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Archbishop Chaput Taking Helm In Philadelphia

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FILE -- In a July 1, 2008 file photo Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput speaks during a news conference in Denver. The independent National Catholic Reporter, citing unnamed sources, reported that Pope Benedict XVI will name Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver to succeed Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali who is expected to step down Tuesday July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Will Powers, FILE) | AP File

PHILADELPHIA — Archbishop Charles Chaput (chap-YEW') took the helm of the troubled Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia on Thursday by telling followers "the church is not defined by her failures."

The outspoken Chaput didn't shy away from veiled references to the church's woes, chief among them in Philadelphia the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

Chaput says Catholics should not be "defined by critics or those who dislike us."

The 66-year-old Chaput is known as a conservative leader, devoted to evangelism and outspoken about his disapproval of "cafeteria Catholics" and Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.

In a lighter moment in his homily, the new arrival from Denver likened his Philadelphia post to "an arranged marriage" – with the pope as matchmaker.

But he said arranged marriages work if people get to know and love each other.

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