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The real scoop on Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago February 16, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.

A while back, I got the impression that commenter Steve (where have you gone? I did not intend to run you off entirely, I was just asking that you dial back your comments from 11 to, say, 5) thought I was being too harsh in some of my judgments regarding Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago.  I have known and read about Bishop Cupich ever since this blog started, and what I have learned has been almost universally negative.  He took some quite heavy handed actions against the traditional practice of the Faith and pious works like priests praying outside mills while in Rapid City, SD, and continued similarly in Spokane.  I knew he was the most outspoken “peasnjustus” bishop at the USCCB in some time.  And I knew a number of other things.

But Carl Olson at Catholic World Report has examined Bishop Cupich’s record, especially in Spokane, in some depth, and has come to the conclusion that the smiling, happy, liberal, “smell of the sheep” Cupich has been given since his promotion is not especially supported by actual facts.  In the report, Cupich comes across as much more insular, heavy handed, aloof, and possessed of questionable judgment, than promoters like John Allen have revealed.

It’s a good article, I recommend you read the whole thing, I provide some excerpts below. One of the main revelations made is that the Katholyc’s description of a “Francis bishop” as a simple man of the people is not the case.  If Cupich is any indicator, a “Francis bishop” appears much more to be a Church-climbing technocrat insider, devoid of a true pastoral sense and much more at home with a room full of lawyers and accountants than souls needing guidance.

I start with quotes regarding Cupich’s strange lawsuit against the Catholic law firm that had represented the Diocese of Spokane for years in sex abuse cases, suing the law firm for millions, and its subsequent settlement in the law firm’s favor shortly after Cupich’s departure.  Pretty scandalous stuff, really, and in the inexplicable conduct of the case, so typically progressive (I add emphasis and comments):

…….”Recent interviews,” the piece noted, “in Spokane with people on both sides of the issue, as well as court documents and legal experts, reveal how betrayed some felt by Cupich’s actions. [The lawyers involved – a very mom and pop organization – speak of feeling so scandalized they have very nearly lost their faith. They tried to contact Pope Francis over this apparent persecution, but received no response. Go ahead and score the easy layup, commenters] They also show how the bishop struggled to handle a painful crisis that threatened his diocese’s future.” There’s no doubt that Cupich, when he arrived in Spokane in 2010, faced serious challenges, and any bishop in that situation was going to be criticized, fairly or not. He decided, as the Tribune reports, to file “an explosive lawsuit against the law firm that handled the bankruptcy on behalf of the diocese and had helped establish the original $1 million victims’ fund.”……..

………If the lawsuit seemed “explosive” when filed in 2012, it appears curious and even confounding now that the Diocese has agreed to quietly settle the matter. On January 23rd, the Diocese issued a joint statement with Paine Hamblen that said, in part, that the “settlement does not constitute an admission of wrong doing by either side; rather, it is a resolution of differences in an amicable manner which allows the parties to move forward with the important work that each conducts in the service of the common good.” It also stated, “There will be no further press releases or public comment by either party or their attorneys.” That apparently resolves the legal part of the matter, but it doesn’t answer questions about the wisdom of pursing the lawsuit, about Cupich’s leadership and decision making, and what all of this means, directly or indirectly, for both the Diocese of Spokane and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

After all, if Cupich believed strongly enough in the lawsuit to pursue it despite going directly contrary to the pastoral approach and legal strategy of Skylstad, why settle the lawsuit now? Was it simply because he had moved on to greener pastures? If so, what does it suggest about his sense of pastoral responsibility? Was it because he and his new legal team in Spokane recognized, in the end, that they had little to stand on and risked embarrassment in court and bad press to follow? “On its face,” theNBCChicago.com report stated, “the settlement would appear to be a resounding vindication for the firm…” From what I know of the situation, that is an accurate assessment. [So at the very least, this very strange lawsuit (read the full story at the link) is indicative of questionable judgment and leadership, at best.]

……The overall sense, expressed in varying degrees of detail, is that Cupich’s time in Spokane was quite disappointing and frustrating, especially for those looking for vibrant, clear, and accessible leadership. Those familiar with Cupich’s schedule and activities say that he was often out of the diocese for long periods of time, even more so than the amount of time Skylstad traveled while president of the USCCB. When Cupich was in the diocese, he was not readily available, rarely meeting with diocesan priests, especially not on an individual basis, although he apparently met often with certain, older Jesuit priests at Gonzaga……. [Except for the very last bit, wow does this tale sound familiar.  Sounds rather exactly like our own Bishop Farrell here in Dallas, unless he’s changed a whole bunch in the past year or two]

…….The seminary situation is noteworthy, since prior to Cupich’s arrival, it was thriving, with over two dozen seminarians. Following the removal in 2011 of Fr. Darrin Connall, co-director of vocations and rector of the seminary since 2000, the number of seminarians has fallen to less than a half dozen.[So, go figure – progressive bishop comes to town and in 3 1/2 years wrecks 20 years of work and destroys the seminary. It is so much easier to destroy than to build]  In addition, Kries notes that Cupich “had no interest in involving himself” in “direction of Gonzaga’s core curriculum,” a statement confirmed by others with direct knowledge of the situation at the Jesuit school, which has, to put it simply, been shedding its Catholic identity with determined efficiency (as Kries describes)……..

…..”What I find to be very interesting in the Francis affect [sic] as people call it,” Cupich told O’Donnell, “is that people do have a sense that the church is listening to them, and also that he is speaking to their deepest desires.”  [No, those being listened to are the aggrieved, the disaffected, those lost in grave sins, etc.  The most faithful, devout, observant Catholics have been studiously ignored] Does that include listening to his predecessor or listening those who desire to pray quietly in front of abortion mills? While Skylstad had strongly endorsed the 40 Days for Life campaign of praying in front of abortion clinics (reportedly saying, in 2008: “I commend this effort and pray that abundant fruits flow from it”), Cupich discouraged priests and seminarians from participating and the diocesan newspaper stopped allowing 40 Days for Life to run advertisements. [I blogged on this matter, in fact, in 2011.  As so many progressives evince, Bishop Cupich pretended at the time that the matter was “too polarizing” to be discussed publicly, or involve public displays by priests, and should preferably be handled in private. He also said saves are rarely made outside mills, but, first, that’s wrong, babies are saved outside every single mill just about every single day, and often multiple times, and, second, what is the worth of one human life?  For a bishop to speak so cavalierly of human life……who could imagine?]

———–End Quote————

Again, the full article is worth your time.  It examines in depth both the deliberate media construct of both Cupich as a “Francis bishop” and thus a “caring, closely involved man of the people,” and the reality regarding that construct.  Check it out.


1. c matt - February 16, 2015

Unfortunately, I think they are right – Cupich appears very much to be a “Francis Bishop.” Feigned humility, publicity hound, and careerist.

2. Dennis Hogan - February 16, 2015

Cupich is hardly the only recent bishop who has made a volt-face in character after receiving an episcopal assignment. It’s going on now in North Texas.
Actually it happens often enough that one wonders about how much discernment really goes on in selecting candidates. Apparently it is not hard to fool the screeners about an individual’s real worthiness and competence. Certainly the Holy Spirit does not seem to be a factor in selecting some bishops. Benedict XVI even admitted as much about the selection of some past popes.

Tantumblogo - February 16, 2015

I’m not sure you understood the post. The post didn’t argue that Cupich has suddenly changed as ordinary of Chicago, but that he’s always been on the progressive, insular, bureaucratic side. He’s the quintessential Church insider.

3. S. Armaticus - February 16, 2015

Excuse the self serving nature of this post, but I did a post with some background about how Cupich was “selected”. The link is here: https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/players-the-lukewarm-nuncio/

ON an aside, I’m from Chicago and I am having flashbacks of Bernardine.

Not good.


Tantumblogo - February 16, 2015

Not self-serving at all. Appreciate the link, thanks.

S. Armaticus - February 17, 2015


It’s a great story. I do not have any evidence but, I would not be surprised if all the cash that card. Pell is finding in the undisclosed accounts might not be at the root of the Lukewarm Nuncio’s problems. It’s a story right out of Godfather III. Life imitating art. 🙂

PS B/t/w Great Blog. One of my favorites.

richardmalcolm1564 - February 16, 2015

With all respect, Archbp. Cupich might well be worse than Bernardin.

S. Armaticus - February 17, 2015

If we could just get Cupich to keep his stuff in his pants, so that he does not need to use Church funds to pay off the various “rent boys”, it will be an improvement.

It’s not really asking much, is it?


4. richardmalcolm1564 - February 16, 2015

Let’s not forget the key role in Cupich’s promotion played by two key cardinals: Theodore McCarrick, Archbp. Emeritus of Washington, and Oscar Rodriguez Madariaga of Honduras.

And if you know anything about both prelates, you know what to expect.

Tantumblogo - February 16, 2015

Good points. Thanks you.

5. steve - February 16, 2015

I noted last month that while I would (Deo volente) continue to read your blog daily, I would refrain from posting comments for a time.

I have enjoyed reading your posts and comments (and comments from your many readers) since that time.

You have the finest Catholic blog that I have encountered.

My disagreement with you in regard to Bishop Cupich revolved around his supposed rejection of the importance of Sunday Mass attendance as interpreted via his interview with Commonweal.

I noted that in fairness to Bishop Cupich, he had rejected during his Installation Mass sermon in Chicago that “episodic” Sunday Mass attendance was an acceptable practice for Catholics.

Other than that, I believe that as he supports Novus Ordoism, Archbishop Cupich will ensure the Latin Church’s continued collapse (at least in the Archdiocese of Chicago).

By the way, on your blog (September 22, 2014 A.D.) I had noted that in 2011 A.D., Bishop Cupich had praised to the hilt the overall supposed success of the Novus Ordo liturgical reform (revolution).

I rejected Bishop Cupich’s overall glowing assessment of the Novus Ordo liturgical “reform”…a wreckovation and disaster (in my opinion).

If you are interested, please read my comments (Comments 10 and 11) from that thread.


I hope that Archbishop Cupich will conclude that the Latin Church’s horrific crisis of Faith will continue as long as he and our (Latin) Churchmen refuse to restore the Traditional Roman Mass (and Holy Tradition) front and center throughout the Latin Church.


Tantumblogo - February 16, 2015

Sorry to say, I don’t have time to read all comments. I know I’ve missed many of yours. I did not see your statement about being gone for a while. I wanted to make sure that when I asked for less commenting, I did not mean NO comments. Glad to see you are still around.

steve - February 17, 2015

Thank you.

Your blog is must-read for me…the finest Catholic blog around.

Let us pray that Archbishop Cupich will permit the Traditional Roman Mass to expand throughout the Chicago Archdiocese.

I know…I know.

But I hope and pray.

May God grant you and your family good health and many happy and blessed years…and continue to inspire you to produce your blog.


P.S. I can’t wait to read (Deo volente) your Lenten-related posts.

6. Baseballmom - February 17, 2015

Had time for the old homosexual priests at Gonzaga? Yeah…. That pretty much sums up the whole debacle….

Tantumblogo - February 17, 2015

I wasn’t sure if he was trying to say that Cupich is just really liberal, or something else. I chose not to make a huge assumption in examining the latter.

Baseballmom - February 17, 2015

And you are a better man than I….. Well, you KNOW what I mean ;-). Our school sent some students to Gonzaga when there was a fairly good President (forget his name) but the homosexuals and the progressives still pretty much ran the show… So, we stopped recommending them… And that good President got the boot anyway….

7. Dennis Hogan - February 17, 2015

What’s the deciding factor in choosing bishops? Someone who might be a real shepherd to a diocese or a “company man” ready to wield the 3 L’s–legerdemain, lucre, and lawsuits?
I once read with interest an article about Tom Doyle O.P. and his insights into the bishop selection process back when he was involved.

8. Edward Vix - February 17, 2015

Having recently visited Chicago over Christmas and experiencing the joy of attending Christmas day Mass (EF) at the beautiful St John Cantius church, I note that it was a joy mixed with sadness, knowing that Abp Cupich was probably even then making plans to destroy not only the parish but also the growing Order of Canons Regular of St John Cantius founded there by Fr Phillips. A furore episcoporum libera nos, Domine.

9. Donald Morgan - February 17, 2015

Does anyone with Chicago knowledge know if Archbishop Cupich is keeping his hands off of St. John Cantius and all the work they are doing to promote the Latin Revival?

10. SpokaneCatholic - February 17, 2015

I’m from Spokane.

After he changed the rector of the seminary, we had no ordinations for two years.

Also, the Vicar General quit shortly before Cupich was named archbishop of Chicago. I could never understand what the clash could have been between the VG and Cupich, as both seemed to me cut from the same cloth, but apparently not.

As for the dreamer here that is hoping he will permit the Latin Mass in Chicago, keep dreaming. We have one here, but it is kept secret. If you don’t know about it by word of mouth, you don’t know we have one. Spokane also has a thriving sedevacantist chapel and, in nearby Post Falls, Idaho, an equally thriving SSPX chapel as well as another sedevacantist chapel. That all of these independent chapels do a good business should tell you all you need to know about the spiritual state of the Diocese of Spokane.

As for being accessible, I found him to be so. Once I wrote him an email concerning an important spiritual matter. He responded in a kind and lengthy matter.

11. Janet - February 18, 2015

So glad Chicago also has a Ukrainian-Catholic Eparchy. I go to the Eastern Rite parish near me and support them instead.

12. Baseballmom - February 19, 2015

Where is our fearless leader? Hope he is not ill again? Prayers just in case.

Tantumblogo - February 19, 2015

Oh be patient.

13. Baseballmom - February 19, 2015

:-). And here you got all these extra prayers this morning…. 😉

I used to teach the kids… “I am patient I can wait!” Yeah yeah yeah… 😉

Tantumblogo - February 20, 2015

Well thank thee for the prayers. They are needed, even if illness wasn’t the exact cause.

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