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VATICAN CITY, February 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — On January 30, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago traveled to Rome to meet with the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. Sources in Rome say that Pope Francis is considering promoting Cupich to the position of prefect of that congregation, replacing Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who is set to leave the post this year, the Catholic News Agency reported.

The Holy See press office listed Pope Francis as having received both Cupich and Ouellet the morning of January 30, but provided no more details about the meeting.

Ouellet has served as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops since 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI installed him in the position. In June 2020, Ouellet reached 75 years of age, the traditional age at which bishops are required to submit their resignation.

A Vatican insider told CNA that the Pope is “seriously considering making a surprise appointment, a bishop from the peripheries” as the new head of the congregation. Until now, expectations have been with Bishop Robert Francis Prevost of Chiclayo, Peru, as Ouellet’s replacement. Prevost was appointed as bishop of Chiclayo in 2015 by Pope Francis.

Now, however, CNA’s source said that Cupich, who was appointed as a member of the Congregation for Bishops in July 2016, is the front-runner for the position due to “the message that his appointment would deliver regarding the type of bishops he [Francis] wants for the Church,” as well as his heightened public profile.

Should Francis follow through with the appointment of Cupich, it would give the cardinal the most power in the Church, second only to that of the Pope, over the appointment of bishops throughout the world. Usually, after local consultations take place, the apostolic nuncio will forward nominations to the Congregation for Bishops, which then, presided over by the prefect, presents a candidate (or candidates) for the Holy Father’s deliberation.

A source confirmed the level of influence Cupich could attain, in that the “Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops not only has a significant role in the process (of appointing a bishop),” but also has the ear of the Pontiff, being “one of the few members of the Roman Curia that meets with the Holy Father regularly, almost every Saturday.”

Cupich — created cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016 — made headlines recently after blasting the U.S. bishops’ conference for its statement on the inauguration of “Catholic” President Joe Biden. Cupich argued that the statement, which was critical of Biden’s pro-abortion, pro-LGBT stance, was “ill-considered,” and “came as a surprise to many bishops.”

Cupich’s criticism of the statement fell in line with the position of the Vatican, which suppressed the release of the statement “hours before it was due to be released.”

Cupich has a long history of playing down the importance of combating abortion, going back at least 10 years. As bishop of Spokane, he instructed priests and seminarians within his jurisdiction “to refrain from participating in demonstrations in front of Planned Parenthood clinics or supporting ‘40 Days for Life.’”

A member of the diocesan respect life committee told LifeSiteNews at the time that Cupich said he did not support 40 Days for Life during a committee meeting in late July, noting his disapproval of “picketing” outside abortion facilities. Although members of the committee responded that 40 Days for Life was peaceful and non-demonstrative, according to the source, Cupich “was not moved.”

After much backlash, Cupich released a statement saying priests could attend such demonstrations, but that “all priests prayerfully reflect on what he has told them, commit themselves to making teaching effectively their first priority and keep in mind the irreplaceable power of the witness of their unity with each other.”

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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.


'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' -

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' -

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' -

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' -

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Furthermore, Cupich has come out in support of using abortion-tainted vaccines, going so far as to claim that getting the jab is a “moral obligation.” In a tweet, he “encourage[d] everyone, when your time comes and you are invited to get vaccinated, to do so.”

Cupich cited the Holy Father as having given “clear moral guidance” on the issue of taking abortion-related vaccines, arguing that “As [Pope Francis] has said, we need to do it for the common good; we have a moral obligation to our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family.”

Cupich has served as Chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection for Children and Young People since 2008 and has been consistently supported and promoted by Pope Francis.