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Cardinal Blase Cupich at 2018 Vatican Synod briefingDiane Montagna/LifeSiteNews

ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors in the Church” beginning later this week.

Cardinal Cupich, one of the main organizers of the summit and a lead prelate of the delegation from the United States, emerged as an immediate proponent of the Vatican summit when, at the last minute, the Holy See blocked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from pursuing its agenda to address clergy sexual abuse at the groups meeting last November.  

The Chicago Archbishop’s appointment to a high profile role at the summit raised eyebrows from the outset, particularly after he dismissed Archbishop Viganò’s testimony on the McCarrick abuse cover-up as a mere “rabbit hole” distracting the Church.  As evidenced at today’s press conference, Cardinal Cupich continues to believe that homosexuality is not a significant contributing factor in the abuse of minors, despite statistics showing otherwise.

At a press conference today, former Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced the list of featured speakers and the topics they will be discussing at the upcoming meeting:

  • Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines) and since 2015 President of Caritas Internationalis and the Catholic Bible Federation:  “Smell of the sheep. Knowing their pain and healing their wounds is at the heart of the shepherd's task”
  • Charles J. Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta and Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “Church as field hospital. Taking responsibility.”
  • Card. Rubén Salazar Gómez, Archbishop of Bogotà (Colombia) and President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM): “The Church in a moment of crisis – Facing conflicts and tensions and acting decisively.”
  • Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India: “Collegiality: sent together.”
  • Card. Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois: “Synodality: jointly responsible.”
  • Linda Ghisoni, Undersecretary for the Laity of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life: “Communio: to work together.”
  • Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ, from Nigeria, Elected Leader of The Society of the Holy Child Jesus: “Openness: sent out into the world.”
  • Card. Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of München und Freising (Germany); chairman of the German Bishops' Conference: “Transparency in a community of believers.”
  • Valentina Alazraki, a Journalist and writer in Mexico: “Communication: to all people.”

The Vatican also released the list of meeting participants. The list of names has been published on a dedicated website aimed at providing resources for journalists and concerned Catholics during the Vatican summit.

Taking part in the meeting, at which Pope Francis will be present, will be the Heads of the Oriental Catholic Churches; the Superiors of the Secretariat of State; the Prefects of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Oriental Churches, for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for the Clergy, for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life, and of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life; the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences; and representatives of the Union of Superiors General and of the International Union of Superiors General.

The full list of participants includes:

  • 36 Presidents of Episcopal Conferences from Africa will be participating, 24 from North and South America, 18 from Asia, 32 from Europe, and 4 from Oceania.
  • 14 leaders of the Oriental Catholic Churches
  • 15 Ordinaries who do not belong to an Episcopal Conference
  • 12 Superiors General of men religious
  • 10 Superiors General of women religious
  • 10 Prefects of Vatican dicasteries
  • 4 Members of the Roman Curia
  • 5 Members of the Council of Cardinals
  • 5 Organizers, Moderator and Speakers

Al told, there will be 190 Summit participants at the four day summit hosted by the Vatican, beginning this Thursday.

A complete list of participants can be found here in pdf format.

On Saturday evening, participants will adjourn from the synod hall to attend a “penitential liturgy,” in the Sala Regia in the Apostolic Palace, where Sunday Mass will be held the following morning.

Pope Francis will be present at both the penitential liturgy and at Sunday Mass but is not expected to deliver a homily. However, at the conclusion of Mass on Sunday, the Pope will deliver a concluding address.