Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has been unfairly depicted as a critic of Pope Francis. This stems from an interview he had with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. (John Allen is a good reporter but PopeWatch wonders about the judgment of any member of the hierarchy who has an interview with any representative of NCR.) The interview may be read here. PopeWatch fails to see how any fair minded reading of this interview could be taken as criticism of the Pope. The bitter comments of the deranged readers of NCR are, as always, a true hoot.
Chaput in an interview with the blog of the Philadelphia Inquirer attempted to set the record straight.
Criticism that Chaput had publicly faulted Francis as voicing tolerant views toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and artificial contraception, all of which the Catholic Church has long opposed, is “not fair,” he said.
A priest of the Capuchin branch of the Franciscan order, Chaput described as “a great freshness, a great blessing for the church,” Francis’ call for greater care for the poor and openness to those who feel excluded from the church for reasons such as sexual orientation or divorce and remarriage.
As the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Francis is “the first non-European pope in a very long time,” Chaput noted, “and the way you see things from South America and the Southern Hemisphere is very different from northern Europe.”