Bishop Blase Cupich is the next Archbishop of Chicago. Bishop Cupich (pronounced sue-pitch or SOUP-ich) expressed his surprise when he received the call about a week ago. With Cardinal George's health in decline (and his official retirement already offered), I'm happy that his replacement has been named.
Who is Bishop Cupich? Have you ever heard of him? I haven't so I did a little digging to find some articles that he wrote. I hope you will take the time to read each one carefully:
Serious Thinking, America, July 20, 2009
Twelve Things the Bishops Have Learned from the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis, America, May 10, 2010
The Bishops' Priorities, America, May 30, 2011
Staying Civil appeared in America, The National Catholic Review, March 5, 2012
Don't Forget About the Baby: A Homily for Respect Life Mass, America, January 22, 2013
Francis the Witness, America, September 26, 2013
There are a lot of articles written by Bishop Cupich for America, but these six should give you an idea of who he is. I found him to be a thoughtful and caring pastor who wants to do God's will. I was also impressed with his strong words on the priest scandal and his call for the continued revision of the Charter for the Protection of Children, but most importantly, the care and monitoring of the church's priests. In many of his articles, he lists suggested actions.
His defense of the unborn in the article entitled, "Don't Forget About the Baby: A Homily for Respect Life Mass, touched my heart like no other on the subject.
There is one thing about him that stood out for me. According to the Chicago Tribune, Bishop Cupich has a sense of humor:
The Rev. Patrick Baraza, who also lives at the seminary with Cupich, said the bishop has stood out in Spokane because of his quick wit and sense of fun.
Baraza recalled one time when weeks had passed without them seeing each other, though they lived on the same floor.
"One day, he knocks on my door and says, 'Lazarus, come out!' and then runs away," Baraza said.
Bishop Cupich is going to need a sense of humor to lead the Chicago archdiocese. This city has quite a cast of personalities. I'm looking forward to our future with him.
Here is the complete video of the announcement:
My fellow blogger, Peter Bella, also wrote about our new Archbishop at his blog, Interesting Chicago.
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