MEET THE NEW BOSS: Same Shit, Different Asshole

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NEW YORK TIMES: Before he was named on Tuesday to lead the prominent but troubled Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput spent the last 14 years in Denver establishing himself as one of the nation’s most prominent advocates of a politically engaged and conservative Catholicism. He is among a minority of Roman Catholic bishops who have spoken in favor of denying communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. He helped defeat legislation that would have legalized civil unions for gay couples in Colorado. And he condemned the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic institution, for granting President Obama an honorary degree in 2009 because of his stance on abortion. MORE

RELATED: In 2004 reported that Chaput took the position that it was sinful for Catholics to vote for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. His remarks noted Kerry’s pro-choice views, amongst others. According to the Times, he said that those who intended to vote for him were “cooperating in evil” and needed “to go to confession.” MORE

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: “President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire…But whatever his strengths, there’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change […] Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: In the past 10 years, the Vatican has appointed Archbishop Chaput to serve on three high-profile investigations, known as visitations: of American seminaries in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal; of the Legion of Christ after the group’s founder was discovered to have sexually abused seminarians, fathered children and embezzled money; and, most recently, of Bishop William Morris of Australia, who had said publicly that the church should consider ordaining women and married men (the investigation resulted in his removal). Advocates for sexual abuse victims, however, bristle at the characterization of Archbishop Chaput as a reformer. They point out that he fought hard against legislation in Colorado that would have extended the statute of limitations for people who say they were sexually abused to sue the church. In every state that such legislation has been proposed, Catholic bishops have fought it. But Archbishop Chaput went further, taking to the pages of First Things, a religious magazine, to explain his rationale. He argued that the legislation singled out the Catholic Church, when many institutions, especially public schools, were also responsible for extensive sexual abuse of children. MORE

PHAWKER: Not sure what raping children, covering it up, stonewalling the authorities, discrediting/intimidating/buying the silence of victims and then, ludicrously, blaming it all on the hippies has to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ, but this much is clear, we have ZERO tolerance for lectures about morality from the likes of you. Frankly, we think the Catholic Church has come to resemble a criminal enterprise and has vacated whatever moral authority it once had a long, long time ago. And no, putting on a Phillies cap doesn’t make it all better.

RELATED: The Vatican encouraged Catholic bishops not to tell police about suspected pedophile priests and flouted Irish law, Ireland’s lawmakers declared Wednesday in an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See’s influence in this predominantly Catholic country. The government and all opposition parties unanimously backed a motion accusing the Vatican of sabotaging the Irish bishops’ 1996 decision to begin reporting suspected cases of child abuse to police. “This is not Rome. This is the Republic of Ireland 2011, a republic of laws,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny told lawmakers. In a direct challenge to the Vatican, Kenny denounced what he called “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism – and the narcissism – that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.” He said the church’s leaders had repeatedly sought to defend their institutions at the expense of children, and to “parse and analyze” every revelation of church cover-up of crimes. Wednesday marked the first time that Ireland’s parliament has lambasted the Vatican, rather than local church leaders, over the past 17 years of pedophile-priest scandals in Ireland. MORE

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