Vatican watcher Sandro Magister writes:
Francis’ selection of Blase J. Cupich as the new pastor of the third-ranking diocese in the U.S. has plunged this particularly dynamic component of American Catholicism into a profound depression, almost to the edge of a nervous breakdown. It is enough to scan the reactions of the websites and bloggers of this area to grasp the embarrassment and disappointment over the appointment.
On the contrary, the more progressive segment of American Catholicism, historically hypercritical of the recent pontificates, has celebrated with enthusiasm the arrival of Cupich, called a “moderate” by the secular press, a description typically used in the United States to indicate a “liberal” who may not be radicalized, but is still a “liberal.”
Cupich’s predecessor, Cardinal Francis E. George, had written not long ago in a column for the diocesan newspaper:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
George has always been highly critical of the secular tendency in the legislative field established under the presidency of Barack Obama, whom he has known well since he was a senator for Illinois. But it is difficult to imagine that his prophecy will come true, at least for his immediate successor.
Magister goes on to list past notable decisions on the part of Bp. Cupich, reminding his readers that the bishop was last of the ten men considered to lead the U.S. Conference in 2013 and that, once again, Pope Francis seems to have ignored both the advice of the Congregation for Bishops and the local Conference in his appointment.