Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput issued the following statement Monday, Oct. 29 regarding Hurricane Sandy. Archdiocesan parochial and secondary schools will remain closed Tuesday, Oct. 30, as will the offices of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. 

Every election year Americans argue about the scale and role of government.  This year is no different.  In Catholic thought, government has an important but carefully limited role, with a special stress on local accountability and ensuring public safety.  This year, a storm like Hurricane Sandy has the power to show public officials at their best or worst.

While Sandy is far from over, Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett and other governors and mayors of the tri-state area have so far responded quickly and vigorously in serving their people where it matters most — at the local and state levels, where the “common good” has flesh and blood meaning.

Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter, as well as all of our region’s emergency responders, have the gratitude of the whole Catholic community.

As the storm continues, Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its programs remain operational in the community. Our service centers are available for shelter should community members need them. While we do not have active disaster relief in place during the storm, we will cooperate fully with the Red Cross and government agencies to provide food, alternate shelter and financial relief as needed after the storm.

Please pray for all those persons injured or forced to leave their homes because of this extraordinary weather disaster.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia