In many ways, the Church hierarchy in the United States was already a mess, with liberals occupying the Sees of key dioceses. By appointment of Pope Francis, one more such individual, Bishop Blaise Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago to replace the ailing Cardinal George. Many of us recalled his abysmal wafflings in not standing for true morality. I wrote over the years about his derelictions, including the forbidding of his priests' participation in the 40 Days for Life campaign and being one of the cowardly bishops who refused to protest Obama's appearance at Notre Dame in 2009.
It didn't take him long to get started on his progressive rampage. He apparently wasn't pleased that more women weren't involved in his installation Mass and made quite plain that he wants more women involved in "leadership". Well that should just inspire more priestly vocations (yes, that is sarcastic)!
This past Sunday on Face The Nation, Cupich said of pro-abortion Catholics receiving Holy Communion that "the grace would be instrumental in bringing them to the truth". What grace? Is not Holy Communion a Sacrament of the Living? I'm no moral theologian, but it seems that no grace could accrue to someone in a state of mortal sin until that sin is properly confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Otherwise, instead of grace comes the guilt of the sin of sacrilege.
Two other things that he said during that interview are, to be frank, whoppers. First he stated that "I would not use the Eucharist, or as they call it 'the Communion rail', as a place to have those discussions in which people should be excluded from the life of the church." This language has a very familiar ring to it! Go back five years. When Cardinal Wuerl was asked about denying Holy Communion to Nancy Pelosi, he said he wouldn't because the Church "doesn't use communion as a weapon". My! They do have those talking points down pat, don't they?
Then Cupich said that "the Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion; it's also a time of forgiveness of sins". It sure does sound like His Excellency is getting some sacraments confused with one another. The "time of forgiveness of sins" particularly mortal sins (as is the support of abortion), is within the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is that authentic forgiveness of sin (requiring real repentance, by the way) that is necessary to receive Holy Communion worthily. Else what you have is an occasion of the mortal sin of sacrilege. Period.
Last week I observed that the USCCB and many bishops seem to have forgotten that their first job as bishops is to save souls. Read this post, particularly the first paragraph that quotes the Baltimore Catechism on this matter. It seems that not only has Bishop Cupich forgotten that basic truth, especially with regards to so-called "immigration reform" but he even had the unmitigated audacity to declare that "immigration reform", as defined by progressives, is God's agenda! In his nonsensical statement, he says that "God has called us to a better life". What defines this "better life"? A life lived for God, marked by obedience to His laws, prayer, reception of the sacraments - or merely a more advantaged life? The two aren't necessarily opposed to each other, but neither are they equivalent to each other. It seems His Excellency doesn't get it.
Under this current pontificate, must we dread similar episcopal appointments in the future?