Philly archbishop lambastes presidential candidates, Biden in Notre Dame speech

    Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput and Vice President Joe Biden. (NewsWorks file photos)

    Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput and Vice President Joe Biden. (NewsWorks file photos)

    Lamenting what he called “deeply flawed” presidential candidates, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput spoke at the University of Notre Dame Thursday.

    “Our political engagement needs to involve more than just wringing our hands and whining about the ugly choice we face in November,” he said. “It needs to be more than a search for better candidates and policies, or shrewder slogans.

    “The task of renewing a society is much more long term than a trip every few years to the voting booth. And it requires a different kind of people. It demands that we be different people.”

    Chaput also called out the university and Vice President Joe Biden who this year received Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal.

    “For the nation’s leading Catholic university to honor a Catholic public official who supports abortion rights and then goes on to conduct a same-sex civil marriage ceremony just weeks later, is — to put it kindly — a contradiction of Notre Dame’s identity.

    “It’s a baffling error of judgment,” Chaput continued. “What matters isn’t the vice president’s personal decency or the university’s admirable intentions. The problem, and it’s a serious problem, is one of public witness and the damage it causes both to the faithful and to the uninformed.”

    Biden, of Delaware, has come in for criticism before from Chaput, who has served as Philadelphia’s archbishop for five years. Biden would fall under the Diocese of Wilmington, not Philadelphia.

    Catholics Biden and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine “seem to ignore or publicly invent the context of their Catholic faith as they go along,” Chaput wrote last month in a column for the CatholicPhilly.com website.

    Chaput made his remarks during his delivery of the 2016 Tocqueville Lecture on Religious Liberty.

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