The Catholic world has been abuzz over the news that Blase Cupich will succeed Francis Cardinal George as the ninth archbishop of Chicago. Cupich, who has led two small American dioceses Spokane, Washington, and Rapid City, South Dakota (where he succeeded Charles Chaput) will take the reins this month of the third-largest archdiocese in the nation.
An examination of the reactions to episcopal appointments from Americas flagship progressive Catholic weekly often yields a pretty good indication of where a bishop stands. The fact that the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) speaks glowingly of Cupich and has even dedicated a special section of its website to the new archbishop-elect ought to tell us something about Georges successor. The fact that Cupich granted NCR an exclusive interview ought to tell us even more.
David Gibson of Religion News Service confirms NCRs adulatory assessment, describing Archbishop-elect Cupich as a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Churchs progressive wing. Although liberal Catholics of the in-with-peace-and-justice/out-with-sexual-morality persuasion may be overblowing Cupichs lean to the left, Pope Franciss first major appointment in the U.S. has certainly raised eyebrows in many quarters.
Vatican-watcher Rocco Palmo, whose Whispers in the Loggia blog tends to be reliable, called the appointment the most shocking major move the American hierarchy has seen since the turn of the millennium. Though Palmo has not been forthcoming in citing specifics in support of his hyperbolic assertion, he did explain that the choice of Cupich reflects the Popes desire for a Church geared toward the periphery as opposed to being locked in its sacristies. Its instructive to note that Palmos comment and his semantics complies with the curias continuing conversational condemnation of Joseph Ratzinger and his decades of influence in moving the Churchs pastoral program toward an embrace of orthodoxy a change from the more immediate post-Vatican II efforts to explain away most of the Churchs teachings on personal morality.
You have two options:
- Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
- Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.
If you're already a subscriber log-in here.