Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Archbishop Chaput critiques famous JFK 'Houston speech'
By setting up artificial barriers between private beliefs and public actions, Kennedy harmed the cause of Catholic influence in American political affairs, Archbishop Chaput says:
"His Houston remarks profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America’s public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we’re paying for the damage."
Kennedy was right to say that he would be guided by his own conscience in his execution of the public trust, the archbishop argues. But he was wrong to suggest that his conscience could or should be separated from the guidance of his Church.
Archbishop Chaput says that the net result of the "Houston speech" was a gain for secularists who seek to remove religious influence from public life. He remarks that "too many Christian individuals, Protestant and Catholic alike, live their faith as if it were 'private idiosyncrasy' which they try to prevent from becoming a 'public nuisance.'"
Read the full speech here.
at 1:30 PM