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CHICAGO (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich was booed off the stage at an event for Chicago March for Life on Saturday, with a group of protesters criticizing the prelate for failing to defend the unborn and uphold Church teaching.

Cupich, who wore a mask throughout his four-minute appearance at the event, was booed and heckled at the beginning of his remarks when he described wearing a face mask as a form of “promoting life.”

“You know, we come here in these days of the pandemic when life is threatened. And I’m so glad that I see many of you wearing masks. I hope that you continue to look for ways in which we can end this pandemic by promoting life,” he said.

Protesters held signs that read “Cupich is the culture of death,” “Stop sacrilegious Communion,” and “Babies the preeminent issue.”

“Now I know you people, there are some in the crowd here who don’t respect the unborn,” he said, referring to the demonstrators.

“And that’s too bad. But let me speak. Let me speak,” added the cardinal, who last summer mandated the abortion-tainted COVID jabs for all priests and employees of the Chicago archdiocese.

No vaccines currently halt infection and transmission of the virus, which has spread rapidly through the “fully vaccinated” in recent weeks. COVID-19 is a survivable illness for the vast majority of people who contract it, especially when combatted with certain early treatment protocols.

During his speech, Cardinal Cupich declared that protecting the unborn is “not our only goal.” “We march today for respect for all human life. That’s the goal that we need to pursue,” he explained, pointing to immigrants and the sick.

Cupich was again met with boos and shouts of “shame!” at the end of his speech, with some attendees yelling: “At the USSCB general assembly you did not respect the unborn,” “Tell the USCCB,” “Tell Joe Biden,” and “Tell [pro-abortion Democratic senator] Dick Durbin.”

“Now, these people won’t let me talk because they’re not here to respect the unborn. They’re not here to respect you,” Cupich reacted before being escorted off the stage by security. “You’re evil, you’re destroying our Church,” one protester said as he left the stage.

The protests came less than two weeks after Cupich implemented some of the most severe restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass in the United States, banning the traditional liturgy on Christmas and other major feast days and strictly prohibiting the traditional sacraments. A group of Catholics also gathered at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral on Saturday for a demonstration against Cupich’s Latin Mass crackdown.

Cupich’s liberal record on abortion

Cardinal Cupich has a long record of downplaying the evil of abortion and lobbying the USSCB to soften its stance on abortion, which the conference recognizes as its “pre-eminent priority.” Last year, the liberal prelate helped organize a letter to USCCB president Archbishop José Gomez insisting that he halt discussions about denying the Eucharist to politicians who promote abortion.

Cupich had publicly rebuked a statement released by Gomez ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration in January that condemned the incoming administration’s pro-abortion, pro-LGBT platform, calling the statement “ill-considered.”

In April, he flew to Rome in an apparent attempt to secure the Vatican’s help to undercut plans for a USCCB document about Eucharistic consistency. Days later, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to Gomez urging him to postpone drawing up such a policy. The bishops eventually agreed on a widely criticized document that makes no mention of pro-abortion politicians.

Cupich has for years defended giving Holy Communion to lawmakers who support abortion, remarking shortly after his appointment as archbishop of Chicago that he “would not use the Eucharist, or as they call it ‘the communion rail,’ as a place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church.”

“I think it would be counterproductive to impose sanctions, simply because they don’t change anybody’s minds,” Cupich said on worthiness for Communion in 2019. He has similarly advocated for unrepentant homosexuals and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist.

Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law declares that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy Communion.”

The Chicago prelate and top papal ally has also repeatedly equated abortion with various social issues, like racism. In an op-ed for dissident Jesuit magazine America ahead of the 2008 election, he claimed that voting against a candidate due to race “is to promote an intrinsic evil” in the same way as voting for a candidate specifically because he or she supports abortion.

In 2015, Cupich infamously argued that “we should be no less appalled” by “crushing a child’s skull” than by “joblessness and want,” racism, and a “broken immigration system.”

At a USCCB meeting later that year, he complained that poverty and “climate change” were not among “first tier” issues, like abortion, in the bishops’ voting guide. And at another bishops’ meeting in fall 2019, he unsuccessfully attempted to amend a document about political life to include a quote by Pope Francis that downplayed the gravity of abortion.

As bishop of Spokane, Washington, Cupich reportedly went so far as to prohibit priests and seminarians from joining 40 Days for Life prayer vigils outside of abortion clinics in his diocese.

Cupich is additionally known for his dissident affirmations of homosexuality and his mishandling of clerical sex abuse cases. The left-wing cardinal permits LGBT Masses and allows homosexuals in same-sex “marriages” to receive Catholic funeral rites.

In 2016, he waited weeks to remove a priest and seminary rector caught with child pornography, giving the priest time to discard evidence. He was also aware of accused homosexual predator priests living at a seminary in the Spokane diocese and did not inform police or his successor about their presence.

The U.S. bishops in 2017 rejected Cupich’s nomination for chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, instead electing Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.

Pope Francis named Cupich the archbishop of Chicago in 2014 and a cardinal two years later and has appointed him to the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Catholic Education.