After the announcement that Pope Francis had selected Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago to become one of the new cardinals, Cupich gave short, but very revealing, 12 October interview to the Italian newspaper La Stampa‘s publication Vatican Insider. This interview is very important, because Cupich explains his own understanding of the Eighth Chapter of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
When asked whether things have now changed with regard to the issue of the “remarried” divorcees and their possible having access to Holy Communion, Cupich explains:
My position is the same as that of Pope Francis, who has indicated that the proper interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia” was given by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and then again by the bishops of Argentina, for which the Pope noted “no further interpretation is needed.” So if people want to know what I think, they should refer to those sources. I also draw attention to the fine article written by Professor Rocco Buttiglione in L’Osservatore Romano on July 19 of this year, which I reprinted in our archdiocesan newspaper. Professor Buttiglione makes a convincing case for the continuity of the teaching of Pope Francis on these matters with his predecessors and with The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In this short commentary, Cupich once more makes it clear that Pope Francis himself supports the Argentine Bishop’s decision to give the “remarried” divorcees access to Holy Communion – in spite of the fact that these divorcees live in a way that violates God’s Commandments, and even unrepentantly. Thus, Cupich confirms for us what the pope had intended with Amoris Laetitia. There should be no doubt about it anymore.
It thus becomes clearer why Pope Francis chose Cupich to become a new cardinal. He obviously sees in Cupich a man who will support his “new approach” in the United States. This is how Cupich himself puts it, when speaking about the pope’s 2015 visit in the U.S.:
At the same time, he [Francis] offered a challenging vision of what the Church is called to be and so it is now up to all of us, the bishops of the US, to respond with courage and vigor.
The archbishop of Chicago – who was only recently (in 2014) put into this position by Pope Francis himself – will likely make sure that one part of the pope’s “challenging vision” is to advance a further laxity in the application of the Church’s moral teaching – also at the increasing risk that additional souls might well be lost.