Francis appoints new Archbishop of Chicago

Bp Blase Cupic

Pope Francis has appointed a new Archbishop of Chicago, one of the most important sees in the US Church. Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich, 65, formerly the Bishop of Spokane, Washington, will be installed on November 18, reports The Tablet.

His appointment to one of the most Catholic states in the US has been interpreted by observers as an indication of Pope Francis’ vision for the American Church.

The Tablet this July identified Bishop Cupich as one of the possible successors to Cardinal George. An article by Michael Sean Winters said that appointing him would signal a “new day” for the Church. “A native of the Midwest, Cupich is well regarded for handling the sex abuse crisis in Spokane, Washington. Considered one of the brightest bishops, if Pope Francis wants to send the signal that it is a ‘new day’, Cupich is the man,” he wrote.

In an interview with the US-based National Catholic Reporter at the weekend Bishop Cupich said that Church leaders “cannot base decisions on a past era where things were different.”

He said he intended to “work with the system” but wanted to look for ways “in which things have to move forwards”.

The bishop is a long-time contributor to the liberal-leaning Jesuit journal America, and has written articles explaining the opposition of the Bishops' Conference to the Obama Government’s health-care mandate, and on clerical abuse.

FULL STORY Francis appoints new archbishop of Chicago in move described as 'a new day' for the US Church (The Tablet)

Related coverage: Pope Francis’s Winds of Change Cross the Atlantic (Time

Cupich to media: 'It's just important for me to put aside my ego' (NCR)

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