18 November 2014

Archbishop Chaput's Letter Annoucing the Papal Visit

I print it in full, with just a few comments of my own:

Dear Friends,

Today is one of great joy for our Archdiocese, our City, our Commonwealth and our country! It was a privilege to be in the presence of our Holy Father this morning in Rome when he announced to the world that he will be with us in Philadelphia next year for the World Meeting of Families (this occurs just prior to the Ordinary Synod in Rome, which is expected to be the culmination of this year's shenanigans)

This moment is an historic and exhilarating one for all of us to share. It is the answer to the countless prayers of so many people who have asked God to guide Pope Francis to Philadelphia, the culmination of many months of hopeful anticipation, and the fulfillment of my own confidence that the Holy Father would grace us with his presence next year. It will mark his first ever visit to the United States of America as pope and he will be only the fourth pope to visit our nation. Words cannot sufficiently express how overjoyed I am by this most welcome news and I know so many of you share that feeling. These are the kinds of emotions that have one source—the true love of Jesus Christ filling our hearts. 

A hallmark of Pope Francis’ ministry has been a genuine love for all people of good will (with very few exceptions, no doubt) and he has maintained a keen focus on the many diverse challenges that families face globally (with an eye towards doing just what...?). I’ve loved and admired him since we first met at the Synod for the Americas in 1997. I know that the Holy Father’s charisma, presence and voice will electrify our gathering. Regardless of confessional differences (among Catholics), billions around the world have been drawn to this pope (in a vague, non-converting sense). Our gathering in Philadelphia is open to all who have a generous heart (which, we are informed, does not include Catholics attached to Tradition). It has the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, not just the spirit of Catholic life in our region, but of our entire community. It will be a moment unlike any other. 

As I’ve said many times before, Pope Francis’ presence will bring all of us – Catholic and non-Catholic alike – together in tremendously unifying and healing ways (I don' really know what this means.  Does it mean anything?). We now eagerly anticipate Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia next September. We will be ready and we will welcome him joyfully with open arms and prayerful hearts! Let us all raise our voices in thanksgiving to almighty God for the gift of Pope Francis (yes, the gift of Pope Francis certainly calls for our earnest prayers to almighty God)  and for the Holy Father’s decision to come to Philadelphia.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

I understand that this is exactly the kind of letter any bishop would write on such an occasion.  So, my picking is indeed nitpicking.  Sorry.  The only reason I made the comments I have here is that it just seems so.... I don't know... like "I for one welcome our new Insect Overlords"-y. 

I pray the Holy Father has a spiritually beneficial and safe trip to our country, and that the Church be strengthened to continue her faithful adherence to Christ and His Gospel. 


Fr. Andrew said...

I'm also reminded of that scene from Saving Private Ryan: "Complaints go UP the chain of command, not down." Too lazy to find it on YouTube.

TradDadof4 said...

No you are not being nitpicky Tim.

Cardinal Glennon would not have written anything this treacly over Pope Pius XII coming to visit. And realize Pope Francis is only been Pope for like a minute. (But I know that being a Pope after Vatican II means Insta-canonization now.)

Re: isnt "bringing people together in a unifying way" redundant ?...

And is that not presumptuous to say that Francis is mere "presence" is going to "heal" us? This is like the Great North Korean Leader stuff. After he comes to Denver, who will dare to tell the Archbishop, "Nah, you were wrong I did not get healed".

The whole thing smacks of eighth grade level writing.

And the Archbishop should consider what the root meaning of "tremendously" is:

tremendous (adj.) "awful, dreadful, terrible," from Latin tremendus "fearful, to be dreaded, terrible," literally "to be trembled at," gerundive form of tremere "to tremble" (see tremble (v.)). Hyperbolic or intensive sense of "extraordinarily great or good, immense" is attested from 1812, paralleling semantic changes in terrific, terrible, dreadful, awful, etc. Related: Tremendously.