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Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of ChicagoClaire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

September 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich praised the pope’s new document Magnum Principium that gives bishops’ conferences more power over proposed Mass translations for their countries. 

“Pope Francis is giving in this document an authoritative interpretation of the [Vatican II] council as it relates to the responsibilities of bishops for the liturgical life of the church,” Cupich told the Jesuit-run America magazine.

“But, even more significantly, I believe this development is in keeping with the program of Pope Francis, which Cardinal Wuerl once described as reconnecting the church with the Second Vatican Council,” he added. 

Catholics formed during the pontificates of Pope St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI consider Cupich one of the most liberal prelates in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis' moto proprio, titled Magnum Principium, effectively decentralizes some of the process of proposing Mass translations of the Vatican II Mass, allowing bishops’ conferences to submit them to the Vatican liturgy office. The liturgy office, rather than being able to mark up proposals, will now only be allowed to approve or veto them.

Cupich told America that Magnum Principium “sends a signal regarding the methodology that will be used in bringing about other reforms that are being considered by the Council of Cardinals.”

“According to the Vatican, the group of nine cardinals advising Pope Francis is considering a number of reforms that would decentralize some Vatican offices and shift responsibility to local bishops conferences,” America reported.

Of this, Cupich said: “We should anticipate that all these reforms will likewise be framed as authoritative interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, thereby rooting them in the tradition and giving them permanence.”

Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga and German Cardinal Reinhard Marx are both on the pope’s “council of nine.” Maradiaga, who heads the council, has blasted Cardinal Raymond Burke for his interpretation of the Catholic faith.

Marx is one of the most well-known “progressive” prelates who has argued the Church should change her teaching on the Sacraments and marriage.

This summer, Pope Francis called liturgical reforms of Vatican II “irreversible.”

“We can state with confidence and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” he told an Italian liturgy conference.

Both Cupich and Pope Francis have expressed animosity toward the Tridentine Mass, the Old Rite of the Mass that was the norm prior to Vatican II.

Pope Francis has questioned the “rigidity” of the ever-growing number of young people attached to it. 

As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, in 2002, as the Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, Cupich locked the doors of a Catholic parish during the Easter Triduum, one of the holiest points of the Catholic liturgical year, in order to prevent Traditional Latin Masses from taking place. The church was forced to hold its Good Friday liturgies on the sidewalk.

Cupich is a strong supporter of the pope’s Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which many bishops have interpreted as allowing civilly-divorced-and-remarried couples living in habitual adultery to receive Holy Communion.