Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap speaking at the 2010 Bringing America Back to Life Symposium about Standing Up For Life: The Christian Message & the Public Square. Living the Gospel of Life in a Secular world. Christian Witness, politics and the real relationship of Church and State today. Archbishop Chaput was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, on July 26, 1988. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Denver on February 18, 1997. As member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput is the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States, and the first Native American archbishop.
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Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was born 1944, in Kansas. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Fidelis College Seminary in Herman, Pennsylvania, in 1967, Archbishop Chaput completed Studies in Psychology at Catholic University in Washington D.C., in 1969. He earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Capuchin College in Washington D.C., in 1970 and was ordained to the priesthood on August 29, 1970.
In 1977, Archbishop Chaput became pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, Colorado, and vicar provincial for the Capuchin Province of Mid-America. He was named secretary and treasurer for the province in 1980, and he became chief executive and provincial minister three years later.
Archbishop Chaput has written 2 books:
“ Render Unto Caesar” Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs In Political Life
“Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics”
Commenting on Archbishop Chaput’s book “Render unto Caesar” Fr. Robert Imbelli, a Boston College associate professor of Theology as published in L’Osservatore Romano writes:
“In effect, Archbishop Chaput is setting before his compatriots the same challenge that St. Paul posed to his fellow citizens of the Roman Empire. “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect” (Rom 12:2). …. In a final chapter the author engages some pressing pastoral issues regarding access to the Eucharist on the part of public figures who advocate positions the church holds to be intrinsically evil, like abortion. The Archbishop’s approach is both pastorally sensitive and theologically cogent. It will help bring clarity to the ongoing conversation and discernment in this delicate matter – one which must be addressed for the sake of the integrity of the faith.”
And The New York Post says the following about the Archbishop’s views:
“Ultimately,” Chaput writes in “Render Under Caesar,” “I believe that all of us who call ourselves American and Catholic need to recover what it really means to be ‘Catholic’.” And in the book, he leads the way, warning that “when the church leaders refrain from helping political leaders see their moral responsibilities, their lack of action implies that religion has nothing to say to the public square.” With Chaput on the scene, no Catholic – including those named Kennedy – should misunderstand.”