Rorate Caeli

Special Guest-Post:
"Behind the Scenes: How Francis Personally Picked Cupich for Chicago"
by Don Pio Pace

We are very honored to post this third guest-post by a very wise, knowledgeable, and highly influential cleric, writing under the pen name of don Pio Pace.


A Highly Troubling Sign: How Cupich was Chosen for Chicago

a guest-post by Fr. Pio Pace

It is very necessary to understand the full measure of the nomination of the extreme liberal bishop Blase Cupich to the see of Chicago, replacing Cardinal Francis George.

Cupich's promotion to this particularly important position, that usually entails the elevation to the cardinalatial red, was a personal decision of Pope Francis himself. More precisely, the Pope imposed his candidate on Cardinal Ouellet and the Congregation for Bishops, under the desperate suggestion of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò. We know well that those men who are particularly authoritarian, such as Francis, also are, in many cases, easily manipulated by those who learn how to read them. Moreover, it is enough to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another, because he has kept against the Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura an extremely strong rancor after the 2013 conclave, in which the American Cardinal was one of those who tried to thwart his path to the pontificate.

Nuncio Viganò also has lots of scores to settle. He was, at the Secretariat of State, one of the most influential members of the close entourage of Archbishop (later also Cardinal) Fernando Filoni, when Filoni was the all-powerful Sostituto at the 1st Section (General Affairs), before being named Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. First named Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State, Viganò was then made, to his great displeasure, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, a high diplomatic post, and that is in itself far from being a place of exile. (We recall the "leak" of his letter addressed to Benedict XVI to denounce the "corruption" in the administration of the Vatican City State.) It is true that while the Nuncio to the United States, when retired, often enters the College of Papal Electors, that is not always the case. For Abp. Viganò, 73 years old, time is pressing, because there are almost no chances left for him to become the head of a Congregation. But to achieve a nomination such as that of Blase Joseph Cupich to Chicago makes one's reputation.

And, above all, it assures that an extreme liberal such as bishop Cupich will get the cardinalatial hat. As we know, Francis makes very unpredictable nominations, in all senses, without truly following a clear "line". It is not at all among his concerns to prepare his succession -- he is tied down to a path that he feels entitled to create, but that only he himself knows where it leads. On the other hand, the Anti-Ratzingerians who were responsible for his election -- with the support, additionally, of many Ratzingerians -- certainly want to stop any return to a process of restoration. To achieve that end, therefore, they deem necessary to systematically place as many pawns as possible in the future consistories...