Arch( bishop ) enemy?
The recent Windy City Times headline "LGBTs welcome new archbishop" epitomizes much that is wrong in our community.
The new archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, is touted as a "moderate" and people assume he will represent a sea change compared to his predecessor, the stridently anti-gay Francis George. How many leaders have promised us peace, but given us war? How many have used pro-LGBT rhetoric and then saddled us with the Defense of Marriage Act and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" Like the new pope, a change in style hardly heralds a change in substance.
Cupich may be more approachable and less confrontative than George, but can the next church worker who decides to marry his or her same-sex partner expect to keep his job, unlike the church music director in Inverness?
Given bigoted and discriminatory Catholic doctrine, is it even realistic to expect policy changes from Cupich? He is squarely against same-sex civil marriage, as his opposition to civil legal equality in Washington state demonstrates. That he warned against coupling this opposition with violence against LGBT people is small comfort.
And its not just LGBT rights about which we should be concerned. Cupich is opposed to abortion rights as well, not just denying them to Catholics but to all women.
And what about the Church's sex-abuse scandal? The Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests ( SNAP ) has expressed concern about the dismissive manner in which Cupich handled cases in his prior assignment. Cupich also praised Cardinal George for his leadership role on the abuse scandal in George's role as head of the Bishops' Conference. In fact, George coddled abusive priests right here in Chicago by harming the effort at criminal justice that needs to occur for our society to heal.
Non-Catholic society and Catholics working for change in their church should avoid fawning over leaders who, with smiles and a few kind words, deliver the same systemic exclusion we've come to expect in the past.
Gay Liberation Network
I continue to be amazed at how out of touch and backwards the U.S. Catholic bishops are when it comes to the civil-rights issues of LGBT people.
On the surface, there is a disjointed and misleading pastoral approach, with the official position being condemnation of the LGBT community, and other Catholic parishes/organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Outreach ministry, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Old St. Patrick's, DePaul University and Catholic Charities saying that gay Catholics are welcome in the Church.
Remember, it was Catholic Charities:
who refused to minister homeless LGBT youth;
closed down statewide adoption agencies over the issue of LGBT couples adoption; and
whose response to HIV/AIDS in our community, to put it charitably, is more cosmetic than real.
The facts are there for all to see just do a Google search on Cardinal George/Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, on gay marriage, gay adoption and women's ordination to the priesthood.
I understand the cardinal is in poor health. However, we cannot ignore the harm this man continues to inflict on our community. In my opinion, this is not about being mean-spirited; rather, it is about telling the truth.
Recently, the Windy City Times ( on Sept. 24 ) ran an article on LGBTs welcome new archbishop by Matt Simonette. What surprised me by this well-written article was the response from the past leadership of Dignity. Chris Pett said, "We look forward to learning more about Bishop Cupich's views on the many issues impacting justice in the Church. We also hope the Bishop Cupich will fully engage our community and other marginalized communities in the justice work of the Church." The reason for my amazement was the source of that statement.
Archbishop-elect Cupich's anti-gay history is there for all to see when it comes to dealing with same-sex marriage, LGBT adoption employment rights and equal protection under the law.