- Cupich — and possibly others like him — are primed to be the new face of a more moderate, less antagonistic brand of American Catholicism.
- Pope Francis: You Can’t Use Religion To Justify Violence
Jack Jenkins, Think Progress
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Bishop Blase Cupich. Credit: AP
September 21, 2014 | The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on Saturday that Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase Cupich, a moderate bridge-builder with a history of supporting many progressive-leaning positions, as the next archbishop of Chicago. The Nebraska native will be replacing a highly political — and deeply conservative — bishop, and could potentially usher in a new era of American Catholic leadership that spends less time fighting culture wars and more time echoing the populist leadership of Pope Francis.
The move might not seem like much to a non-Catholic, but the elevation of Cupich represents a significant change in tone for the Catholic church in America. Politically and theologically speaking, the 65-year-old Cupich, who will be leaving behind his position as Bishop of Spokane, is notably different from his predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, on several counts. George, who is currently fighting cancer, has enjoyed prominence among Catholic conservatives for his hard-line stance against abortion and marriage equality, but has often stoked controversy for how he expresses his views: in 2011, George compared organizers of the Chicago Pride Parade to the Ku Klux Klan, and recently wrote that being a Catholic citizen under a pro-gay, pro-choice government is akin to living under Shariah law.
Jack Jenkins is the Senior Religion Reporter for ThinkProgress. He was previously the Senior Writer and Researcher for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, and worked as a reporter and blogger for the Religion News Service. His stories and analysis have appeared in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Real Clear Politics, National Catholic Reporter, and Christian Century.
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Pope Francis: You Can’t Use Religion To Justify Violence, Jack Jenkins, Think Progress
“Let no one consider themselves to be the ‘armor’ of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression!” Pope Francis said.
The Pope Gave This Man A Promotion And He Could Dramatically Change The Focus Of The Catholic Church