Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says that when it comes to voting, Catholics may not be able to support either the Republicans or the Democrats, now and in the coming years.
“The day may come when Catholics can support neither of the main American political parties or their candidates. Some think it’s already arrived,” Philadelphia’s archbishop wrote in a Nov. 6 essay for The Witherspoon Institute.
“Serious Catholics” who believe in the Church’s teaching on social and life issues “can’t settle comfortably in either political party,” he remarked.
But this is nothing new, Archbishop Chaput said, adding that Christians find their home and hope in heaven.
Saint Augustine, he recalled, “wrote the ‘City of God’ to remind us that we’re Christians first, worldly citizens second. We need to learn—sometimes painfully—to let our faith chasten our partisan appetites.”
The political tensions that Catholics are experiencing today flow from the cultural problems of individualism and a lack of virtue, he said. “In feeding the sovereignty of the individual, our public leaders fuel consumer self-absorption, moral confusion, and—ultimately, as mediating institutions like the family and churches wither—the power of the state.”
Archbishop Chaput concluded his column by calling on Catholics to live their faith, and so heal the culture. “In this Year of Faith, she (the Church) invites Catholics to a great new evangelization … our ambition must be to repair a culture of unbelief and to heal the inhuman politics that flows from it.”
“And if we can’t achieve that in concert with our fellow Christians, then we can at least live the Gospel more faithfully ourselves. It’s time, and long past time, to close the gap between our words and our actions; our preaching and our practice.”
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.