Archbishop Charles Chaput: America’s Least Conservative Bishop

National Catholic Register

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

For more than 30 years, Archbishop Chaput has been a model of creativity and collaboration in preaching and preserving the Gospel.

The news was reported this week as one voice. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a “conservative” — sometimes styled a “prominent conservative” or “archconservative” — was retiring after having reached the age of 75.

This paper has already profiled the remarkable three decades that Archbishop Chaput ministered in Rapid City, Denver and Philadelphia. Yet the term “conservative” bears examination. Does it apply to Chaput?

The New York Times characterized Chaput as a “theological and political conservative.”

The first may well apply, as it is commonly used. For example, Chaput would interpret Amoris Laetitia in continuity with St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the moral life, Veritatis Splendor. Pope Francis wrote Amoris Laetitia as if Veritatis Splendor was never written; there is no mention of it whatsoever, despite the nearly 400 footnotes. Does that mean that Chaput is conservative and the Holy Father is liberal?

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