate because I think that it’s important for the Church to be involved in the culture and in the broader society and I think movies are hugely influential,” the Denver prelate said.

“So I jumped at the opportunity to speak, just so the Church would have a face here,” he added, “but also to meet the community that gathers for this kind of discussion because I think it has a huge impact on our culture and I think it’s important for them to know that the Church is both interested and aware of what’s going on.”

CNA then asked Archbishop Chaput if violence is ever contextually appropriate in film or if it is gratuitous in all instances.

“I think the only kind of violence that’s good in movies is the violence that teaches us not to be violent,” he underscored. “I think sometimes that graphic violence can demonstrate how damaging violence is.”

War movies, for instance, “really teach us that war is always horrible and always to be avoided,” he noted.

Archbishop Chaput then cited the example of an earlier clip shown from the movie “The Godfather,” where scenes that show a mob boss attending a baptism and repeating the vows are juxtaposed with images of the mob boss’ enemies being ruthlessly killed at his behest.

“’The Godfather’ violence demonstrates hypocrisy and how people can say one thing and lead entirely different lives,” the archbishop said. “When you’re confronted with that in such a graphic way, it makes you look at the hypocrisy in your own life.”

The prelate added a caveat, however, saying that violence in film “always has to be the kind of violence that educates us on the ugliness and damage” of violence in real life.

Archbishop Chaput also spoke on his own love of film and earlier aspirations as a young boy to be a stunt man when he grew up. He then commented on the gifting and potential influence for the good those in the movie industry have.

To “those who are involved,” in the industry, he noted,  “I congratulate them and bless them and I hope that they really will use their talents to make sure that film is transformative of society in a good way.”

Catholic School Leader Blast Archbishop Chaput and Former Homeschoolers Which Started A Catholic School

by John Quinn,
Courageous Priest

Washington D.C. – Ms. Patricia Wetzel-O’Neill, the executive director of the Center for Catholic Education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, attacks Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Archdiocese and a Catholic School started by homeschoolers, at the National Catholic Reporter sponsored “Washington Briefing for the Nation’s Catholic Community.”

It appears that Wetzel-O’Neil wanted to attract some attention as she said,  “I’m stirring the pot,” because  “we’re on a very slippery slope.”

She Starts by Attacking
Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Archdiocese

A “big question” ask Wetzel-O’Neal is  “gay couples — should they be allowed to send their children to Catholic schools? Because in (the Archdiocese of) Denver they were told they were not.”  She was referring to a lesbian couple who was frustrated because Catholic rules were actually being enforced by the Archbishop which requested that the couple support  Catholic philosophy or not enroll next year.  Full article here and here.

“Is it about the kids or the adults?” Wetzel-O’Neal asked.

Archbishop Chaput answered this earlier.

“It is not about punishing the child for the sins of his or her parents,” he said. “It is simply that the lesbian couple is saying that their relationship is a good one that should be accepted by everyone; and the Church cannot agree to that.”  He continued that  “most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced.  That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.  That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

She Continues Her Rampage On a Non-Diocesan
School Teaching Catholic Education

Weitzel-O’Neill also took the offensive on a former Catholic homeschooling group who started the Pope John Paul II Academy  as being a  “faux Catholic school.”   She added that  “they’re teaching the Catholic faith, but they’re not approved by any bishop.”

One wonders how attacking those faithful to the Magisterium can correct the direction of our Catholic Schools.   She also noted issues with teacher wages being unjust, but she came up with no solution to the rising cost of Catholic Schools, with tuition averaging $7,000 to $30,000 a year in Washington.  Wouldn’t this be a social justice concern, attracting the affluent while discriminating against the poor?

Could the real issue with the new Academy be money?  Not only are the children getting a strong Catholic education at the Academy, but parents are saving $3,000 for one child and over $7,000 for a family with five children.

It should be noted that the Acadamy, which has added five campuses,  is not under diocesan rule.  For Ms. Weitzel-O’Neil they could have been considered competition as she was the outgoing superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, which closed down many schools mostly serving the under-privileged inner city youth.

Weitzel-O’Neil failed to address the growing concern of many Catholics that our children are getting a good secular education, but finish school ignorant of the Catholic faith.  Would she consider that a grave scandal?

Sources:  Pope John Paul II AcademyCNS and Catholic Culture

ArchBishop Chaput’s 3 Church Mandates

Denver Catholic Register – Catholics believe that the Church is the ongoing presence of Christ in the world.  So as disciples, we’re called to do as the first Apostles did; and that can be summarized in three brief mandates.  They all, unavoidably, need resources to succeed.

The Church’s first mandate is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—even when the Gospel message is inconvenient in our own lives or unwelcome in the world around us.  So whenever we raise financial resources, which of course the ACA seeks to do, those resources need to be used in some way to preach Jesus Christ to the world around us.   The ACA plays a vital role in underwriting the formation of our future priests, and in supporting our pro-life work and our communications ministries as part of the Church’s evangelization of culture efforts.

The Church’s second mandate is to build up the community of believers. The vitality of Christian life depends not on feelings or good intentions, but on a deep and mature faith, especially in the face of adversity.  This is why archdiocesan educational and catechetical ministries, which the ACA also supports, are so important.

The Church’s third mandate, following in the footsteps of Jesus, is to care for those who are in need. Jesus didn’t require people to believe in him before he loved them, healed them or entered into their lives. As Christians, we have the responsibility to be the presence of Christ in the lives of others—even those who are not believers. Thus, an important portion of ACA resources always goes toward serving the poor through the works of Catholic Charities.