Will Progressive Outsider Be Responsible in Future for the Appointment of Bishops?
(Washington) Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has been attacked by the media as an "enemy" of the Pope, because he interpreted the Post-Synodal Letter Amoris laetitia in the light of Catholic moral teaching and Sacraments. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has been appointed at the same time by Pope Francis as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, and will continue to have a decisive influence on the appointment of bishops in the United States. The two events are emblematic of the pontificate of Pope Francis and his relationship with the Church in the United States. The Church in the United States is not only the richest and one of the most influential churches in the world, the US episcopate being formed by the pontificates of John Paul II. and especially Benedict XVI., as an "obstacle" for the progressive agenda.
As reported, the profile Archbishop of Philadelphia, a direct descendant of the Saint King Louis IX. of France, is in the crossfire of criticism, because he published on July 1, the "Pastoral Guidelines for the Implementation of Amoris Laetitia" in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (see NCR's Archbishop Chaput affirmed Catholic teaching on marriage and is presented by the media as an "enemy" of the Pope ). In it, Archbishop Chaput reiterated Catholic marriage and morality in terms of divorce, remarriage and reception of Communion. The archbishop is it shown by the media as an "enemy" of Pope Francis, who wishes, unlike Msgr. Chaput, for an "opening".
Pope Francis appoints Cupich in the Congregation for Bishops
Today it was announced in the daily bulletin of the Holy See that Pope Francis has appointed the controversial bishop of the United States, Archbishop Blase Cupich, a member of the Congregation of Bishops. He will thus have a say in the future, a decisive say, in the appointment of bishops in the United States.
Msgr. Cupich is controversial because of his progressive stance . The former bishop of the little diocese of Spokane in Illinois was considered "leftist outsider" among the bishops of the United States, as Pope Francis made him an archbishop in September 2014 of the most important and largest diocese in the country. The Pope had clashed with the then incumbent predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, head to head, who died a few months later from cancer. Who the favor of the Pope belongs, was also made clear that Cupich, who had not been elected by the US bishops as a delegate to the Synod for Bishops for the Synod on the Family to Rome, was appointed by Francis personally to the synod. In Rome he was then promptly praised for his "open" attitude on the controversial issues, particularly his " Deliramenta" on the subjective conscience.
Pope "is looking for the most progressive candidate"
Cupich's progressive outsider role is therefore not a defect, but has been the real reason why Francis made him the archbishop of Chicago, as Catholic observers are unanimous about in the US.
In an essay for Le Journal de MontréalAlain Pronkin wrote on April 19, 2016: Pope Francis is looking at the episcopal appointments "for the most progressive candidate." In November 2015, the Vatican expert Sandro Magister drew attention because the "real revolution" of Pope Francis would succeed "by appointment".
The cardinalatial dignity is usually associated with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Chicago. In the United States it will be closely monitored, which of the two metropolitans Pope Francis will rise into the cardinalatial state.
Archbishop Cupich instead Cardinal Burke
Under Pope Benedict XVI., it was the former Archbishop of Saint Louis, Raymond Leo Burke, who was assigned as one of the "bishop makers" in the US. The German pope summoned the farmer's son from Wisconsin and brilliant canon lawyer to the Roman Curia to Rome in 2008 and made him Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's high court.
The influence of the outstanding and traditionally friendly cardinal, who was even considered "papabile" during the papal conclave of 2013, made him a thorn in the side to those who found an ear in high places with the election of Pope Francis. The Argentine Pope dismissed the US Cardinal: In December 2013, he removed Cardinal Burke from the Canonization Congregation and from the Congregation for Bishops. The latter decision was seen as a demonstrative departure "from the excellent " episcopal appointments (Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ, student of Joseph Ratzinger) in the US by Benedict XVI. for which Cardinal Burke was significantly responsible..
The appointment of Bishop Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago confirmed fears.
Cupich the new "Bishop maker" in the US
By his appointment as member of the Congregation for Bishops, as an observer, Archbishop Cupich would be to take a role in the appointment of bishops in the United States in the pontificate of Francis, which Cardinal Burke had in the pontificate of Benedict XVI.. However, the orientation of the appointments will be quite different.
Cupich will not directly be accepting the seat of Cardinal Burke. He had become, even before the Synod of Bishops in 2014, the spokesman of the defenders of Catholic moral teaching and Sacraments against the progressive Kasper agenda. Although he had already been quite clearly threatened with dismissal, he would not give up his resistance, and the Cardinal fearlessly continued his fight for the traditional doctrine and did not hesitate also to call out Pope Francis as the relevant director of the attack on the sacrament of marriage. A few days after the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis, "thanked" him Cardinal Burke by dismissing him and removing him from the Vatican.Thus, the Church leader beheaded the opposition to his "opening" and favored the Kasper Group.
At Burke's place in the Congregation for Bishops, Pope Francis put Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington D.C. in December 2013, who is known in the US episcopate as a "moderate conservative.".Cardinal Wuerl took the papal grace he had obtained via the anti-Burke function, very seriously. So seriously, that he publicly attacked his American brother Burke early in 2015, when he was punished by the Pope and completely removed from the Roman Curia and reproached him for criticizing papal decisions and defaming them. Now the pope is no longer dependent on Cardinal Wuerl. In the meantime, there with Archbishop Cupich, is a real "man of the Pope" in the US episcopate. With today's appointment of Cupich in the Congregation for Bishops, Pope Francis the will turnout consistently new offices to continue with the aim:to rebuild the US episcopate.