Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
PHILADELPHIA - News of the transfer from Denver to Philadelphia of Archbishop Charles Chaput, tribal member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, has at least one columnist speculating on that he "may challenge some in the urban diocese."
(l to r) Delores Ortiz, Archbishop Chaput, and Steve Ortiz chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in 2008
Terry Mattingly, columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, writes a column called, "On Religion" that is picked up by 350 newspapers around the country. Based in Washington DC, Mattingly previously wrote for the Denver-based "Rocky Mountain News, " where he became acquainted with Archbishop Chaput, who has been the leader of that diocese since 1997.
Archbishop Chaput was named the new archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope Benedict XVI two weeks ago tomorrow.
In his last week's "On Religion" column, Mattingly writes that Chaput has been an outspoken religious leader who is sometimes criticized for the stands he has taken.
In particular, Mattingly discusses how Chaput tried to understand the massacre at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Columbine sits within the Denver Catholic Diocese.
To understand the tragedy, Chaput went to see the movie, "The Matrix." Chaput left the movie "deeply troubled, gripped by the sci-fi epic's blurring of the line between life and death, between reality and a digital, alternative reality," writes Mattingly.
Subsequent to viewing the meeting, Chaput testified before a US Senate hearing on the topic of "Marketing Violence to Children." He told the senators that it would be way too simplistic to blame on one movie on what happened at Columbine. He told the senators that it would be hard to ignore the power of pop culture.
"The reasonable person understands that what we eat, drink, and breathe will make us healthy or sick. In like manners, what we hear and what we see lifts us up - or drags us down. It forms us inside," explained Chaput at the US Senate hearing.
Critics at the time were upset by Chaput arguments against guns, abortion and greed.
This outspokenness - like a true American Indian warrior - will now have its voice in Philadelphia when Archbishop Charles Chaput is installed on September 8, 2011 as that city's archbishop.
posted August 1, 2011 9:30 am edt
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