The homophobic Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput — a major conservative critic of Pope Francis and leniency in the Catholic church’s LGBT positions — is about to retire. His record is not decent, from his days in Denver to his time in Philadelphia. Along the way, he’s proven to have no heart.
He fired lesbian teachers and supported a Catholic conversion therapy group. He even said at one point “LGBT people don’t exist,” and it’s been noted that he’s one of the bishops who fooled the Pope into meeting with anti-marriage equality campaigner County Clerk Kim Davis, when the Pope was on his last U.S. tour. The Vatican issued a statement that said they had nothing to do with the meeting, which left Chaput a little embarrassed among his fellow American Bishops Conference members.
But more, what he must and will be remembered for is his total lack of understanding of the molesting and raping of children by members of his archdiocese clergy during his clawing to become archbishop.
As The New York Times reported on July 19, 2011, “The archbishop has been frequently tapped to investigate internal church problems. It is a profile that could serve him well in Philadelphia, where a grand jury accused the archdiocese of a widespread cover-up of sexual abuse and indicted a top church administrator.” The Times article went on to say, “Advocates for sexual abuse victims, however, bristle at the characterization of Archbishop Chaput as a reformer. They point out that he fought hard against legislation in Colorado that would have extended the statute of limitations for people who say they were sexually abused to sue the church.”
He failed to clean up the church in Philadelphia. To this day, priests under him are still being charged, and even more saddening is his total disregard for victims of these priests. Like in Denver, he has fought against changing Pennsylvania law to allow authorities to charge predator priests.
While we note Chaput’s hatred toward LGBT people, that is not what he will be remembered for.
Chaput’s legacy will be that he enabled predator priests to molest and rape children.