Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Another sign of the coming conservative moment in the American Catholic Church
The move is seen as the latest sign that the Catholic Church in America is moving in a more conservative direction. This is the most significant blow to the liberal Bernadin wing of the American Church bureaucracy since the election of another conservative, Archbishop Anthony Dolan of New York, to head the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops late last year.
Chaput was, of course, polite and gracious to the outgoing Cardinal Rigali, but the child sex abuse scandal also played a factor in the appointment of Chaput, who many say the Vatican saw as a much needed outsider, and who has acted swiftly in such cases in the Denver archdiocese. Conservatives like Chaput are of a less therapeutic mindset than the liberals who thought that such cases could be solved through psychological treatment--an attitude that resulted in many offending priests being put back into positions with exposure to children.
The conservative trend in American Catholicism is the subject of George Wiegel's "The End of the Bernadin Era," in the February edition of First Things magazine.