My Personal Encounters with the New Archbishop of Chicago

All my (limited) experience of Blase Cupich, whom Pope Francis appointed archbishop of Chicago yesterday, is very positive.

 

Quite a few years ago I was invited to participate in a Catholic Common Ground dialogue on church art and architecture at Mundelein Seminary. (Don’t know why on earth they asked me, but I suppose they wanted some young conservatives to make for real dialogue.) Bishop Cupich was also part of the enterprise.

 

There was an impassioned plea from a very conservative friend of mine (this really is a different person in this story, not a stand-in for me). Our generation, my friend said, voice shaking with emotion, was cheated of our Catholic inheritance. We got light-weight catechesis and silly liturgy. Nobody gave us the Catholic faith.

 

Bishop Cupich responded with great sensitivity. He apologized forthrightly to the young man. He was sorry for what happened to him. He acknowledged that this shouldn’t have happened. He didn’t dispute his narrative or correct his facts.

 

I’m confident that my friend felt heard and respected.

 

Then, a few years ago, there was a symposium on lay ecclesial ministry in Collegeville for which I provided music at the liturgies. Bishop Cupich was a participant in the symposium.

 

Word came down to me that “the bishop would like to see me.” I wondered what on earth he wanted, and I was just a bit nervous. (This was after my open letter to the U.S. bishops withdrawing my support for the new missal.)

 

It was this: Bishop Cupich told me that I was right about the new Roman Missal, that the final translation had been mishandled. He wanted me to hear that from a bishop.

 

Now to be sure, Bishop Cupich did not contest the new missal publicly. And if I’m not mistaken, I believe he even had a word of reproof for those who made a cause of their opposition. Perhaps on this point he’s a wiser man than I.

 

But Bishop Cupich saw my reasons for holding my position, and he even agreed with them at some level. Most important, he reached out to me with respect.

 

In my experience, Bishop Cupich is a good man and a loving pastor. Chicago Catholics have reason to be very grateful. Let us all support the ministry of soon-to-be Archbishop Cupich with our prayers.

 

awr

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 comments

  1. It was this: Bishop Cupich told me that I was right about the new Roman Missal, that the final translation had been mishandled. He wanted me to hear that from a bishop.

    Now to be sure, Bishop Cupich did not contest the new missal publicly. And if I’m not mistaken, I believe he even had a word of reproof for those who made a cause of their opposition. Perhaps on this point he’s a wiser man than I.

    I’m delighted to hear this, because I was the voice from the floor at an FDLC meeting few years back when Bishop Cupich was giving out the party line on the new translation at one of those evening sessions where you get to dialogue with people from BCL/BDCW. I challenged him then, and he did not respond in an adequate way, perhaps because it was a public forum or perhaps because he had not yet realized for himself what a travesty of liturgical development this episode in the life of the Church has been.

    I know, from talking to many of his brethren on both sides of the Pond, that he and many other bishops do now realize what damage has been done. I think their problem is that they do not yet know how to remedy it.

    I too think think that Archbishop Cupich shows all the traits of an excellent pastor who knows the smell of the sheep. And I am so happy for LTP, who perhaps can now take up once again a frontline position in the progress of the life of the liturgy in the English-speaking world!

  2. As we come to the 3rd Anniversary of using the new Missal translations, I have yet to utter the word ‘consubstantial’ and as I recite the Creed I remain bewildered with what has been done to these prayers in the name of ‘updating and bringing it closer to the original Latin’. God, please give Bishop Cupich the courage and strength to put us on the path to Revising the Missal’s text.

    1. @Rosemary McNerney – comment #4:
      “Consubstantial” isn’t the only word I haven’t uttered in the Creed yet. “Incarnate” appears on my list too.

      I wonder if the problem is in part that one can’t simultaneously ‘update’ the language and ‘bring it closer to the original Latin’. The two concepts don’t seem to fit in the same box, it seems. Well, it seems to me, anyway.

      I share your prayer that Bishop Cupich receive what he needs to put us on a path to an improvement on the improvement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.