Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia speaks with the same direct, guile-free way he writes. As a pastor of a large American city, he knows his audience: They are largely post-Christian, cynical about “organized religion,” and don’t abide clichés and easy grace.

Archbishop Chaput (pronounced SHAP-you) is also a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi tribe, the second Native American to be consecrated a bishop in the United States and the first Native American archbishop. You might say he comes from a non-immigrant family.

I spoke with him about his latest book, Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World, a sort of follow-up to the thesis he laid out seven years ago in First Things journal essay, “Catholics and the Next America.” That America is here. Ignited Catholics eager to spread the gospel…not so much.

Chaput has been called “alarmist” by the usual suspects in the lamescream media. Christian realist is more accurate. As Christian leaders go, His Excellency is hard-headed and soft-hearted, not the other way around. You’ll find this a conversation worth sharing after you enjoy it yourself.


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