Pope Francis names Spokane bishop to Chicago, dashing conservative hopes

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Bishop of Spokane, Blase Cupich, welcomes Fast for Families on March 6, 2013, during an evening community meeting at Gonzaga University.

Photo courtesy of Fast 4 Families via Flickr

Bishop of Spokane, Blase Cupich, welcomes Fast for Families on March 6, 2013, during an evening community meeting at Gonzaga University.

(RNS) Pope Francis on Saturday will name Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing, to be the next archbishop of Chicago, according to news reports and multiple church sources.

It is the pontiff’s most important U.S. appointment to date and one that could upend decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy.

Cupich, 65, will succeed Cardinal Francis George, a doctrinal and cultural conservative who has headed one of the American church’s pre-eminent dioceses since 1997. In that time he became a vocal leader among the bishops and earned a reputation as a feisty culture warrior in line with the Vatican of the late St. John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI.

That track record won him fans on the Catholic right, but George was seen as out of step with Francis’ desire for more pastoral bishops who are less focused on picking fights over sex and more involved in promoting the church’s social justice teachings and sticking close to the poor.

Cupich, who will now be in line to get a cardinal’s red hat, would seem to fit that bill.

Named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Diocese of Spokane in September 2010, Cupich (pronounced “SOUP-itch”) has steadily staked out positions that align him with Catholics who want the church to engage the world rather than rail against the forces of secularism.

In March 2012, for example, in the midst of the bishops’ nasty battle with the Obama administration over religious freedom and the employer mandate to provide free contraception coverage, Cupich wrote an essay in America magazine titled “Staying Civil.”

In that column, Cupich called for dialogue with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services rather than constant confrontation, and said the crisis was a chance to find “common ground.”

“While the outrage to the H.H.S. decision was understandable, in the long run threats and condemnations have a limited impact,” he wrote.

The phrase “common ground” also resonated because it was associated with the approach of George’s predecessor in Chicago, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who embodied the hopes of a more progressive church — hopes that seemed to end with George.

George is 77 and has been battling a recurrence of bladder cancer, and he said he expected a successor to be named sometime this fall, though not this quickly. All bishops are required to offer their resignations at age 75.

Word that George’s replacement was to be named began circulating Friday evening and seemed confirmed when the archdiocese announced a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, but without revealing the topic.

While Cupich had been seen as a long shot to replace George, his name also began surfacing Friday night and was confirmed by multiple church sources and first reported by The Associated Press.

Cupich is a Nebraska native who was educated in Rome and served in a number of church posts before he was first appointed a bishop as head of the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D.

As head of the Spokane diocese, which covers the eastern half of Washington state, Cupich was known for reaching out to a largely unchurched population and for promoting the church’s social justice teachings in a region suffering from the effects of the recession.

Cupich also gained notice in 2012 by adopting a moderate line when Washington voters went to the polls to vote in a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage.

In a pastoral letter read from all the pulpits in the diocese, Cupich defended the church’s position against same-sex marriage but he called for a respectful debate and he forcefully condemned any attempt “to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity.”

“It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action,” Cupich wrote. “Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”

Cupich also frequently praised the new approach of Pope Francis, who was elected in March of 2013, echoing his call for a more collaborative church and a greater attention to the church’s social justice teaching.

In June this year, Cupich was a featured speaker at a Washington, D.C., seminar sponsored by Catholic University of America convened to question whether one could be a good Catholic and espouse libertarian economic ideas.

The event was headlined by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of Francis’ closest advisers, and in his talk Cupich echoed the cardinal’s powerful denunciation of libertarianism’s effects.

Growing inequality, Cupich said, is creating “a powder keg that is as dangerous as the environmental crisis the world is facing today.”

Cupich said political leaders cannot wage this debate “from the 30,000-foot level of ideas” but must take into account the real-life implications of policies as they play out on the ground.

“Reality,” he said, quoting Francis, “is greater than ideas.”

The move to Chicago will be a big change for Cupich in many ways. He is leaving a diocese of 90,000 Catholics and 82 parishes to take charge of a sprawling and storied archdiocese with more than 350 parishes and 2.2 million Catholics.


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  • Andy

    yes, Josep Ratzinger comes to mind.

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  • Ed

    I’d be interested to hear how Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict refused to participate in debate, and encouraged hostility.

  • Connie

    Bishop Daniel Jenky. Look him up.

  • Mariana S.

    This is a good selection by Pope Francis, but a disappointing “us” vs “them” perspective from this writer. Can we grow up and stop doing that?

  • Pat Smith

    “end decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy”

    Oh my gosh, I am laughing so hard…
    …”conservative dominance”…
    …LOL, I am falling off my chair…
    …”of the American hierarchy”…
    …fits of hysteria are starting to overwhelm me…
    Let’s see, I’m counting the 5 or 6 US Bishops that MIGHT by a stretch actually be labeled “conservative”… oh, here comes the hysteria again!
    The Democrat Party has OWNED the USCCB for 50 years or longer! The US Cardinals close to the Pope are openly socialists! And as for moral theology…uh, what’s that?!?

  • Pat Smith

    Benedict does not have a hostile bone is his body. He is a seeker of truth first, and those who charge him with slanderous notions usually have never even read a single book by him.

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  • Nate

    “The event was headlined by Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of Francis’ closest advisers, and in his talk Cupich echoed the cardinal’s powerful denunciation of libertarianism’s effects.”

    Well that’s unfortunate. And i’ll bet he had no idea what he was talking about when he condemned libertarianism. Trying to make it out to be some sort of absolute individualism when it’s real core principle is the recognition of people’s free will both socially and economically and NOT trying to use the state to force what they want upon others. Not to mention it’s support of an authentic free market which has done far more to advance social justice than leftism (socialism) could ever hope to.

    meanwhile, many on the right do also suck in some aspects, but the last thing our church needs is more neo-socialists.

  • Nate

    I can’t seem to find the “like” button…

  • David Jackson

    Wow! As an attempting reforming dual thinking Brit RC – it must be really difficult in the USA church to avoid the divisiveness and hurt of dualistic labelling and get somewhere near the non- dual mind of the Gospel message both sides are seeking to defend. It usually is both/ and and rarely “either / or”. Come on ye brothers and sisters in the faith – over the ditch here we look to your soft power and Christian strength for hope and love and enlightenment. Swords into ploughshares – necessary within the Church if it is to provide those “missionary disciples” we need in the mission of the “loving service of all that exists” (St J P 2 in NMI).

  • ronald

    You know, I really admired that Pope Benedict. I was converted to Christianity by Jack Chick comics, so I always regarded the Catholics as a blasphemous Mary-worshipping cult. But Pope Benedict showed me the Catholic Church in a new light, a Catholic Church that aligned with evangelicals like me on the important spiritual issue facing Christendom: fighting the gays and the athiests!

    This new Pope, I don’t like too much. He seems real liberal, like he is more concerned with helping poor people. I guess he forgot the most important line in Scripture: God helps those who help themselfs.

  • The Great God Pan

    “The Democrat Party has OWNED the USCCB for 50 years or longer!”

    Is that why the bishops opposed the Affordable Care Act?

  • Jim Englert

    John Nienstedt

  • Steve Newton, CSC

    Satire, right?

  • opheliart

    There are many questions in the push to “feed the poor.”

    The poor spoken of in Holy Scripture has more to do with SPIRITUALLY poor … for it is in this vein that one is either moving or not moving. If dogmatic in thought, and self-oppressing through old school theology, dependent on man-instituted hierarchal mandate, one remains poor in Spirit: he does not take up his mat … why remain a vagrant of Knowledge?

    It is easily done to motivate ignorance, manipulate arrogance and suppress Spiritual Ingenuity through constancy of alignment. Some Religious agencies promote all three. Using the poor for agency (agenda) does not advise wellness. It may appear on the surface to be the ticket, but often causes government negligence and poor feeding habits. I have worked both soup kitchen and survival center. I know what I have seen. The waste is excruciating.
    Many city planners are realizing that to have so many soup kitchens and manna centers draws the homeless, and in this, there runs the risk of creating a substance abuse problem. If you think about this dynamic … you will see it.

    Why are many of you so tolerant of these agendas? Do you know WHERE your money is really going? For that matter, do you know where you are going?

    Peace and Love.

  • Steve

    When you begin the debate by referring to homosexuals as “intrinsically disordered,” I would say that this encourages hostility and is disrespectful to the gay person’s humanity. Pope Francis, through the bishops he is appointing, is telling Catholics to avoid this type of language. I’d have to say Steven, you’re the only one here with a bias.

  • Jack Urban

    Bishop Cupich graduated from my high school (Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School 9 years before I did) but was also pastor of my parish (St Robert Bellarmine) in Omaha for one year when the founding pastor retired. He immediately became my favorite priest of all time. There must be something in the water here as my previous favorite was Fr. John Vernon who was an administrator at the high school at the time Blaise Cupich was a student there. Bishop Cupich has a great intellect, memorizes his homilies and has a great sense of humor (and timing as he could be a stand-up comic had he chosen that profession). I always thought he would make his way back to Omaha as its archbishop at some point but he is destined for a bigger role. The people of Chicago are in for a treat. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is made a cardinal very shortly after being installed as archbishop. Had he been 10 years younger at this stage of his career, I could see him as a serious candidate for pope.

  • opheliart

    “Bishop Cupich has a great intellect, memorizes his homilies and has a great sense of humor (and timing as he could be a stand-up comic had he chosen that profession).”

    A smart, funny guy … who MEMORIZES—wouldn’t this be a type of Performance Art no different from the TV Evangelists? Why not just give him Fulton’s Sheen’s spot?


  • opheliart


    ‘Futon’ Sheen’s spot 🙂

  • Doc Anthony

    Let me guess. Somebody out there was expecting Catholicism’s first gay-marriage Pope, to pick a CONSERVATIVE for that post??

  • Doc Anthony

    Umm, “satire” is all Ronald does, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Scroll past it.

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  • Doc Anthony

    Well, there IS a specific answer to your question…and you may find it unpleasant, honestly.

    You see, Catholic leaders like Cardinal George and Pope Benedict have been a MAJOR reason why America hasn’t already legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. It was the Catholics and the Mormons who really spearheaded California’s historic Proposition 8, and who placed a major delay on the Gay Marriage Cult’s timetable.

    But now. Catholics now have a Gay-Marriage Pope, Pope Francis, and HE is going to make sure that your American bishops, leaders and lay-emembers NEVER AGAIN mobilize as a united political and legal front to stop the steamrollers of the Gay Marriage Cult.

    Sure, Pope Francis will let you say privately and quietly that gay marriage is a sin, but Francis is absolutely opposed to ANY attempt by Catholics to **politically** or **legally** take a stand against the Gay Marriage Cult anymore. He supports the Cult, de facto,

    That’s the real deal, Ed. That’s how bad things really are now.

  • Chris

    Conservatives in the Catholic are often intolerant of liberal and progressive Catholics, often have blinding dogmatic beliefs that have nothing to do with Jesus’s message or his mission, and are obsessed with extremely arcane theological and uniquely Roman Catholic ideas and doctrines that no one really cares about and ever fewer people understand or believe. 1) They are obsessed with the Roman Catholic Church being the only “True Church” (A Pointless, Dangerous, and not Helpful or Constructive Christian Attitude) and Roman Catholics claim that the Roman Catholic Church goes all the back to the original Apostles starting with Saint Peter (This Doesn’t Really mean much if you are no longer practicing and don’t believe what the Early Christian Church taught and believed) . Fact: There is no strong historical or biblical supporting evidence that St. Peter was ever the first Pope in Rome or that Peter lived or died in Rome. Acts of the Apostles actually points to James the Brother of Jesus being the first Apostle and leader of the Early Christian Church in Jerusalem not Rome. Peter was called the Rock who Jesus himself said he would build his Church. Yet, James is disclosed as leader of the early Church in Jerusalem not Peter. Perhaps Peter did live and lead a congregation in Rome. Nevertheless, this is a very weak argument as to why Rome has the right to claim it is the only “True Catholic Church”. Answer: Rome has to show it is sticking to Original Christian Teachings and Doctrine and not making up new Doctrine’s and teachings as it goes along simply because the Pope declares it so. There needs to be scholarly consensus and an agreement by all top Scholars and Theologians that this is in agreement with the original Christian doctrine, tradition and scriptures. 2) The Pope has declared Mary is an elevated divine person much like Jesus who was immaculately conceived and was without sin. Fact: There is no supporting evidence in the Bible or other early Christian sources that Mary the Mother of Jesus had an immaculate conception or that she was without sin. This was entirely dreamed up by the Roman Catholic Church to elevate Mary’s status due to Mary’s extreme devotion and following by Roman Catholic Followers. Mary’s popularity and status has largely been driven by and influenced by women devotees and followers with whom Mary is extremely popular. While at the same time the Roman Catholic Church has denied women any equal roles in Worship & Clergy. Rome is quick to exploit Mary so that it equates with the message that the Role of Women in the Catholic Church is to be only Mothers and have Children. 3) The last few Popes have all declared that sex is innately evil and sinful and is only allowed for in the express purpose of having children. Sex for pleasure is immoral and sinful and is prohibited!!!. Fact: The Bible does prohibit adultery. However the Bible clearly does not forbid sex for the sole purpose of personal pleasure nor does the Bible dictate that having sex is sin or sinful in itself. Childbearing is claimed to be the punishment of Adam and Eve for disobeying God, but the Bible does not say that people cannot have sex simply for pleasure. It makes no such claim.

  • Rick

    “The Democrat Party has OWNED the USCCB for 50 years or longer!”

    I guess when you fell off your chair you smacked your head. You’re about 30 years off. It is true that for a 50 year time span from the 1930s to the 1980s (and I’m being conservative as it could have been a little longer in either direction) many if not most bishops could be considered Democrats, but that has changed. Most bishops now are much more conservative and therefore more likely to be Republican. I honestly don’t know their party affiliation, if any, and neither do you. (It should also be pointed out that 50 years ago there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, so no one fits neatly into a box.) They may not all be culture warriors in the mold of Cardinal Burke, but more conservative they are.

  • Josh DeCuir

    Ah, yes – another one of Mr. Gibson’s “Francis versus the conservatives” articles. I think he’s got these on auto-write by now.

    Of course, Mr. Gibson is apparently unaware of Francis’s OTHER appointment this week – in Sydney, where Francis has added to the “conservative” bench. Now, with this appointment, he ensures there are differing styles & points of view.

    I wish Mr. Gibson had the same appreciation for diverse styles & view points as Pope Francis apparently does!

  • William Murphy

    Steven: I agree with you. I would add one thing, most of the hostility and disrespect in the ‘same sex marriage’ debate seems to come from the homosexual advocates.

  • William Murphy

    ‘intrinsically disordered’ is only part of the Catechism.

  • opheliart

    Well, Chris … some can appreciate what you share here, and if any of the arcane mindset were to actually DISCERN in the message of the Christ instead of relying on their Roman precepts of the Papacy, such as …



    (source: The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy: The Church AD 1071- 1453, Aristeides Papadakis in collaboration with John Meyendorff)

    … they might see their demise. The one thing the Rc cannot abide, and that is to appear wrong—having erred. They were a POLITICAL MAGISTRATE from the start … and they remain so. Where is Christ in this picture?

    Answer: Crucified.


  • Karyn Miller

    Read Matthew 25:31-46. 40And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

  • Carl

    Go join the Episcopal church.

  • Carl

    It’s not a debate. It’s the moral law. Bye.

  • Pbgt

    What planet are u from? Pope Francis has NEVER supported gay marriage. He is simply saying that beyond the notion of two men or two woman “marrying” are human beings worthy of love. He would never preside over a “gay marriage”.

  • Shawnie5

    Extra credit for you. Ronald’s comedy is not in his clumsy attempts at satire themselves, but in how few catch on.

  • Kris

    Bishop Jenky (Peoria diocese) and Bishop Paprocki (Springfield diocese) have both been strong in maintaining the Church’s stance on social issues. However, Bishop Jenky has also allowed Common Core to infiltrate our Catholic schools and that’s a huge problem.

  • Ray McCracken

    The U.S bishops continue to dance with the devil by endorsing the GOP and consequently they have lost their prophetic voice. They had hoped that they would be taken care of when it came to legislation on gay marriage, contraception, and abortion. I suppose they never will learn, with the devil there is always payback.

  • ndfansince53

    “Unfair” liberal v conservative???
    Cardinal George used the Body and Blood of Christ as a political tool in favor of a particular ideology. He did it often.
    He should be ashamed of himself except he’s too arrogant to figure it out.
    He actually thinks that since he is ordained that he is a better Catholic than all lay people. Yeah, him and the pedophiles he protected.

  • TLM

    Agree 1000% with you Doc……in their quest for ‘mercy’ (and rightfully so), they are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Gone with the wind is ‘Admonish the Sinner’……not one of the precepts of the Church any longer I guess. According to some, there IS no such thing as real SIN. No such thing as hell and really, no one would go there even if it did exist. Oh wait…..just as long as you are ‘well meaning’. Heck, even atheists go to heaven!…the ‘good’ ones that is.

  • Betty Clermont

    Well said, Ray McCracken! The definition of “progressive” for the U.S. episcopate means to still oppose civil rights for the LBGT community and still work to deprive women of affordable health care (a guise for supporting the GOP) but saying it nicely. “Big Money” conservatives are extremely pleased to have an alliance with a Church that no longer sounds bonkers. (Cardinal George called Obama a “despot” and supporters of same-sex marriage “Nazis.”)

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  • Jennifer S

    Thank you, David Jackson! I appreciate your reminder. It is a challenge at times but here are the words I try to follow each day: “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

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  • Nattu

    David Gibson is getting weirder and weirder. There is no evidence that Cupich was “closely identified with progressives” This is just Gibson pulling stuff out of his rear end. And “dashing hopes of conservatives”? How would Gibson be able to tell, since the wrote the article a few hours after the announcement of Cupich was announced, so “conservatives” had not had time to react.

    David Gibson makes up his own facts, it seems.

  • Rob

    so doing wrong is open for debate . now I understand why catholic priests have so many child molesters amoung there ranks.. Gods law isn’t nice in fact it tells they deserve hell ..
    no debate about that .

    . Gods love is wrapped up in his package called repentance .. as God takes that wrapping off for us we find God working in it producing a sorrowful heart and merciful God ..

    both messages have to be clear and with out compromise the message of Gods law that damns us to hell and

    the message of Gods Mercy and grace for those truly sorry for their sins and now wanting his mercy and forgiveness found only in Jesus his blood pored out on the cross for all..

  • Willem jackson

    Look, I come from the poorest part of Chicago. I grew up with pastors teaching me social justice, social equality, etc., and we were encouraged to vote for folks who have us more benefits. That just gave the politicians more power., not us. That kept us poor and angry, and our church told us to blame folks who had more than us. Wasn’t until I was older, and worked for a gentleman who gave me a shot at going somewhere. Moved my family the heck out of the city and never looked back. Wasn’t until I started getting taxed, then I took am interest in politics. My former boss and I talked, and he told me he was active in the libertarian party. I lived what he preached, and I’m happy and materially comfortable. I lived what the Chicago church preached, and I was miserable. I think they need to redefine justice and compassion. Because sitting around angry, praising politicians who have me hand outs, was not good for my soul. God wants me happy and free, not a slave to a pastor doing his bidding for politicians. Kindness towards all is social justice. Convincing me as a young man that I was a victim, and my pastor and elected officials were my savior, now that’s no social justice. That’s hijacking God for political power. God bless.

  • Curious

    While the blatant misspellings and factual errors are dead giveaways, I see little to distinguish the substance of “Ronald’s” take on Christianity from, say, those of Shawnie or (especially) Doc Anthony. Ask yourself whether they, or prominent Christian leaders like Robert P. George and Bryan Fischer, are any less mean-spirited or more loving than poor, benighted “Ronald.”

  • People who find fault with everything the Pope does pretty much behave like modern time pharasies.

    Mark 2 15-17

  • opheliart


    Which Pope?

    And btw, didn’t the current ‘pope’ say that “the pope is an institution” …? So, no one is permitted to comment on the acts of the institution?

    From The National Catholic Reporter, March 7, 2014

    The Vatican is trying to reassure Catholics and the public that Pope Francis takes the clerical sex abuse crisis seriously in the wake of defensive comments Francis made this week, the first serious bump in the road for a pope approaching the first anniversary of his election with sky-high approval ratings.
    In an interview published Wednesday with an Italian newspaper, Francis was asked about the scandal that has shaken the faith of many Catholics, especially in the U.S., and why he hasn’t fought back against criticisms of the church’s record.

    Francis began by acknowledging that “the cases of abuse are terrible because they leave very profound wounds,” but he then shifted to praise the policies on abuse instituted by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, while asserting that the Catholic Church has “advanced a lot, perhaps more than anyone” in battling the sexual abuse of children.

    “The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that moved with transparency and responsibility,” the pope continued, arguing that most abuse occurs in the home or other community environments. “No one else did as much. And yet, the church is the only one being attacked.”

    That prompted a torrent of criticism from victims advocates and others who noted that Francis did not apologize for the abuse, has not disciplined any bishops who covered up for abusers and has yet to meet with any abuse victims or name any members to a commission he promised to establish three months ago.

    “His comments reflect an archaic, defensive mindset,” said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

    “He is triumphalist about clergy abuse of children and silent about the complicity of bishops,” said Terence McKiernan, head of BishopAccountability.org.

    “Hearing the Pope use the abuse-occurs-elsewhere excuse is truly disheartening,” said the U.S.-based church reform group Voice of the Faithful, echoing a sense of disappointment among many Catholics who hoped the pope’s pledges and moves to reform the church on many levels would extend to an examination of conscience on clergy abuse.


    In an NBC news piece titled “Not Everyone Loves Francis,” Boston College theology professor Thomas Groome pondered whether or not true Catholic conservatives would be able to keep supporting the Pope’s new approach towards acceptance and mercy and still keep their faith. “I think it will be a real test for conservative Catholics,” he told NBC. “They have always pointed the finger, quoting the Pope for the last 35 years. Suddenly, will they stop quoting the Pope? It’ll be a good test of whether or not they’re really Catholics.”

    But it’s not just traditionalists who are finding fault with Francis. Writing in the New Statesman, John Bloodworth, editor of the popular British progressive political blog Left Foot Forward, warns that Francis is no different from his predecessors and that the Catholic Church “stands on roughly the same political terrain as it did under the leadership of Pope Benedict.” He says part of Francis’s popularity is simply a result of “clever repackaging” of the same Catholic propaganda coupled with a troubled society’s search for a new hero, which, he says, “has resulted in people switching off their critical faculties and overlooking inconvenient truths.” Bloodworth blames the mainstream press for essentially drinking the Catholic Kool-Aid without really checking for substance. “Pope Francis’s position on most issues should make the hair of every liberal curl,” he says. “Instead we get article after article of saccharine from people who really should know better.


  • opheliart

    Continued from previous …

    Which leaves one to believe that it is quite possible your theologian pope did not really retire … leading one to wonder if Malachy was correct.

    Now, there’s a bit of chicken for your noodle “soup” ich.


    Peace to you, Frances

  • Jim

    Before anyone takes a big gulp of David Gibson’s Kool-Aid and starts having visions of women priests and church-sanctioned gay weddings in jolly ol’ Chi-Town, perhaps he or she should consider this angle:


    Or consider the very words of the newly appointed bishop himself in his recent press-conference when he said: “I think his (The Pope’s) priority is not to send a message, but a bishop.”

  • Hilary Boone

    I’m from Louisville, KY. home of the former Vice-President and now current President of the USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. He was also appointed to the “Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches” a dicastry of the Holy See that assists the Holy Father on matters pertaining to Catholics of the Eastern Rite, which are quite a few, but not so much in the United States. I know, I am one. I switched to the Byzantine Rite in 1985 by Papal Rescript. However, Archbishop Kurtz sure had the support of his fellow bishops both as vice-president, and now as president of the USCCB. He bacame archbishop of Louisville in 2007 since that time in the short span of seven years he has the accomplishments i listed above. Usually prelates of that stature are eventually made cardinals. I suspect Archbishop Kurtz will eventually be a cardinal but all of the Cardinalate Sees in the United States are occupied if not all made cardinal yet as in Los Angeles, and Philidelphia. I suppose we will have to see if our prominate, and favored Archbishop here in Louisville does eventually move up to the cardinalate. of course as I mentioned all the Cardinalate Sees are occupied in the United States so where to put him is a question? We know one thing though, it does seem the Holy Father does want more of a progressive presence in the American Church. Archbishop Kurtz, a moderate conservative in my view would not be someone who Francis would have wanted for Chicago anyway despite the Archbishop’s appointment to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and his term as vice-president and subsequent current term as president of the USCCB. It is a surprise though that Archbishop Kurtz wasen’t appointed with all his popularity at least among his fellow bishops an even the appointment recently by the Holy Father himself. That’s a lot of confidence and trust in a prelate within a seven year period. Surely Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has higher to serve in Holy Church just probably not during this more progressive pontificate. i would like to see him move on up but at the same time I would miss him and would be afraid of who we in Louisville would get next. Someday when we do get a new Archbishop I hope he is a lot like Archbishop Kurtz, a truly Catholic archbishop and a truly good and decent man.

  • stilbelieve

    @The Great God Pan: “…Is that why the bishops opposed the Affordable Care Act?”

    The bishops supported and promoted the Affordable Care Act during and after its passage. They still do support it, but now only if the crazy Obama addition of mandating all insurance policies to provide birth control including abortifacients is not applicable to insurance policies provided by religious minded employers. It was only after Obama had Obamacare in law did he pull a fast one on the bishops by doing that. It is obvious he had that planned from the beginning. His illegal and purely dictatorial mandating that the insurance companies not charge for the birth control in policies religious employers provide is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen a politician try to pull.

  • stilbelieve


    There is no doubt that the Democratic Party has maybe not “owned the USCCB” for “50 years or longer” but they sure have used them that long, and never more successfully than getting the “social justices” issues moved into the house that Pro-Life built, at the direction of Cardinal Bernardin, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Chicago – the biggest and most corrupt Democrat city in the country. A mayor and 50 city councilmen run the government, and all of them are Democrats!

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  • jtaylor

    “Cult”, where do you get that from?

  • Rodolfo Ernesto Vides Alegría

    Thank you Doc ony for saying this outloud.
    Bergoglio is NOT good at ALL.

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  • epau

    As Jesus stated a man and woman become one. A man and man never, ever become one. Hence, civil contract between friends occurs but never, ever a marriage in the Catholic Church. Thank you.