Fort Collins Catholics React to News Archbishop Chaput May Be Elevated to Cardinal

By Trevor Hughes
The Coloradoan
July 19, 2011

Local Catholics are reacting tonight to the news that Archbishop Charles Chaput may be elevated to cardinal and moved by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Multiple media outlets in Philadelphia say an announcement may come tomorrow. The (Philadelphia) Daily News said Cardinal Justin Rigali is resigning in the wake of a grand jury report attacking his handling of child sex-abuse cases.

In Fort Collins, former CSU football Coach Sonny Lubick said he had just heard the news this evening, and was momentarily sad at the idea Chaput may be leaving. He said that sadness stemmed from the fact that Chaput is such a well-regarded leader locally. Lubick said the Catholic Church needs more leaders like Chaput.

Lubick serves with Chaput on the board of the Catholic Foundation for the Roman Catholic Church in Northern Colorado.

"He is certainly, from what I know, a wonderful and holy person, very easy to talk to, and very caring of other people," Lubick said. "I hope he gets what's best for him and what's best for our church. That's probably why he was picked, because he is such a good man."

Lubick, who attends St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, along with former Congressman Bob Schaffer, said he appreciates that Chaput is willing to engage with skeptics and critics.

Schaffer, who has known Chaput for many years, said some religious leaders shy away from controversy. Chaput, on the other hand, is willing to stand up for the church as it faces the "pressures of moral relativism and an evolving society," Schaffer said.

"As a Catholic father who has raised three kids and has two more at home, his leadership has been enormously valuable in my home," Schaffer said. "It's a likely ascention for a truly great American bishop. Without a doubt, Archbishop Chaput is recognized as one of the most gifted and blessed leaders in the church."

Chaput nominated Schaffer for the Benemerenti Medal in 2003, a papal recognition of exceptional public service.

In his most recent column for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper, Chaput compared the time young Muslims spend studying the Koran with how most young Catholics spend their time.

"Little by little, like water dripping on a stone, it shapes their whole view of the world—what’s right and what’s wrong; what’s important and what’s not," he said of the young Muslim men.

He continued: "Here in America, we have a similar kind of training. It’s called television... That’s a form of education. And most of what we see on TV teaches us that buying a lot of products makes us happy; that young is good and old is bad; that we should eat whatever we want but that we also need to be thin; that suffering doesn’t have any meaning; that relationships never last; that most families are dysfunctional; that authority is dangerous; and that religious people are hypocritical."


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