Bishop Cupich "clarified" his position on his diocesan priests participating in 40 Days for Life. Well, kinda! I'm not sure how clear this "clarification" is. Read it from the diocesan website.
Here's the first paragraph; I'll interject my comments in red.
"Surveys show that Catholics by and large mirror the general population when it comes to attitudes and decisions made about life issues. That's because the clergy have failed abysmally in their God-given missions to teach Faith and Morals. The present political environment has become very toxic no more toxic than is abortion to babies and polarizing Truth by nature is polarizing, for truth and falsehood are polar opposites. Polarization is nothing to be avoided, to the point that people have become fixed in their positions the pro-life side SHOULD be "fixed in its position" because it is the truth, especially in regard to abortion, and are unwilling to talk to each other. The pastoral challenge is to get people to take a second look at the issue of abortion. Actually, the "challenge is to TEACH the truth of abortion clearly and courageously."
"While the 40 Days for Life program is not a Catholic initiative nor endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he concluded that participation in it and in vigils by individuals or associations of Catholics was possible My! Isn't it pecular how "ecumenism" can so easily be jettisoned, when the effort in question is pro-life! . At the same time, he indicated that he would not consider it under the umbrella of the respect life efforts of the Diocese. The Catholic Church is concerned about a broad range of respect life issues Sounds like the "seamless garment" hoax is again providing a cloak for inaction by the chancery and has a pastoral tradition which shapes its approach. It is critical that we rely on programs initiated by the Church, lest our concerns and our pastoral approach be defined too narrowly. I strongly suspect that the unborn babies would appreciate a narrow definition of approach here"
"When visiting with the presbyterate, the Bishop asked the priests to approach respect life issues as teachers, for that is what they are. Teachers create new openings for learning and reduce obstacles. They must boldly proclaim the truth unabashedly, vigorously and often. Their intense passion to share the truth leads them to greater patience and prudence and not frustration with and disdain for students who fail to respond appropriately. Their witness to the faith through teaching becomes all the more powerful when the presbyterate works together in unity and solidarity. They also must teach by example. That means going out to the abortuaries, where the crying need is. That is REAL solidarity."
"As for the specific question of the priests’ participation in the 40 Days for Life vigils, the Bishop recognizes that a given priest in good conscience may feel the need to participate in the vigils and he should never be forced to go against a good and informed conscience. The bishop sounds like he's giving a reluctant concession to his pro-life priests, instead of commending these priests for their concern and zeal! Sheesh!"
Talk about a namby-pamby back-peddling! In the bishop's meandering verbiage, we see reason why the Church has been so ineffectual in stopping abortion.