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Catholic leader warns if gov't 'mandates evil,' then 'civil disobedience' likely

Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia - public domain.

"The more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes ..."

Although widely ignored by most of the American media, as well as many of his brother priests doing their best to distance themselves from him, one of the leading Catholic clerics in the United States has warned Barack Obama that the more "government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes," as reported by the right-of-center Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com) on Feb. 14, 2014.

Perhaps his clerical collar belies his American Indian warrior heritage, but never known to hold back in his criticisms of many of Barack Obama's decisions and policies, Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput (pronounced "chap-you") was blunt and straightforward in stating what he's labeled "government mandated evil" forced on the American people.

Considered by more than a few conservative and traditionally-minded Catholics as one of the few American clerics with the fortitude to make a public stance in defense of basic Catholic teaching, His Excellency was asked in an interview with CNSNews.com:

What should Catholics do in the face of government mandates that would force them to act against key tenets of the Faith?

Unlike many Catholic priests and bishops who are careful to parse their words, fearful of being labeled as either insensitive or too harsh, the Archbishop's response both mirrored correct Catholic teaching as well as giving a blunt yet likely conclusion to the legal edicts forced on the populace:

Catholics have a duty to respect legitimate authority and pray for our political leaders, whether we personally care for them or not. The Church seeks to cooperate with public officials because we’re a community of citizens as well as believers.

But there are limits, and the more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes.

The Archbishop has a long history of defending Christianity in the face of repressive governmental mandates.

During his interview with CNSNews.com he hammered "an unfriendly political class" and the apathetic "distracted attention and indifference" of fellow Christians when he stated that "'government pressure on religious communities has clearly increased.' Which is why, he says, that religious freedom must not be taken for granted, but be 'vigorously defended' in the nation’s courts and state houses."

In a clear case of speaking truth to power, Archbishop Chaput held little back when he frankly stated:

I think President Obama’s recent prayer breakfast comments about religious freedom were interesting but also curious, because in practice, the people who staff his administration have been the most tone deaf to religious liberty issues in recent memory.

There’s a very odd disconnect in praising religious freedom while the Justice Department goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Only in America ...

The Kansas native is also a member of the Prairie Band of the Potawatomi Tribe on his mother's side, and French Canadian on his father's.

His Potawatomi name is "the wind that rustles the leaves of the tree" while his Sioux name is "good eagle."

On his French side he is directly descended from Saint King Louis IX of France.

Archbishop Chaput is only the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States, and the first American Indian archbishop ever.