.- On August 12, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver will release his latest book, which focuses on a question of undeniable importance for Catholics in the U.S. but also around the world: What is the role of faith in the public square? Fr. Robert Imbelli, a Boston College associate professor of Theology, gives readers an insightful and well-written review of the archbishop’s book, which will be published in L’Osservatore Romano.
By Fr. Robert Imbelli
This new book by the Archbishop of Denver, Colorado, though addressed primarily to his fellow Catholics, will also serve to foster a much-needed conversation both within and outside the Church. Moreover, it appears at a particularly significant time: the eve of one of the most important presidential elections in recent American history.
One can read the book on several levels, each illuminating the other. The first level is indicated by the book’s subtitle: “serving the nation by living our Catholic beliefs in political life.”
Central to the author’s position is that faith, though intensely and constitutively personal, is never private. Relationship with God through Jesus Christ is inseparably relationship with others in Jesus Christ, as the great judgment scene in chapter twenty-five of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew makes abundantly clear.
But, even beyond this, biblical faith always has social and even political implications. Anyone who takes seriously the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament readily acknowledges this. And the fulfillment of revelation in Jesus Christ only intensifies the believer’s vocation to foster the coming of the Kingdom in every dimension of human life.