Meet Blase Cardinal Cupich

New Cardinals created by Francis

UPDATE: Initial notes on the Cardinals-elect and their leanings
(Scroll down past the list of Cardinals-elect.)

Titles in Italian, but perfectly understandable, including three Americans:

1- Mons. Mario Zenari, che rimane Nunzio Apostolico nell’amata e martoriata Siria (Italia)
2- Mons. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., Arcivescovo di Bangui (Repubblica Centrafricana)
3- Mons. Carlos Osoro Sierra, Arcivescovo di Madrid (Spagna)
4- Mons. Sérgio da Rocha, Arcivescovo di Brasilia (Brasile)
5- Mons. Blase J. Cupich, Arcivescovo di Chicago (U.S.A.)
6- Mons. Patrick D’Rozario, C.S.C., Arcivescovo di Dhaka (Bangladesh)
7- Mons. Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Arcivescovo di Mérida (Venezuela)
8- Mons. Jozef De Kesel, Arcivescovo di Malines-Bruxelles (Belgio)
9- Mons. Maurice Piat, Arcivescovo di Port-Louis (Isola Maurizio)
10- Mons. Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefetto del Dicastero per i Laici, la Famiglia e la Vita (U.S.A.)
11- Mons. Carlos Aguiar Retes, Arcivescovo di Tlalnepantla (Messico)
12- Mons. John Ribat, M.S.C., Arcivescovo di Port Moresby (Papua Nuova Guinea)
13- Mons. Joseph William Tobin, C.SS.R., Arcivescovo di Indianapolis (U.S.A.).

Plus 4 non-voting Cardinals:

1- Mons. Anthony Soter Fernandez, Arcivescovo Emerito di Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
2- Mons. Renato Corti, Arcivescovo Emerito di Novara (Italia)
3- Mons. Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I, Vescovo Emerito di Mohale’s Hoek (Lesotho)
4- Reverendo Ernest Simoni, Presbitero dell’Arcidiocesi di Shkodrë-Pult (Scutari – Albania).

Our initial notes on the Cardinals-elect:

Liberals, Bergoglians, and a Climate Change Warrior

Three of the new Cardinal electors are prominent liberals: Cupich of Chicago, De Kesel of Mechlin-Brussels, and Tobin of Indianapolis. Two of the three are from the U.S., signalling the Pope’s clear intention to move the U.S. Church sharply leftward.

Enough has been written about Cupich (67) and we will not devote more space to him here.

Abp. Joseph Tobin (64) was Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICSAL) from 2010 to 2012 and is widely credited with using his position to greatly weaken the “visitation” launched by CICSAL into U.S women’s religious congregations. As Archbishop of Indianapolis he was outspoken in calling for the USCCB to “reflect” the “newness that Pope Francis is bringing to the church universal” in its agenda. Only this weekend — literally hours before the announcement of his elevation to the cardinalate — he reportedly expressed his support for women deacons and women preaching at Mass.

Abp. Jozef De Kesel (69), protege of Cardinal Danneels and prominent Kasperite, was appointed less than a year ago as Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels. In that short period he has made himself notorious for his suppression of the flourishing — and conservative — Fraternity of the Holy Apostles, which was founded by no less than his more orthodox predecessor, Archbishop Leonard, whose marginalization is now complete.

As for Cardinal-elect Farrell (69), the following tweet — which he has not deleted — should give us an idea as to where the “Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life” is headed under him:


Abp. John Ribat (59) of Port Moresby is known for his advocacy of a low-carbon lifestyle and his outspoken opposition to the death penalty. Since 2014 he has been the President of the Federation of Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania. (CathNews has various articles about him.)


Abp. Dieudonné Nzapalainga (49) was one of the Synod Fathers in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014. Although not particularly outspoken or prominent, he was part of the African bloc of prelates that resolutely resisted innovations in moral doctrine. He was appointed apostolic administrator of Bangui in 2009 in the midst of the rebellion of the Central African Republic’s clergy over the Holy See’s attempts to enforce the law on clerical celibacy. After three years as apostolic administrator, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Bangui in 2012.

The Cardinals elect and the Traditional Latin Mass.

Of the 13 future Cardinal electors, three have either attended or presided at at least one liturgical ceremony celebrated according to the Traditional Latin Rite in the post-Summorum era. These are Bp. Farrell, who blessed the Mater Dei (Irving, TX) parish church of the FSSP in 2010; Abp. Joseph Tobin, who celebrated Confirmation (followed by Benediction) according to the Traditional form in Holy Rosary Church in Indianapolis earlier this year; and Bp. Maurice Piat (75), who attended a Traditional Latin Mass in choro last month.

Among the 13, in addition to Bp. Piat (who invited the Institute of Christ the King to set up a presence in his diocese this year), three others provided for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in their sees: Kevin Farrell during his time as Bishop of Dallas; Abp. Osoro Sierra (71), who, as Archbishop of Valencia in 2014, designated a church for regular celebrations of the TLM; and Abp. Sergio da Rocha (56), who in 2014 allowed the establishment of large IBP-run, fully traditional Catholic chapel in Brasilia.

A special mention goes to Cardinal-elect Ernest Simoni (86), who was imprisoned by the Albanian communists for 27 years (1963 – 1990). He continued to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass from memory and to give communion in secret during his long incarceration.

Another “special mention” — for all the wrong reasons — goes to Cardinal-elect Renato Corti (80), emeritus of Novara. Our long-time readers might remember him for his role in the “Novara affair” of 2007-2008 (see this and this) that directly led to the formation of the Traditional Catholic community in Vocogno.

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9 comments on “Meet Blase Cardinal Cupich

  1. In New Cardinal Picks, Pope Francis Sidelines Conservatives, Promotes Progressives
    by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., 9 Oct 2016

    Pope Francis announced his choices for new Catholic cardinals Sunday, promoting a number of well-known progressives while snubbing conservatives who were up for the job.

    In all, the Pope named 17 new cardinals, including 13 who are under 80 years old and therefore eligible to participate in the conclave electing the next pope.

    Notably, in his selection for cardinals from among the United States bishops, Francis named the recently appointed archbishop of Chicago, Blaise Cupich, a man with impeccable liberal credentials. He also broke with protocol by choosing Archbishop William Tobin of Indianapolis, a relatively small archdiocese never before considered important enough to have a cardinal at its helm.

    On the other hand, the Pope passed over the conservative archbishops of Philadelphia, Detroit and Los Angeles—Charles Chaput, Allen Vigneron and José Gómez, respectively—despite the fact that their three important archdioceses have in recent memory always been considered “cardinalatial sees.”

    Archbishop Chaput was responsible for bringing Pope Francis to the United States in September 2015, hosting the pontiff for the World Meeting of Families.

    Veteran Vatican analyst John Allen noted that with his new appointments, Pope Francis had engineered a “seismic shift” in the Catholic hierarchy in the United States, and by naming just progressives, “Francis was making a statement about the direction in which he wants the American church to go.”

    The Pope’s picks also underscore the very real divisions within the U.S. Catholic bishops conference.

    A year ago, Archbishops Cupich and Chaput faced off over a theologically indefensible op-ed published by the Chicago Archbishop that suggested that abortion was no more important than a number of other social justice issues such as unemployment, immigration and capital punishment.

    In a signed essay in the Chicago Tribune, Archbishop Cupich listed a series of social ills that he said people should find “just as appalling” as the gruesome ripping apart of unborn children and the sale of their organs by Planned Parenthood.

    While applauding the strong reaction to the Planned Parenthood videos, Cupich immediately added: “We should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.”

    A week later, Archbishop Chaput responded with a sharp rebuke to Cupich in his own diocesan newspaper, Catholic Philly. In his article, bearing the pithy title “There is no equivalence,” Chaput stated: “The deliberate killing of innocent life is a uniquely wicked act. No amount of contextualizing or deflecting our attention to other issues can obscure that.”
    [more at the link]

  2. Sandro Magister – Settimo Caeli (Seventh Heaven)

    Thirteen plus four new cardinals. Winners and losers of the next consistory

    Google translation of


    The cake in the face that he caught six years ago the Archbishop of Brussels Andre-Joseph Leonard, mocked (see photo) for its traditional positions both in doctrine and in pastoral care, today found a much more substantial replication in purple conferred by Pope Francis to his successor and progressive rival, Jozef De Kesel.

    In previous consistories, he had repeatedly created dismay the refusal of Pope Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio to Léonard, despite the importance of the office which he governed and the qualities of the person. He said that the new pope no longer wanted to privilege the dioceses historically cardinals, to the benefit of the “periphery.” But with De Kesel this scruple was promptly dropped. Title of cardinal is about to be protégé Godfried Danneels, the Léonard predecessor and leader of the “mafia” – its definition – of St. Gallen, the club of cardinals electors of Bergoglio in the conclave of 2005 failed and what succeeded in 2013 .

    But this is by no means the only hit scored by Pope Francis with the announcement of the thirteen new cardinals, plus another four age no longer conclave, which he did at the end of the Angelus this Sunday, October 9th.

    It is true that some promotion of the “periphery” is, like those of the archbishops of Bangui in the Central African Republic, Dhaka in Bangladesh, of Port-Louis in Mauritius Islands and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

    But also some great traditionally headed by cardinals dioceses have been awarded the purple. Such as that of Madrid, whose Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra, placed there by the same Bergoglio, so has earned the promotion also for leaving exposed to public ridicule, without taking the defenses, two of his bishops suburbicari guilty of having criticized same-sex marriages.

    But to make more headlines is the bestowal of the purple to the holder of another large diocese historically cardinal, that of Chicago. The laureate Blase J. Cupich, that is the man on whom Bergoglio has focused more to their advantage to overthrow the balance of forces within the US bishops’ conference. Not only. The new American cardinals are three out of thirteen. And one of them, Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Indianapolis, he got his revenge after being ousted in 2012 by the Vatican curia – where was the number two of the Congregation for Religious – for having openly supported the ultraprogressiste American nuns.

    The third new American cardinal, albeit of Irish birth, Kevin J. Farrell, recently called to Rome as Prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Laity newborn, family and life. In his regard, it may be noted that this charge has blown the place – and consequently the purple – Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, the clergyman of the highest grade of the Sant’Egidio Community. Which is therefore also remained dry in this consistory, on par Opus Dei, whose most prominent archbishop, José Horacio Gómez, is the owner of Los Angeles, one of the great historic diocese, but also for his misfortune antipodes dell’ultrabergogliano Cupich.

    Among others promoted, it is curious that Venezuela has, for the first time in history, a second cardinal (and other Latin American countries do not even have one), perhaps to resize the primacy of the Archbishop of Caracas, Jorge L . Urosa Savino, which is one of the thirteen cardinals of the famous letter of protest which greatly irritated Francis at the beginning of the synod of last October.

    More than showcase is the cardinal gave the current nuncio in Syria, Mario Zenari. As well as, among octogenarians, purple conferred to Renato Corti, Bishop emeritus of Novara and very close in the past, the Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, during the episcopate of these in Milan.

  3. Saul Alinsky rules the Vatican with George Soros’ “Useful Idiots”!

  4. Matthew XVI, xviii : “… et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.”

    Against the Arians – true.

    Despite the heresies and/or bad example of Liberius, Honorius, John XXII, Nicholas I, the Renaissance popes – true.

    Against the heretical schismatics of Greece and Russia – true.

    Against the blasphemous, heretical protestant revolutionaries – true.

    Despite the American, French, German, Russian and Chinese Revolutions of the 18th – 21st centuries – true.

    That said, the present crisis, brought out of hiding after a century of liberal and modernist incubation, does involve more baptized Catholics than in any previous era. The task ahead appears daunting. The resources of Sacred Tradition – although ever insuperable – are now ignored, if not outright ridiculed, even at the highest levels of the Church. And, practically, unknown to all but a few.

    Nevertheless, what effected the Catholic triumphs of past eras, remains available…

  5. Rocco Palmo – Whispers in the Loggia

    A Scarlet Bolt – Pope Announces 17 New Cardinals

    Suffice it to say, it’s become Pope Francis’ unique habit that, in announcing new cardinals, no one is told in advance – above all the designates… let alone anyone else.

    Accordingly, at the end of today’s Angelus, 17 names were suddenly dropped for a Consistory to be held on Saturday, 19 November, to coincide with the close of the Jubilee Year – 13 of them electors, and four others to be elevated over the retirement age of 80.

    Among other notables in the group: three voting Americans (making up for back-to-back shutouts in Francis’ first two intakes), and a fresh dose of the “peripheries,” including the first-ever red hats from Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, Malaysia, the island-chain of Mauritius, and Papua New Guinea.

    * * *


    Given what many will take as the day’s big surprise – the elevation of Joe Tobin, 64, the Detroit-born Redemptorist who’s led the 250,000-member Indy church since 2012 – well, for starters, the nickname he’s long had among his confreres bears recalling: “Big Red.”

    To be sure, that’s more a reference to both the former hockey enforcer’s onetime ginger hair and the worldwide religious family he would lead for 12 years… still, given the latest curveball in a ministry full of them, the moniker fits its newest turn no less.

    After two terms as superior-general of the Redemptorists, in 2010 Benedict XVI named Tobin as archbishop-secretary of the “Congregation for Religious,” armed with a mandate to bring a smooth landing to the Holy See’s visitation of the US’ apostolic communities of sisters, which had become mired in untold levels of controversy and misunderstandings in domestic church-circles and media alike. That he entered the job by publicly cross-checking the excesses of the Roman Curia – in words that, while controversial at the time, would prove to be prophetic – is something that shouldn’t be forgotten today.

    With the task essentially finished in two years – thanks in large part to the now cardinal-designate’s fierce commitment to dialogue with the orders, and an equally formidable integration of their concerns into the process – Tobin’s appointment to Indianapolis didn’t just fulfill his wish to get home to the Midwest (above all to his indomitable mother, Marie-Terese, who raised 13 children alone as a young widow), the move likewise brought someone who had been a veteran pastor among the first Hispanic waves in Detroit and Chicago to a diocese which was just beginning to experience a sizable Latino influx, making the newcomers a priority in the venerable, largely-rural church for the first time.

    Barely six months after Tobin’s arrival by the Brickyard, his southern fluency would come into the ultimate reason behind this historic red hat: with the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, while most US bishops were furiously brushing up on the new pontiff, the Indy prelate suddenly found himself as one of the closest Stateside friends of the new Bishop of Rome – indeed, one of precious few North Americans who had any firsthand experience with him, let alone at length.

    That serendipity owed itself to the 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, which Tobin, as head of the Redemptorists, attended as the delegate of the Union of Superiors General (the umbrella-group of the global leaders of mens’ orders).

    As the Synod’s circuli minores – the small discussion-groups – were split up by language, bishops had already taken all the English-speaking slots by seniority, so Tobin found a seat in a Spanish group… and spent the next month sitting alongside the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires.

    Accordingly, eight years later, within an hour of the Argentine’s election to Peter’s Chair – as most US hierarchs furiously sought to cram up on the Conclave’s choice – the Indianapolis media was treated to the most fully steeped of briefings while sitting around their archbishop’s desk.

    Sure enough, nobody in the States came anywhere close to “nailing” the man and the story so precisely in the moment – and, again, today’s news merely evinces the result.


    Within a year, Francis already showed that he hadn’t forgotten his old friend, naming Tobin a member of the Curial Congregation he had helped oversee (a rare nod for a far-flung bishop), as well as quietly sending him on a few delicate missions.

    Over those same months in 2014, meanwhile, as someone the Pope knew – and who, in many ways, bore his scent – the Redemptorist’s name was duly floated at high levels for Chicago, only to be deemed too much a “wild card” by some key players, given his lack of experience in the national rungs of leadership.

    Amid that backdrop, this most “personal” seat in the College a Pope has given an American since 1958 (when John XXIII elevated Bishop Aloysius Muench of Fargo, who Papa Roncalli knew and admired as the postwar Nuncio to Germany) – and one given alongside the eventual Windy City pick – shows anew, and for the first time in the US, that even as Francis can be freewheeling in consulting on major diocesan appointments, when it comes to the “Senate” that will elect his successor (and from which the next Pope will come), his choices are his own.


    While no shortage of early focus on Tobin’s elevation has honed in on Tobin’s public clash with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence – now the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee – over the archdiocese’s decision last year to take in Syrian refugees, a far quieter, less politically charged angle carries even more weight. (On a context note, however, Pence’s move to ban the migrants from the Hoosier State was rejected as discriminatory by a Federal appeals court last week.)

    Each November during the USCCB meeting in Baltimore, the local Catholic Worker House goes to the trouble to invite all of the 300-odd prelates for dinner and conversation one night during Plenary Week. And for years, all of one consistently turned up: Bishop John Michael Botean, the Ohio-based eparch of North America’s 8,000 Romanian Catholics, who famously declared on the eve of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq that “any direct participation and support of this war… is objectively grave evil [and] a matter of mortal sin.”

    Normally as low-profile as he was outspoken on the war, as Botean slipped out to keep his usual commitment at the 2012 meeting, he was stunned to find company looking to head to the Peace Dinner: Tobin, who was just joining the Stateside bench upon his appointment to Indianapolis, and – having long and openly witnessed to four decades in recovery – was bound to find little taste for the oft-boozy scene of dinners and receptions that fill the hotel after the daily Floor sessions.

    Long story short, the Catholic Worker night is a commitment he’s kept ever since. And even as Francis’ push toward the “peripheries” has raised the event’s annual crowd to around a dozen bishops, as never before, now there’ll be a cardinal in the room for it….


    And in this world, that says everything.

  6. Christopher Lamb – The Tablet (or “The Pill” as Fr.Z calls it) of London


    Three choices from the United States show his desire to shift the power balance from culture warriors in favour of pastoral moderates

    Pope Francis named a new batch of cardinals today meaning he has chosen almost 40 per cent of the men who will elect his successor.

    In a surprise announcement on Sunday, Francis named seventeen new princes of the Church, including thirteen with the right to participate in the next conclave, three from the United States and the current papal ambassador to Syria.

    The new cardinals, who will be given their red hats on 19 November, become the Popes’ advisers and, provided they are under 80, can vote in the next conclave.

    Francis’ three choices from the United States show his desire to shift the power balance away from culture warriors in favour of pastoral moderates: Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, a key Francis ally, and the Archbishop of Indianapolis, Joseph Tobin, who moved out of his Vatican position after pressure from conservatives, were both on today’s list.

    Archbishop Tobin was transferred out of Rome under Pope Benedict XVI but he shares this Pope’s concern for refugees, demonstrated by seeking to welcome Syrians into Indiana. He has done so in the face of opposition from the state’s governor, Mike Pence, now Donald Trump’s vice-presidential running mate.

    The latest picks from Francis mean he has chosen 44 out of the 120 cardinal electors with this November’s consistory, the third of his papacy.

    Throughout, the Pope has tried to both internationalise the college of cardinals by making it less European, while also selecting new “princes of the Church” who are renowned for their pastoral experience.

    This was evidenced today by the fact he chose of 49-year-old Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga, who has taken a leading role in trying to bring peace to his war-torn homeland of the Central African Republic by working with fellow Christian and Muslim leaders. It was a country that the Pope visited last year in order to give a message of reconciliation.

    The naming of Archbishop Nzapalainga means Central African Republic will have a cardinal for the first time. The same is the case for Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Lesotho, with Church leaders from those countries on the list today.

    Only one named today has a Rome-based job: Bishop Kevin Farrell, the first leader of the newly-created family life department was given the red hat. Meanwhile, the Vatican ambassador in Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, will be elevated but remain in his post to show the Church’s concern for “beloved and martyred Syria”.

    The four new cardinals over 80 – given the red hat in honour of their long service to the Church – include Father Ernest Simoni, 88, an Albanian priest who spent many years in jail and forced labour during the Communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha.

    Aside from the Italian papal ambassador, the other European voting cardinals chosen today are the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Josef De Kesel, and the Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro Sierra.

    The new US cardinals are the first to be named by Francis, leading to the country’s Obambassador to the Holy See, Ken Hackett, to tweet: “Wow. I guess we are back!”

  7. St. Corbinian’s Bear

    Cupich, Tobit & Farrell New U.S.Cardinals

    Cupich, Tobin, and Farrell new U.S. Francis Cardinals, signaling a switch away from culture wars. Actually, it signals a switch away from Catholicism. And the Bear shall continue to be right when he says again and again that things are far worse than you think in Jorge Bergoglio’s Church. Now he is consolidating his gains.

    The Church in America shall be more the Democrat PAC. It shall continue to sacrifice ecclesiastic physiology for ecclesiastic pathology. It will perpetuate the anti-Catholic leftist party who will elect the next pope in Francis’ image. More Muslim refugees; more running cover for renegade nuns; and more excuses for Muslim terrorism. More support for women deacons; even women deacons delivering homilies.

    Read the jubilation at America magazine. BTW the author wants us to take him seriously, when he touts a book, “The Tweetable Pope: a Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters.” That pretty much says it all about everything, the Bear reckons.

  8. Pope’s choice of new US cardinals underlines commitment to ‘irreversible’ change

    By Phil Lawler | Oct 10, 2016

    With his selection of 17 new cardinals, Pope Francis has left no doubt about his determination to bring permanent change to the Church. “You have to realize that he is aiming at reform that is irreversible,” one of his closest advisers said last year. With his additions to the group that will choose his successor, the Holy Father has increased the odds that the next Pope will continue what he has begun.

    Pope Francis made good his commitment to the “peripheries” by choosing six new cardinals from missionary territories. Yet while he was giving new voices to small and impoverished societies, the Pope also gave the United States new importance within the College of Cardinals.

    In fact, the Pope’s decision to give red hats to three American archbishops says as much about his overall plan as his choice of prelates from the peripheries:

    1. Archbishop Kevin Farrell, until recently the Bishop of Dallas, is now the prefect of the newly formed Dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life. In the past, this new status would be reason enough to explain his selection. But this year, no other officer of the Roman Curia was on the Pope’s list. The choice of Archbishop Farrell, then, seems to underline the importance that the Pope attaches to the new Vatican offices he has created—and, quite likely, to signal that this dicastery will eventually be given the status of a Vatican congregation.

    2. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has been clearly marked as a papal favorite, as well as an emerging leader of the liberal wing of the American episcopate. The Pope reportedly chose him personally for the Chicago assignment, turning down the list of candidates that had been presented to him. He then added him to the influential Congregation for Bishops, giving him a say in the selection of candidates for episcopal rank, especially in the US. His influence is now redoubled, and expanded to include a vote in the next papal election.

    3. Archbishop Joseph Tobin on Indianapolis, another American bishop with strong liberal credentials, is known primarily for throttling down a Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, during his tenure as Secretary of the Congregation for Religious. While he was anxious to make peace with radical nuns, he was willing to clash publically with Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence on the acceptance of Syrian refugees.

    Conspicuously missing from the Pope’s list was Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, whose uncompromising public stands on issues involving marriage, life, and human sexuality apparently cause discomfort in the current Vatican climate. So Pope Francis missed the opportunity to add the first-ever Native American to the College of Cardinals. Perhaps even more surprising is the omission of Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the most prominent representative of Hispanic Catholicism in America and the head of the country’s largest archdiocese. (In fact the Catholic flock in Los Angeles is roughly seventeen times as large as the comparatively puny population of 250,000 Catholics in Archbishop Tobin’s Indianapolis see.) There will be no first-ever Latino cardinal in the US, either.

    That Pope Francis chose these three American prelates is revealing. But it is truly remarkable that he chose any three from the US. The American Church is already heavily represented in the College of Cardinals, with 15 of the 211 living members. No other country but Italy can boast as many cardinals. After the November conclave there will be 18 Americans in the College, of whom 10 will be eligible to vote in a papal conclave. Again, no other country but Italy rivals the strength of the American voting bloc.

    Pope Francis has vowed to limit the power of the Roman Curia. Yet of the three US prelates who will receive red hats, one (Farrell) will now be serving in the Curia and another (Tobin) has extensive experience there. He has expressed his determination to internationalize the College of Cardinals, to expand the influence of the developing world. He has made strides in that direction with his appointment of cardinals from Bangladesh, Mauritus, Papua New Guinea, and the Central African Republic. Yet at the same time he has increased the influence of the US, the world’s greatest secular power.

    Given his obvious reservations about the influence that America has in the world today, it seems highly unlikely that Pope Francis intended to give the US a greater say in the affairs of the Catholic Church. So it seems more likely that he chose these particular prelates—particularly Archbishops Cupich and Tobin—not because they are Americans but because they will support the “irreversible” changes he plans.

  9. Claire Chretien and Steve Jalsevac

    In “seismic shift” Pope appoints very liberal Cupich and 2 more U.S. progressives among 17 new cardinals

    October 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—On Sunday, Pope Francis announced that Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich will be appointed a cardinal on November 19. The move is alarming pro-life, pro-family, and tradition-minded Catholics because of Cupich’s record as an extremely liberal bishop.

    As a cardinal, Cupich will be eligible for the papacy and able to vote in papal elections. At the end of his Angelus message Sunday, Pope Francis announced that he will hold a consistory to appoint the new cardinals.

    Prominent Vatican journalist John Allen Jr. revealed the “seismic shift” nature of at least Francis’ three new American cardinal picks, writing in Crux News today,

    “Pope Francis on Sunday engineered what may prove to be a seismic shift in the Catholic hierarchy in the United States, elevating not one or two, but a full three new American cardinals seen as belonging to the centrist, non-cultural warrior wing of the country’s hierarchy.”

    The other two named Americans are Archbishop Joseph Tobin (not to be confused with strongly pro-life Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin) and Bishop Kevin Farrell. The latter was recently appointed to head the Vatican’s new Dicastery for the Laity, Life, and Family.

    The Crux article called the new U.S. cardinals’ “stance reminiscent of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s “seamless garment,”‘ which caused a damaging weakening of emphasis from many US bishops on pro-life efforts and opposition to contraception.

    In a 2011 Salt & Light television interview with Allen admirer Fr. Tom Rosica, Allen stated of pro-life Catholics, “we realize the sterility of this dead-end street of importing the culture wars into the Church”. In that interview Allen used the demeaning phrase “Taliban Catholics” for pro-life and similar Catholics.

    Brietbart today characterized the pope’s U.S. appointments as “promoting a number of well-known progressives while snubbing conservatives who were up for the job.”

    Blase Cupich worrisome history

    Pope Francis also recently named Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops, a key role giving the archbishop a significant say in determining who are appointed new bishops in the United States.

    Cupich, whom a reliable Vatican source warned LifeSite that the then Spokane bishop was potentially “the most dangerous”-to-the-faith bishop in the United States, has undergone a rapid increase in status and influence in the Church under Pope Francis.

    As the bishop of Spokane, Washington, Cupich requested that priests and seminarians of his diocese not participate in 40 Days for Life prayer vigils outside abortion facilities.

    In August 2015, in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking scandal, Cupich wrote that unemployment and hunger are just as appalling as the killing of millions of children in the womb and the damages that many of their mothers have experienced.

    Cupich has openly contradicted Catholic canon law on giving Holy Communion to those in a state of mortal sin. Shortly after his appointment as Archbishop of Chicago, Cupich said that giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians can be a good thing. Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law instructs those “conscious of grave sin” on their soul to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.

    At the 2015 Synod on the Family, Cupich laid out a pathway for same-sex couples and the divorced and remarried to receive Holy Communion in accordance with their consciences.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that proper consciences are formed according to the teachings of the Church. “Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgements. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt,” the Catechism teaches (CCC 1801).

    Cupich hailed Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia as a “game-changer” that could normalize his unorthodox approach to those living in situations the Church labels objectively sinful.

    Cupich recently concurred, with another progressive Francis U.S. bishop appointee, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, that “the issues of global poverty and the degradation of the environment now need to be put in that first tier of (election) issues” for Catholics in line with “Pope Francis priorities.”

    In a Chicago Tribune Op-ed, Cupich responded to the revelations of large scale trafficking in aborted baby body parts by Planned Parenthood by equating the mass killings of the unborn with lack of “decent medical care”, “a broken immigration system”, “racism”, “hunger, joblessness and want”, gun violence and capital punishment.

    With the exception of racism, Cupich’s listed items have been explicitly stated by both Pope’s St. John Paul II and Benedict, to be matters of prudential judgment compared to abortion and now euthanasia, both of which, in every single case, involve intended deliberate killing of the most vulnerable. St. Pope John Paul II also frequently warned of an insidious”Culture of death” that would inevitably spread into all facets of a culture that did not totally oppose these evils.

    In 2002, when he was the Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, Cupich locked the doors of a Catholic parish during the Easter Triduum, one of the holiest points of the Catholic liturgical year, in order to prevent Traditional Latin Masses from taking place. The church was forced to hold its Good Friday liturgies on the sidewalk.

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