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Cardinal Blase Cupich addresses the Catholic Theological Union Sept. 29, 2017.
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Catholics must let go of ‘cherished beliefs’ to ‘discern’ like Pope Francis: U.S. Cardinal

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CHICAGO, November 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Francis-appointed U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich said that if Catholics want to engage in “discernment” like Pope Francis does, they must let go of “cherished beliefs.” 

“It is our job to take up that discernment. It takes time. It involves discipline. Most importantly it requires that we be prepared to let go of cherished beliefs and long-held biases,” said the Archbishop of Chicago in a talk to the Catholic Theological Union published on YouTube October 27.

“It is this willingness of Francis to let go of the unnecessary and explore unchartered waters that gives him internal freedom, while unsettling some,” he added.  

Cardinal Cupich has rapidly risen to prominence under Pope Francis. Prior to becoming cardinal in 2016, he was appointed by Pope Francis to the influential Vatican Congregation for Bishops that recommends candidates to be appointed bishops. 

Speaking on the topic of “Dialogue in the Key of Pope Francis,” Cupich praised the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s vision of dialogue. Bernardin was the Archbishop of Chicago until his death in 1996. 

Quoting Bernardin, the Cardinal said that through dialogue “we can explore our differences and [be] assured in the understanding that neither is everything cut and dried nor is everything up for grabs.”

Cupich said that Pope Francis’s papacy is defined by “dialogue,” which he said, amounts to “building bridges.”

“Dialogue is not a dirty word, it’s our word,” he said. 

But critics have noted how Francis appears to dialogue only with people with whom he already agrees. He has consistently refused to meet with those who raise questions over how he is leading the Church, such as the dubia cardinals and many lay leaders. The same accusation is also made against Francis’ clerical allies. 

Just this week the U.S. bishops forced Father Thomas Weinandy to resign from being a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine after the priest made public a letter he wrote to Pope Francis. Fr. Weinandy had asked the Pope to correct the “chronic confusion” of his pontificate, which he says “fosters within the faithful a growing unease.”

Cardinal Cupich said in his address that Catholics “must have a change of heart if dialogue is to be successful and common ground is to be found.” They must come to an understanding that Jesus Christ is “always doing something new” in the Church, he said. 

He outlined how in his own Archdiocese he is “rebuilding” and “reimagining” the Church through a process of “discernment” and “dialogue.” 

He called the process a “revolution.” 

“We’re not a Church of preservation, but rather a Church of proclamation. To achieve this end, we must be open to significant, if not revolutionary changes in how the Archdiocese with its parishes and ministries is organized, how it's resourced, how it's staffed,” he said. 

“It is a process that will be marked by discernment. That discernment involves a dialogue with God and which we have with each other…That discerning dialogue will be key to unburdening ourselves from the temptation of settling for the way things are, the familiar, the comfortable way, because it offers the hope that God is doing something new in our time.” 

Cupich said the processes of renewal “have their own vocabulary” and that leadership within the Archdiocese need to be reminded to use the “language of faith.”

The Cardinal said that while the majority of priests are supportive of his “Renew my Church” program, local lay leaders are far less supportive. 

“We’re asking them to walk where they have not walked before,” he said. 

“We must continue to develop the spiritual and other resources needed for them to be leaders in a Synodal Church that is reimagining itself.” 

“The Church is not fully Church if it lacks dialogue,” he said. 

Last month the Cardinal co-hosted a conference at Boston College where a number of dissident Catholics met to discuss strategies for implementing Pope Francis’ controversial teachings on marriage and family in dioceses across the United States. 

In June, the Cardinal interpreted the Pope’s 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love) as a call for Catholics to graduate from “an adolescent spirituality into an adult spirituality” where they will be able to use their “freedom of conscience” to “discern truth” in their life.

Cupich has argued that active homosexuals should be able to receive Holy Communion and is a public supporter of Jesuit priest and homosexualist Vatican adviser James Martin. 

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