At a Religion Newswriters Association conference Friday, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said he has intentionally not granted interviews on the record to the New York Times since 2004, when he said he was misquoted by one of the paper’s reporters writing on the Kerry-Bush presidential contest. Fact is, Chaput doesn’t just not talk to the New York Times. It’s worse.
Chaput is a highly political prelate who believes Catholics are obligated to be politically informed and fully engaged in the public sphere in order to press their views and shape society.
“Politics is about human relationships… Politics is the embodiment of the Second Commandment: Love your neighbors as you love yourself,” he recently told young people at a “Theology on Tap” event in Colorado. “… That’s why I talk about how important it is to read our history and to know what’s going on. The thing I’m disappointed most [with] in your generation is the fact that you don’t know what’s going on much of the time, because you don’t read the newspaper and you don’t watch the news.”
So how does the Archbishop stay informed? Let’s just say that in the great Murdoch – Sulzberger battle for our hearts and minds, his Holiness sides with the arch-capitalist Australian-born king of the tabloids.
Chaput told the Theology on Tap crowd he stayed informed by reading the Denver-based Catholic News Agency website every day, four or five monthly magazines, that he listens to National Public Radio and to Fox News. He also reads two newspapers every day: The Denver Post and the Wall Street Journal. Unabashed right-wing Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, gets the lion’s share of the Archbishop’s attention. Because that’s how you find out what’s going on, kids!