Christianity Demands More Than Just Freedom To Worship!

“A Nation Based On License, Not Freedom, Will Have No Claim On Virtuous Hearts”


Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia delivered an urgent call for Catholics to take action to protect the American tradition of religious freedom, in a July 26 address to the Napa Institute in California.

The archbishop questioned whether America has “crossed the Rubicon” on religious-freedom questions, reaching a point at which political confrontation is inevitable. Without answering the question directly, he challenged the members of his audience to answer for themselves.

Catholics have always shown a deep love for the US, and the hierarchy has supported the country fully, Archbishop Chaput said. “So if the bishops of the United States ever find themselves opposed, in a fundamental way, to the spirit of our country, the fault won’t lie with our bishops. It will lie with political and cultural leaders who turned our country into something it was never meant to be.”

Later in his talk, the archbishop summarized his concerns by saying that “the America of Catholic memory is not the America of the present moment or the emerging future.” He continued:

 Sooner or later, a nation based on a degraded notion of liberty, on license rather than real freedom—in other words, a nation of abortion, disordered sexuality, consumer greed, and indifference to immigrants and the poor—will not be worthy of its founding ideals. And on that day, it will have no claim on virtuous hearts.

Archbishop Chaput said that all Christians must reject the secularist argument that religious freedom requires only the freedom to worship. Christianity makes greater demands on believers, he said:

 Christian faith demands preaching, teaching, public witness, and service to others—by each of us alone, and by acting in cooperation with fellow believers. As a result, religious freedom is never just freedom from repression but also—and more importantly—freedom for active discipleship.

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8 comments to Christianity Demands More Than Just Freedom To Worship!

  • Archbishop Chaput I love you. On this year of God Mercy,what this year is without people receiving the sacrament of reconcialation? I hope our priest will talk more on receiving this amazing sacrament ,that set us free and reconcile us to God

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  • Dear Richard,

    Thanks for the message.
    My view is that I don’t really think that Christians should “demand for more things” I believe that Christian should do, should act. The Christianity should distance itself from the saying and come closer to the ding. My Bishop in his defense he seeks to explain what is the Christianity rather than what Christians are doing. The argument of my bishop is also contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the article to seek and expand information, belief and opinion to others. This according to me is not the major problem. Yes we need to talk and live God’s word but I have been disappointed by my fellow Christians doing and some times mine too.
    My view is that the church has too think and strategize on how to become an alternative solution along side the political power as Jesus was. People were coming to him because they have been disappointed by the political power. This is far from demanding, Jesus does not demand to Pilate but he led people and cautioned them against the political leaders. This can be done when we are in the church and participating in other church’s activities. My problem is that the church is not is still struggling to shape the people on her side.
    There are a lot to be done in terms of making people to understand what God means to some one who is not struggling with the life hood necessities. The fact is to us in Africa God has been portrayed as a solution to poverty, to lack of education to the lack of medical treatment, to the lack of food at home. So what happened if these necessities are met? Who God will be to me and to the community?
    Our friends who appropriate them selves exclusively the word “saved” or Born Again just played on these life hood problems of people and claim that God will give them solutions if they only believe.

    Actually that what I’m also saying, what does Jesus mean to me now? Who is God in our lives and how do we make the secular world to understand that there is God. That is what I think the church and her leaders would focus on. Let me just point out one example here in Uganda where I’m too much involved in refugees issues. 80% of people in big institutions working for refugees have Christian names and claim to be Christians but some of their actions to do not respond to their obligations as Christians towards the week and the vulnerable people such as refugees.

  • richard reilly

    kulihoshi musikami luke pecos would explain a little bit more as to what you mean
    because I feel that until we really speak and live God’s word we can not carry His word and love into the real world. We seem to talk the talk at church but we do not walk the walk in our actions both
    at church and in our lives out in the real world. Also showing up for church on sat or sunday
    does not mean we are living God’s word as He gave us. I am one who would like to have the
    words that are give at church to be about what is happening in the world and how I should understand
    how the word of God is to be used in my life. When jesus spoke 2000 years ago it was about
    how the world was than. His words back than are as good to day as they were then but we must understand how we are to use them today and what our Lord is telling us. Our services at church are about makng
    us feel good but does not give us real food for the journey spiritually or worldly. Maybe there
    is to much talk about money and not enough emphasis on the word and presence of God.

  • TG

    I love Archbishop Chaput. He is gentle but firm. Mr. Pecos, your comments are so true. I pray for my parish priest to be able to convey his message better at the homily.

  • […] Well, with respect, your Grace, if the bishops find themselves in the place that they are, it’s because, quite frankly, they failed (or rather, refused) to evangelize or bear witness to the truth on contraception for the past 50 years.  That’s the truth and until you and your brother bishops “man up” to that fact, then pointing fingers at the children you let run wild without any discipline is hardly going to do the trick. Sooner or later, a nation based on a degraded notion of liberty, on license rather than real freedom—in other words, a nation of abortion, disordered sexuality, consumer greed, and indifference to immigrants and the poor—will not be worthy of its founding ideals. And on that day, it will have no claim on virtuous hearts. (Source) […]

  • Fr. Steve Gallagher

    Archbishop Chaput is one of our modern days prophets and I love this wise and holy servant of God!!!

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