Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput did not spare the University of Notre Dame from criticism on Thursday when he spoke as a guest lecturer there.
Chaput, a strong pro-life advocate in the Catholic Church, criticized the Catholic university for honoring pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden with one of its top awards earlier this year, Philly.com reports. Chaput was the guest lecturer for Notre Dame’s 2016 Tocqueville Lecture on Religious Liberty on Thursday.
“For the nation’s leading Catholic university to honor a Catholic public official who supports abortion rights and then goes on to conduct a same-sex civil marriage ceremony just weeks later, is – to put it kindly – a contradiction of Notre Dame’s identity,” Chaput told the university.
“It’s a baffling error of judgment. What matters isn’t the vice president’s personal decency or the university’s admirable intentions. The problem, and it’s a serious problem, is one of public witness and the damage it causes both to the faithful and to the uninformed,” the archbishop said.
Chaput is not alone in his criticism. Many Catholics and pro-lifers were upset at the university after it chose Biden to receive its Laetare Medal, “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.” Students, alumni, numerous Catholic leaders and even university faculty members called on the university to rescind its decision.
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On Thursday, Chaput also addressed the issue of abortion in general and explained how massively damaging sexual irresponsibility has become in today’s culture.
“The truth about our sexuality is that infidelity, promiscuity, sexual confusion and mass pornography create human wreckage,” he said.
“What you get is what we have now: a dysfunctional culture of frustrated and wounded people increasingly incapable of permanent commitments, self-sacrifice and sustained intimacy, and unwilling to face the reality of their own problems,” Chaput continued.
Legalized abortion and its destruction of millions of innocent babies’ lives are some of the consequences of such a culture, he said.
“Abortion poisons everything. There can never be anything ‘progressive’ in killing an unborn child, or standing aside tolerantly while others do it,” he added. “Life is a gift, not an accident. And the point of a life is to become the kind of fully human person who knows and loves God above everything else, and reflects that love to others.”
He chided the university and urged it to teach students about the sanctity of life and the Christian faith.
“What the Church needs now is a university that radiates the glory of God in age that no longer knows what it means to be human,” he said.
“That’s the ultimate task of a place like Notre Dame,” Chaput said. “It’s not to help you get into a great law school, or to go to a great medical school, or to find a great job on Wall Street, as good as those things clearly are. It’s to help you get into heaven – which is not some imaginary fairyland, but an eternity of life in the presence of a loving God. If you don’t believe that, you’re in the wrong place.”