In (Catholic) news this week: “Cupich named to organizing group of Vatican’s February meeting on abuse crisis.”
Are you asking yourself, as I am, “what the frick is this about?” Or even “this is a frickin’ joke”?
Or saying to yourself, “there is no frickin’ way Cupich should be among the anti-abuse meeting organizers”?
After all, Cupich has not shown himself to have any particular expertise in the subject. He has not set forth a track record of working with victims; if he’s got experience cleaning house, and especially with un-covering cover-ups, he’s done so in obscurity. He’s washed his hands with respect to McCarrick and announced that, gosh, no one knew anything; if he’s called anyone to account over the cover-up of his misdeeds, he has again done so in obscurity.
Near as I can tell, his appointment is only because of his ability to kiss up to Francis. And Francis’s appointment of kiss-ups rather than people who will make a real difference, only appears to affirm his indifference to fixing the issue as opposed to hoping it goes away and wanting to do the minimum needed to get people to shut up about it.
Not to mention that Cupich, in an interview has said what his objectives are:
he said the committee is “committed to achieving specific outcomes from this meeting that reflect the mind of Pope Francis.”
If the meeting has the objective only to rubber-stamp Francis’s plan, then what value is there in it?
And let’s not forget Cupich’s proposal at the fall US bishops’ meeting:
The Cupich-Wuerl plan would instead send allegations against bishops to be investigated by their metropolitan archbishops, along with archdiocesan review boards. Metropolitans themselves would be investigated by their senior suffragan bishops.
(Cupich denies that he collaborated with Wuerl; the CNA stands by its reporting.)
What a frickin’ joke. Given that the problem all along has been bishops covering up the misdeeds of not just priests but also their “brother bishops,” what value is there in those same bishops investigating subordinate bishops? Cupich says that the issue is clericalism, but proposes reinforcing it. Why on earth would bishops do any better a job about confronting other bishops engaged in misconduct, just because it’s officially made into their duty to do so, than when it was — well, still their duty as human beings?
For what it’s worth, near as I can tell, he really shouldn’t be a bishop, if his priorities lie in such political issues as environmental regulations and immigration support/amnesty. He can head up Catholic Charities or serve in some similar fashion if his focus is these sorts of secular priorities rather than ministry.
And for him to be headed to the Vatican indicates that this isn’t really particularly important to the Pope, that he wants to paper over things.
And I am not accusing the Cardinal of having engaged in any sort of cover up. I am not aware of any such actions. So far as I can tell, he is being honest when he says that the system in place in the Archdiocese of Chicago works to prevent and uncover such abuse to as great a degree as is reasonably possible. And yes, longtime readers will know that my larger beef is with Cupich being more concerned about these political causes — immigration, gun violence, etc. — than the spiritual well-being of the Catholic Church and Catholics in his diocese, and the only connection we suburbanites have with him is when we listen to his recorded voice asking for money or see him on the news speaking about politics.
My objection is simply that he doesn’t belong on this committee. If, indeed, the Cardinal is well-meaning, then he should acknowledge that, and should step aside in favor of someone with some actual expertise. If not, then his objective is questionable: is it to fix these problems or is it to boost his own prestige and power within the hierarchy?