Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Charles Chaput to succeed Cardinal Justin Rigali as Archbishop of Philadelphia on Tuesday. Until the new appointment, Archbishop Chaput had been the head of the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado. The 66 year-old Archbishop Chaput is part Native American and the first Native American U.S. archbishop. He entered the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor in 1965 and made his perpetual vows in 1968, receiving ordination to the priesthood in 1970. After a tenure as minister of the Capuchin province of Mid-America, he was elected bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota – a position in which he served for nearly a decade, before being called to Denver in 1997.
A best-selling author and outspoken defender of the Church’s place in public life, the newly-appointed Archbishop Chaput is also deeply concerned with the Church’s pastoral mission. “The Church has done a very poor job of passing on the authentic Apostolic faith to its people,” he says. “We need to get better,” at forming the lay faithful especially, “we need to get better very soon.” Archbishop Chaput comes to Philadelphia during a time of difficulty for the Archdiocese, which is struggling to deal with revelations of clerical sexual abuse that began to emerge in February of this year.
The Official Release:
The Holy Father Benedict XVI accepted the resignation from the ministry of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Metro (USA), presented by His Em. Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, in accordance with can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law.
The Pope appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia (USA) Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, currently Archbishop of Denver.
Philadelphia – The archbishop of Philadelphia has resigned just months after a Philadelphia grand jury report accused the archdiocese of failing to investigate claims of sexual abuse by priests against children.
Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal Justin Rigali as the Philadelphia archbishop, the Vatican said Tuesday.
The Vatican cited Rigali’s age as the reason. Canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation from the pastoral governance of their diocese on their 75th birthday, which Rigali did in April 2010.
The archdiocese plans to announce Tuesday that the pope has appointed Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver to succeed Rigali, it said in a statement.
Chaput was ordained a priest in 1970. He became a bishop at the age of 43 and has served as archbishop of Denver since 1997. Chaput, a member of the Prairie Band Potowatami Tribe, is the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and the first Native American archbishop.
The move comes five months after a Philadelphia grand jury report accused the archdiocese of not investigating claims that priests sexually abused children…
NCR’s John Allen held an exclusive interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput:
Love him or hate him, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as the new chief shepherd of the embattled Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is impossible to ignore.
Few American bishops relish public debate more than the 66-year-old Chaput, whose background is in the Capuchins, and who’s widely regarded as an intellectual leader of the “evangelical” movement in Catholicism. He’s fiercely loyal to church teaching and tradition, and passionate about taking the Catholic message to the street.
By naming him to Philadelphia, the pontiff — who is, of course, no stranger to controversy himself — effectively has handed the fiery Chaput a bigger cultural megaphone.
Benedict has also signaled confidence in Chaput’s personal integrity and administrative chops. In Philadelphia, Chaput faces the turmoil created by last February’s Grand Jury report, which found that 37 priests facing credible accusations of abuse remained in ministry.
In conjunction with the appointment, Chaput sat down for an extended, and exclusive, interview with NCR. He put no limits on the topics to be covered, which included his move to Philadelphia, his overall leadership style and vision, and his views of the sexual abuse crisis. The lone condition was that the interview not be published until the appointment became official…
More here. A good interview it is.
Also of interest is Philadelphia needs its new Archbishop here as well as Archbishop Chaput may become Cardinal here.
Wikipedia has more on Archbishop Chaput here, while the Sacramento Bee traces the career of Archbishop Rigali here.
And Rome Reports:
Our prayers are with him as he enters a Diocese reeling…