Cardinal Cupich, “Some Great Christians Don’t Have The Faith”

Cardinal Cupich, “Some Great Christians Don’t Have The Faith”

[“Nemo debet quod non habet (No one gives what he does not have)”: Does that mean those who do not believe can only offer non-belief? Also, can the “plain meaning” rule apply to His Eminence’s statement; that is, do some who claim to be “great Christians” (or are acknowledged as such by the media or the glitterati) actually “not have the faith”?]

Leftwing Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said to Religious News Service that he even learns from people who do not believe “and yet are very good people”.

Cupich further claims that “some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in”, but Cupich detects “a goodness” in their activity and behaviour.

In Mark 10:18 Jesus says, “No one is good except God alone.” There is no human goodness without God.

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8 comments on “Cardinal Cupich, “Some Great Christians Don’t Have The Faith”

  1. Are there any good bishops who don’t have the faith?

    Are there many bishops who do have the Faith?

    Can one have the Faith, yet despise the Faith? Might that explain Bergoglio?

  2. Cupich further claims that “some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in”

    Basic remedial theology for Cdl. Jokich:
    To not have a faith system that you believe in is called ‘agnosticism’ (from the Greek ‘agnosis’: unknowingness).
    If you do not have a faith system, you obviously don’t believe in Christ.
    A Christian, at a minimum, is one who believes in Christ in some way.

    Ah, c’mon, Blasie, you can do it.
    What, you say you failed Logic 101 too?

    Sheesh. OK. The conclusion is that no one who has no faith system can be a Christian.

    A friendly suggestion, Blasie: Just dump the clerical garb and go do something with your life that doesn’t require the use of logic…or a brain.
    Mainstream journalism should fit you to a T.

    • Oh, BTW, it’s “Nemo *dat* quod non habet”. Looks like needs some remedial Latin.

      • Don’t blame for the “mistake;” blame me, Tom the AQ moderator.

        Anything in brackets ([]) on a post or comment (usually near the top) is usually my addition or editorial comment.

        That’s how I learned not Latin (which I did study) but that quote from a priest, who studied Latin in seminary. I googled it with “debet” and found several references (including some traditional ones) which quote that versions, but the ones with “dat” were more numerous and “authoritative” looking; that is, dictionary entries.

        Also, “debet” (from “debeo, debere [etc.]”) means the opposite of “dat” (from “do, dare [etc.]”); that is, “have” or keep” rather than “give”.

        Thus, from now on, I use the “dat” version.

        • Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I have to admit my own mistake in not being careful enough with my reading.

          Nemo debet quod non habet does make sense in itself: No one owes what he does not have. I guess the idea is: You can’t squeeze blood from a stone.
          Of course, that principle doesn’t always hold. Sometimes people “do not have” through their own fault, or even intentionally squander their possessions or money just to avoid paying a just debt.
          Like the guy I knew once who complained that the tax man was trying to squeeze blood out of a stone, when he was blowing a large portion of his income on cocaine.

  3. On ‘Christians’ and the ‘greatest Christians’

    While Cardinal Cupich’s remark that “some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in” is understandable in a certain way, it’s also very confusing.

    September 5, 2017
    Edward N. Peters

    When Cdl. Cupich of Chicago says “some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in”, I kinda sorta get what he means.

    Raised as we were by an active Catholic mother and a nominally Methodist father, I had many opportunities to compare religious observances over the years. My mom did what was expected of Catholic moms through those years, God bless her, and I scarcely noticed it. But my dad’s religious conduct (or better, his conduct related to religion) caught my attention.

    He willingly paid for Catholic schools when there were free public schools just a few blocks away. His Friday dinner was always fish although he would have loved a hamburger. And from time to time, he was the parent who actually made sure we kids got to Mass on Sunday. Thus, when my mother remarked, as she did more than once, that “Your father is the best Catholic in this house”, I knew what she meant.

    But I also knew what she didn’t mean.

    She did not mean that dad enjoyed the graces that came with Confirmation, the Eucharist, and Confession (being baptized, he and mom shared in the graces of Matrimony). She certainly did not mean that Catholicism was simply one more option among various belief systems, or none. And she never parlayed my dad’s Christian sensibilities into an ersatz Catholic identity cooked up in gratitude for his support in raising the children Catholic. Why not? If for no other reason, because words meant something in our house. Dad saw to that.

    These thoughts came to mind when I read Cupich’s remarks about some of the “greatest Christians” being people who believe in nothing—or at any rate in nothing related to Christ. I can, in a way, appreciate his point for, obviously, people need not have a “faith system” in order to be mature, responsible, loving members of society.

    But, unless both Cupich and his listeners know the personal examples he has in mind (in the way that my mom and I both knew much about my dad), I think it is confusing, in a world where words seem pretty much to mean whatever a speaker wants them to mean, for a prelate of the Catholic Church to refer to people “who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in” as counting among the greatest Christians, of all things. Greatest people? Sure. Greatest humanitarians? Quite possible. But greatest Christians? Is that not to treat the word “Christian” as devoid of some specific, belief-oriented, content?

    Consider a related point: Canon 205, rooted in Lumen gentium 14, sets out three criteria whereby baptized persons are found fully in communion with the Catholic Church, beginning with the profession of faith, and including also participation in sacraments and cooperation with ecclesiastical governance. Those who have, therefore, no “faith system that they believe in”, and who thus cannot claim full communion with the Church, are to be respected, of course, but also prayed for—not held up as role models for Catholics qua Catholics. Indeed, if one’s lack of “a faith system” is the result of an actual repudiation of the Christian faith (suggesting apostasy per Canon 751) one’s need for prayer and an invitation out of disbelief is all the more urgent, these, being among the pastoral points for bishops included in, say, Canon 383.

    Likewise, I suggest, being “Christian” has something to do with, among other things, professing faith in Jesus Christ; being a “great Christian” has something to do with, among other things, proclaiming him boldly; and thus, holding out persons with no discernible beliefs as examples of the “greatest Christians” is not helpful especially in days of so much confusion about the meaning of, and the importance of being, Christian.

  4. This isn’t rocket science. Like many other progressive closet cases pretending to be priests, believing Catholics strike him as too rigid, so the greatest “Christians” he knows are secular socialists who are not too serious about personal morality but are committed to wealth distribution, class politics, and keeping the lights dim to reverse global warming and climate change. It turns out that progressive modernists don’t really need Catholics or believers of any kind since Christianity in the modernist mind is really just socialism, something atheists can grasp more quickly without all of the baggage of traditional Christian morality. Will we see him installed as the next pope?

    • Sometimes, just trashing the wishy-washy **** of people like Ed Peters is the right thing to do — especially in our day when nearly everyone is way too “nice”.
      Sometimes, just lunging for the jugular is the most charitable thing. Christ did that on numerous occasions with the pharisees.
      Cdl. Jokich is a confirmed Liberal pharisee, and Liberals always take the interpretation that further confirms their Liberalism. They should be given ZERO chance to interpret anything. They aren’t competent to do so correctly. Playing nice with them is playing their game.
      Thanks, Howl.

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