One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church. Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration. Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church. One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently. He is at it again over at First Things.
He begins by citing this incident, which sounds a theme I wrote about here in my recent post on the Spanish Civil War:
I want to start by sharing a story.
Once upon a time, a student at one of the world’s oldest universities took a break from her studies to visit the Catholic chapel on campus. As she sat there in silence—praying for a sick relative or trying to settle her nerves before a test—the chapel suddenly filled with noise. A mob of about seventy fellow students charged in chanting anti-Christian slogans. They shouted obscenities against the Church and insults about the Pope.
Two females in the mob climbed on top of the altar. Then, according to the student who was trying to pray, the women stripped off their shirts and boasted about their homosexual tendencies. The young Catholic student, and several others, left the chapel in fear.
People tend to think of Spain as a Catholic country. But this example of anti-Catholic bigotry happened right here, in this beautiful city, at the Complutense University of Madrid. And it didn’t happen in the 1930s, or even in the 1960s. It happened earlier this year—in March 2011. So today is a good time to talk about religious freedom. And Madrid is a good place to do it.
The Archbishop goes on to note that freedom of religion cannot coexist with those who want freedom from religion, and that there is an ongoing battle here in the West by those who want to drive religion in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, from the public square. Chaput notes that most of what we laughingly still refer to as the Mainstream Media, aka the media that fewer and fewer people are viewing, listening to and reading, are no friends of the Church, and he names names:
We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith—and sometimes they can’t provide it, either because of limited resources or because of their own editorial prejudices. These are secular operations focused on making a profit. They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.
So whom can you trust? Where can you go for reliable news and intelligent discussion about your Catholic faith?
Well, you can come to World Youth Day—but you’ve already done that. Luckily, you live in an age of radically new kinds of information media. You have more media choices, and more ways to access those choices, than I ever could have imagined at your age.
Many of those choices include outstanding Catholic media like Catholic News Agency, EWTN, the National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor; Salt and Light and Catholic News Service; plus Catholic blogs, websites, and Catholic satellite radio stations. Support these media and encourage their great work for the Church. Visit their websites. “Like” them on Facebook. Follow their Twitter feeds. These excellent media sources will nourish and deepen your faith in ways that the mainstream public media can never provide.
Go here to read the brilliant rest. Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs, which of course is an indication that he scored a direct hit with his comments. The new Archbishop of Philadelphia is never afraid to tell the truth in season and out of season and that is one of the essential tasks of any bishop.