Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput is also known as a straight-talking fellow, and God bless him for telling it like is.
And a comment that few bishops are likely to make publicly, when asked how the job was going:
It has been an awful time.
I saw the man in person for the first time earlier this year in Florida at a campus ministry conference. He’s an honest chap. I think he’s somewhat misguided on a few issues. But anyone who’s a straight shooter with others is probably not inclined to self-deception.
I spend all of my time trying to figure out how we are going to do the next thing. I ask your patience.
I hope that when I turn 75 and the Pope says it is time to retire and get out of here you will have a reason to give me an award. You don’t have any yet. But we will do it together because I know you love the Lord and love His Church. Let’s do it together.
There was an award connected to this speech. Clearly nineteen months is not a long time to make an impression, but apparently the archbishop has done just that. He indeed has an awful situation. The realities of post-WWII America have made the situation with schools and parishes inevitable. However, his predecessors have leveled a great deal of damage in their mishandling of predator clergy. One of their own might well be in jail today, had he still been alive–and that was coming from the archdiocese’s own lawyers.