Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith

My comments today will be simple. I want to focus on just three points.

Archbishop of PhiladelphiaCharles J. Chaput, O.F.M. CAP.

The first point is where we are as a Church and as individual Catholics, given the current environment of our country. The second point is what we need to do about it. And the third point is who we need to be — or become — to live the kind of witness God wants from us. Before we get to that though, I want to offer a few preliminary thoughts.

Language matters. It both expresses and shapes our thinking. Vulgar language suggests a vulgar soul. Obviously lots of exceptions exist. A peasant can have a rough vocabulary and still lead a saintly life. And a political leader can have a golden tongue and still be a complete liar. But in general, words are revealing. They have power because they have meaning. So we should take care to understand and use them properly.

The words of the Nicene Creed are the defining statement of Christian identity. They’re the glue of the Catholic community. Jews are Jews by virtue of being born of a Jewish mother. But being a Christian has nothing to do with blood or tribe or ethnicity or national origin. Christian identity comes from the sacraments, Sacred Scripture and the Creed. What we believe and profess together to be true as Catholics is the foundation and the cement of our unity.

Read more . . .