Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput - Denver CO

Verbal fisticuffs broke out Tuesday between Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and a luncheon audience that challenged him. . . .

. . . a man identifying himself as a Catholic graduate of Regis University questioned why "a bunch of celibate men are telling us what to do about sex."

"That's the unfair kind of remark that happens in these discussions," Chaput retorted.

"Let's have an honest debate and not make fun of the values of the other side. We've become quite uncivilized."

One questioner observed that the Catholic Church doesn't appear to care about protecting women hurt by unwanted pregnancies.

His voice rising, Chaput replied, "That dear baby who gets aborted is who I'm protecting. Somebody doesn't just get hurt with abortion - they get killed."

"Who will take care of the unwanted children?" another asked.

"I'll take any child that's unwanted and find them a home and take care of the mother," he said. "You have my personal pledge on that."

When the issue of separation of church and state arose, Chaput derided a bill before the legislature that would require hospitals to give emergency contraception information to sexual assault victims.

"The state doesn't seem to worry too much about separation of church and state when it wants to force its point of view on Catholic hospitals," he said.

To applause, another questioner observed that if the church wants to be part of public life, "When is the church going to agree to pay taxes?"

"I run 50 Catholic schools that keep you from paying more taxes - is that worth it to you?" Chaput shot back.

Source: Lunch crowd challenges Chaput - Catholic leader fields politics, sex and abortion questions, by Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News. March 2, 2005