Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archdiocese addressed students on the importance of maintaining a loyalty towards the nation but maintaining a stronger one towards God on Tuesday Mar. 22 at the Marriott Center.
He is the ninth archbishop of Philadelphia and the first ever Native American archbishop.
Archbishop Chaput spoke on the similarities Catholics and LDS members share as foreigners within the nation when fighting to live a different lifestyle compared to the society.
“We Catholics not only don’t fit in America, but we know we don’t fit. And because we know, we’re doubly eager to prove that we’re more American than anybody else,” Archbishop Chaput said.
He said Catholics often have to prove their allegiance to America due to the discrimination many have experienced.
“They were committed to proving their loyalty as good citizens integrated into the American mainstream. So for America’s bishops, Catholics would be more than merely loyal. They’d be zealously patriotic,” Archbishop Chaput said.
He explained there is an importance of not keeping a patriotism towards the America that promotes “abortion, confused sex, language police, entitlements, consumer and corporate greed, clownish politics and government bullying of religious groups.”
“Our task as believers, whatever our religious tradition, is to witness our love for God and for each other in the time and place God puts us,” Archbishop Chaput said. “That means we have duties- first to the City of God, but also to the City of Man.”
He also said Christians need to work with all their energy to make their nation whole and good, to keep their expectations modest, even when they experience criticism and failure.
The Archbishop praised the LDS church’s global interactivity and support. He encouraged students to “nourish your faith and identity as a university grounded in faith.”
“Faith in God is the road to life. Faith in a loving God is the light that illuminates and gives meaning to human reason and to all of life. Real excellence is a quality of the soul,” Archbishop Chaput said.
He advised students to move forward by fighting “for our own integrity and the integrity of our country to fight for our convictions in the public square.” He said anything less is a kind of cowardice.
He also told students to live up to the task to keep a fidelity to God, spouses, children and friends. He instructed students to “trust in the goodness of people.”
“We need to wake each other up to see the world and our nation as they really are – the good along with the evil. We need to support each other in the work for religious freedom and treat each other as friends, not enemies or strangers,” Archbishop Chaput said.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks was also present for the forum and escorted Archbishop Charles Chaput out after the address.