Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews the Archbishop of Philadelphia. Some key points:
Lopez gives the archbishop one of the standard objections of HHS mandate supporters–most Catholics contracept, and many, especially politicians, support abortion. His answer:
That’s the wrong question. Plenty of self-described Catholics also commit adultery and cheat on their taxes. That doesn’t make them right, and it doesn’t make their behaviors “Catholic.” The central issue in the HHS-mandate debate isn’t contraception. Casting the struggle as a birth-control fight is just a shrewd form of dishonesty. The central issue in the HHS debate is religious liberty. The government doesn’t have the right to force religious believers and institutions to violate their religious convictions. But that’s exactly what the White House is doing.
Lopez cites those who claim that the Church has lost its moral authority, and that Catholics should not have a public voice, given the clergy abuse scandal. Chaput’s answer:
We don’t have a choice. We need to witness because Jesus Christ commands us to witness. His moral authority is unimpaired. The evil actions of some priests do not license the rest of us to be silent.
About striking a balance between charity and truth, he says:
The public discourse of Catholics needs to be guided by charity and respect for others, but above all by truth. The truth can be difficult, so we often want to soften its edges. But this just wastes time and compounds our problems. Candor can be uncomfortable in the short run, but it’s much healthier in the long run.
Read the entire interview. Archbishop Chaput tells it like it is.