Come September eighth, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will have a new spiritual leader.
“It’s Shap-u, shap first syllable, u-separate, but everywhere I’ve gone, they’ve said shap-poo,” joked Archbishop Charles Chaput, who now leads the church in Denver. This fall he will replace retiring Cardinal Justin Rigali. Chaput says it’s a mystery why he will lead Philadelphia Catholics.
“I do not know why the Holy Father sent me here, but I do trust his heart and believe in his judgment,” said Chaput.
Chaput says he has not read January’s Grand Jury report on sexual abuse of children by priests but will do so before he takes over his new job.
“This is not my problem it’s our problem,” he said. “It’s our issue and we will find our way through it.”
Cardinal Rigali says the Philadelphia Archdiocese has gotten better in protecting children from abuse.
“If I have offended anyone in any way I am deeply sorry,” said Rigali. “I apologize for any weaknesses on my part in representing Christ and the church worthily and effectively.”
Chaput was given a Phillies hat and Eagles shirt and vows to adopt the teams of his new home.
Do you think Charles Chaput is a good choice to restore confidence in the Catholic church in Philadelphia? Is he too confrontational, or just what Catholics need? What do you want to see him do? Let us know in the comments below.