Outspoken Archbishop Chaput yet to weigh in on Bush torture memos

Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is not one to shy away from national politics and he encourages Catholics around the country to engage as well. The connection between Catholic ethics and government policy is fast becoming a specialty in his public speaking. Yet so far there has been nothing issued from his office to guide Catholic thought on the matter of the shocking Bush torture memos and the meaning of their release.

Last fall, Chaput openly campaigned against candidate Obama, whom he called the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in history. And he recently weighed in on the controversy surrounding Notre Dame’s inviting Obama to speak at the university’s graduation ceremony, fueling flames by encouraging a letter-writing campaign after a speech he gave in Detroit on abortion and the weak commitment to the faith and its politics exhibited by many American Catholics.

“If they really understood their faith,” he said, “we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by other good social policies.”

There is nothing on the Archdiocese of Denver website about the torture memos and how they relate to the “culture of life” advanced by the Church. There is nothing on the matter from Chaput posted at the “Archbishop’s Corner,” which contains his homilies and newspaper columns.

There is, however, a recently posted op-ed by Culture of Life Foundation senior fellow Helen Alvaré on how Catholics arguing in favor of Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame are denigrating the Catholic brand — in particular by making their case with lofty terms such as “engagement” and “dialogue” and “common ground.”

The Church’s supposed seamless commitment to life has been sorely tested by U.S. politics in recent years, with abortion mostly trumping the abuses of the War on Terror. In Minneapolis last year, Dr. Steven Miles, an author on torture and the ethics of the War on Terror, was banned from speaking on the matter at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church because he is pro-choice.

The Denver Archdiocese has yet to return calls this morning.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

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