Jim Gardner One-On-One with Archbishop Charles Chaput: Security, impact of pope's visit

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Jim Gardner sits down Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Charles Chaput was installed as Philadelphia's 9th archbishop in September of 2011.

Chaput's tenure will, in significant part, be defined by the success of September's visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia and the World Meeting of Families.

I spoke with Archbishop Charles Chaput at the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

What do you think the spiritual impact of the pope's visit will be on your archdiocese?

Chaput: I know personally that the visit from of the pope can be hugely transformative and I'm praying for that for our archdiocese that we will become as energized for the church as the pope has made the universal church energized by his new presence, his new style of being a pope. I have a lot of hopes that we are going to be different, more confident, more enthusiastic.

You have made substantial progress in reducing a multimillion dollar budget deficit in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I wonder if the pope's visit will have a positive financial impact on the archdiocese.


Chaput: If the pope's visit encourages people to recommit themselves of being an active part of their parishes, it's going to change our parishes, perhaps we'll reopen some of them that have been merged because there will be a reason to do it.

So the bottom line is the more people who are engaged with the church, by definition, the better your financial situation.

Chaput: It's only that. People put their money where their heart is and if their heart isn't someplace, they don't contribute.

When I think of 2 million people coming out to the Ben Franklin Parkway to attend a mass celebrated by the pope, my primary worry would be security and I wonder on a scale of 1 to 10, how nervous are you about security?

Chaput: Well, I think that is the big worry. By security, we don't mean a terroristic attack. We mean just care for the people that are here, that they are comfortable enough not to be at risk in terms of their health or hostility toward their neighbor.

It isn't just the papal security we worry about, but the people. I think Boston taught us that. There can be deliberate terrorist attacks against crowds. So I'm worried about that. Certainly, the people who are responsible of those things in our city and in our country are worried about that.

The pope is going to receive personal protection from the federal government because he's a head of state. We're really confident that we're going to do a good job, but I think everybody else who comes has to be careful about their neighbor and have concern about their neighbor so that we can have a very positive, pleasant experience.

In Part 2, the archbishop's view on a number of the contentious and controversial social issues facing the church.

Related Topics:
religionJim Gardner One on Onecharles chaputpope francisworld meeting of families 2015philly news
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