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Chicago Archbishop Blase CupichLori Solyom / TC Public Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich, regarded as one of the “progressives” in the Catholic Church hierarchy, is in the running to head the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee.

Cupich will face Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, next month in an election to chair the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

The USCCB will vote on the pro-life chairmanship along with its conference secretary and six other committee chairs at its upcoming annual General Assembly scheduled for November 13-14 in Baltimore.


The USCCB announced the nominees in a statement this week.

Cardinal Cupich has had a rapid rise to prominence under Pope Francis. He became Francis’ first major U.S. appointment when he was named archbishop of Chicago in 2014.

Two years later, Francis made him a cardinal just three months after appointing him to the Congregation for Bishops, the Vatican office that recommends candidates to be appointed bishops to the Pope.

After Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner broke a pledge late last month and signed a bill forcing the state’s taxpayers to pay for Medicaid abortions, Cupich tweeted

Cardinal Cupich has taken part of the Chicago March for Life each year since his appointment. The Chicago archdiocese has its Respect Life office under an umbrella Human Dignity and Solidarity Office along with Care for Creation, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Immigration and other ministries.

Pro-life supporters were dismayed in 2011 when Cupich, as bishop of Spokane, Washington, instructed his priests and seminarians not to join 40 Days for Life vigils. The diocese later walked the directive back, though it was reported to have remained in force behind the scenes.

In August 2015, he responded in an op-ed to the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking scandal by saying Catholics should be no less appalled by the lack of decent medical care, a broken immigration system, racism, hunger, joblessness, gun violence, and capital punishment.

He concurred at the 2015 annual meeting of the U.S. Bishops with San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, who advocated the idea that poverty and the environment are on the par with defense of life.

Cupich has spoken against enforcement of Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which would prohibit pro-abortion politicians and other public figures from receiving Communion.

Archbishop Naumann has led the Kansas City, Kansas, archdiocese since 2005 after he was first named an auxiliary bishop for St. Louis in 1997 by Pope Saint John Paul II.

He currently serves as a member of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

In May, he cut ties between his diocese and the Girl Scouts over the Scouts’ links to abortion.

During last year’s presidential election as the Kansans metropolitan prelate, he and the Kansas bishops produced a video for Catholics on the election that said, “All Catholics have a moral obligation to keep (the) human rights catastrophe” of abortion “at the forefront of their minds when voting.”

Naumann was also one of a few bishops to publicly criticize the pro-abortion record of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, a Catholic.

Naumann has also been a unique voice among U.S. Bishops in questioning the international aid organization Catholic Relief Services on its funding guidelines after revelations that CRS gives millions of dollars each year to pro-abortion and contraception organizations in developing countries.

In May 2008, Archbishop Naumann publicly directed former Kansas governor and then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from presenting herself for Holy Communion until she takes “the necessary steps for amendment of her life, which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion.” 

Naumann had given the public direction after asking Sebelius privately, doing so because of her ongoing public record of vetoing pro-life legislation in Kansas and her close ties to slain abortionist George Tiller.

In 2010, he criticized Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association for their support of the healthcare reform bill before the Senate, which put them at odds with the U.S. Bishops and allowed federal dollars to subsidize abortion-covering healthcare plans. It eventually became ObamaCare.

The Committee on Pro-Life Activities guides the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities in its work.

This includes development of educational material on pro-life issues and conducting internal and external educational campaigns; producing various print and electronic pro-life publications; supporting assistance programs for pregnant women and other vulnerable individuals, including post-abortive women; providing dioceses with pro-life liturgical resources and assisting them in pro-life programs; and coordinating public policy efforts on pro-life issues.

The new chair of the pro-life committee will serve for one year as chairman-elect before beginning a three-year term at the end of the Bishops' 2018 Fall General Assembly, succeeding current pro-life committee chair New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan


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