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Pope Francis meets with Cardinal Cupich after Biden inauguration statement dispute

By Courtney Mares for CNA

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago walks away after meeting Pope Francis during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Feb. 7, 2018. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Jan 30, 2021 / 08:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis met with Cardinal Blase Cupich on Saturday, 10 days after the cardinal publicly criticized the U.S. bishops’ official statement on the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

The private audience occurred in the Apostolic Palace on the morning of Jan. 30. Cardinal Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, has been in Rome for a meeting of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. The Holy See Press Office did not release any further information on the meeting other than that it took place.

On Jan. 20, the day of the U.S. presidential inauguration, Cupich took to Twitter to criticize a statement from Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference.

In his four-part Twitter thread Cupich said that “the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration. Aside from the fact that there is seemingly no precedent for doing so, the statement, critical of President Biden, came as a surprise to many bishops, who received it just hours before it was released.”

“The statement was crafted without the involvement of the Administrative Committee, a collegial consultation that is a normal course for statements that represent and enjoy the considered endorsement of the American bishops,” he said.

“The internal institutional failures involved must be addressed, and I look forward to contributing to all efforts to that end, so that, inspired by the Gospel, we can build up the unity of the Church, and together take up the work of healing our nation in this moment of crisis.”

In the statement that Cupich said was “ill-considered,” Archbishop Gomez wrote that while there are numerous issues of concern to the bishops’ conference, abortion is the preeminent issue that cannot be ignored.

Gomez said that “abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.”

“Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will. My hope is that we can begin a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families,” he continued.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Catholic, issued a statement with Vice President Kamala Harris two days later on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which mandated permissive abortion laws nationwide.

The president and vice president stressed their commitment to legal abortion, saying “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.”

Biden also issued a presidential memorandum on Jan. 28 repealing the Mexico City Policy. His act allows for the U.S. to again fund international pro-abortion groups through family planning funding and global health assistance.

In his sweeping order “Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad,” Biden stated his administration’s commitment to promoting women’s “reproductive health.”

The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) responded that, under Biden’s order, the U.S. would be contributing to abortions and abortion advocacy in the developing world.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, and Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chair of the bishops’ international justice and peace committee, issued a statement on Jan. 28.

“It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations,” the bishops said.

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  1. F1, Blaise, Toobin… Mr mccarrick products all… their lack of resolve against abortion, so-called ss “marriage” & support for all things “progressive” is disheartening, at best..

  2. The two men in the photograph are frauds, they do not have the voice of the good shepherd. As their like-minded cohorts, they have “the mind of McCarrick,” with whom they remain in full communion, having required no public apology or confession of guilt, despite a lifetime of what are publicly known mortal sins, both sexual abuse and financial with the Papal Charity.

    Serious disciples of Jesus will pray that such men will not be permitted be the ones that choose the next fraud as Pontiff, because such as they delight in their carnival of deceit.

    May God in his justice and mercy confound them.

    • I cannot believe any true Catholic would attack the Pope like this. There are way too many Priests and cardinals and voices in the Church which I grew up in and love, attacking the Shepherd (Peter’s replacement) chosen by the Holy Spirit to lead our Church. I am, have always been and will always be Pro Life. I have marched in protests, been Secretary of our local chapter and I am disappointed that Biden is not supporting the Pro Life movement. However too many in the Pro Life Movement are complicit in the evil that Trump and his administration did during his 4 years that was a direct attack on LIFE – minorities, immigrants, refugees, women as well as causing by the denial and lies about the pandemic causing by this failure the death of so many, many thousands of American citizens who’s lives are also precious to God that did not need to die. Where were these pro life voices when he was causing the death of so many through his lies and his empowerment of White Supremicists and Neo Nazis. Shame.

      • To fault the article (and its commenters) for not discussing immigration, minorities, the evil of Trump, poverty, and feminism as you may wish is not the problem of the site, the commenters, or the author.

        The article focuses on Church teaching about abortion and the stance of Catholic polititians in respect to that issue. For some visitors who wish to discuss Trump and other political issues as you mention, a plethora of other websites, platforms, and articles exist where one may more comments you’d like.

        Perhaps you expected something different in your stumble into CWR. There is no shame in that. Godspeed.

      • The virus was in the states in Nov or Dec 2019, longgggggg before the Chinese announced their first case. Retrieved blood samples proved that

        • A town in southern Utah in January 2020, had several Chinese exchange students. Within days the town folks starting coming down with an unknown illness. The doctors were treating a mystery disease. They did not what they were treating or how to treat the people,
          When the covid was identified and spreading across the country, no one in this town came down with covid.

      • For heaven’s sake, Elizabeth, forget politics. If you are truly prolife, you will support action that is prolife. Trump may have done things you regard as wrong but he was the first President to attend a prolife rally in the history of America, an action that was of little benefit to him, it took a lot of courage but even more important, it was the right thing to do. So acknowledge the good; as for the wrongs you list, none of them, not even the pandemic you so casually cast on his shoulders, were a deliberate murder. Every abortion is a deliberate murder. THAT is what you have to bear in mind above all. As for pandemics, there isn’t a government in any country that has known exactly what to do or how to do it and Biden’s govt will soon learn that any pandemic related mistake is held against him whether or not he was influential in the matter – Presidents are not supermen, with unlimited powers and omniscient judgement – the truth is that disease can defeat us. Masks will not prevent the pandemic, nor cure the pandemic, even a vaccine may not do so. So be more truthful and realistic. Abortion kills almost every child, any surviving children are most often maimed – Trump has not committed murder or attempted murder, Elizabeth. Biden, most unfortunately, highly recommends doing so. He is disgracefully pro-abortion, which is against Catholic doctrine (see encyclical of humanae vitae, for example). No Catholic can claim to genuinely practise the faith while advocating for abortion.

        • If the Devil wanted to destabilise democracy in the United States and needed Catholic votes he would choose someone who promoted the pro-life cause. He did this. But I assume you know the seven Deadly Sins. Can you name just one that Donald Trump has not committed – many, many times? The Father of Lies uses the words of an ex-president who is someone who cannot help lying and does so without restraint.

      • The College of Cardinals chooses the Pope not the Holy Spirit. This is the lie that keeps getting repeated by liberals to try deter real Catholics from resisting the destruction of the Church by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The Holy Spirit assists everyone in some capacity but whether you cooperate with that grace is another matter. It’s quite obvious by now that the Cardinals that elected Pope Francis were either ignorant or were much more influenced by the spirit of the age than the Holy Spirit in the 2013 conclave.

        • You are correct. The Holy Spirit was not summoned to the conclave when the Cardinals were closing a new Pope. A few liberal,Cardinals got together, went to the most liberal Cardinals and influenced them to vote for Bergolio. That’s how he became Pope. He won’t live much longer but he’s been naming many liberal priests as Cardinals to ‘stack the deck’ to keep ultra liberal Pope’s in Peter’s chair but…God is not mocked and He will intervene soon and end this practice.

      • Exactly! All of Trump’s evil cannot be ignored and forgotten just because he claims to be pro-life. He’s not… He isn’t even truly a practicing Christian. He pretended to be one for show. He also himself said he wanted his last daughter aborted because he never really wanted to be with the mother.

        • i thought christianity allowed people to change? i think st paul murdered christians at one the words if Pope Francis…”who am i to judge?”

      • President Trump tried to warn and close the borders to China…Biden called him prejudiced against chinese people…President Trump was 100% for LEGAL immigration. My grandparents came here to America LEGALLY. The children at the border were brought and left there by adults…decietful and selfish…also occurring during Obama Administration by the way. Well…how does everyone like no borders…no protection from terrorism…gas prices soaring…babies being murdered up until birth all over the world with our tax money and attacks on our religous freedoms…rights to defend ourselves ..and attacks on the family and the natural order..God wont be silent too much longer…thankfully.

      • thanks to biden wel have no borders…no protection from terrorism..babies around the world will be killed up until birth with our tax money…attacks on religous freedoms..the rights to defend ourselves and the list goes on..Joseph Biden is NOT catholic..hes not even christian. Pray for him. God help us all.

  3. The heart warming smile that seems to be there on many an occasion when ever the Holy Father meets with persons – even if he may not agree with The Way in which such persons are still learning to discern and live in The Divine Will .. same ? a result of being in Oneness in The Will , in which he is in the Act of continually bringing the love , adoration and gratitude , on behalf of all , into every Wound of The Lord and His Mother , with its deep trust and peace in The Sanctifier to bring the healing and holiness where needed ..

  4. Wait…why are they meeting IN-PERSON and not via Zoom or Microsoft Teams? Did they quarantine or self-isolate after their long flight?
    It seems incredibly irresponsible to fly and meet in person right now.

      • “The private audience occurred in the Apostolic Palace on the morning of Jan. 30. Cardinal Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, has been in Rome for a meeting of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops…”
        The photo was from 2018. The article clearly states Cupich is in Rome.

    • I think Archbishop Gomez has the numbers among his brother bishops. It is the Pope who is risking being made irrelevant if he sides with Cardinal Cupich and Cardinal Gregory. Priests, bishops, and laity ignored Pope Paul VI after Humanae Vitae and it stands to happen again if Pope Francis doesn’t back the right horse here. The United States bishops are on the verge of an out and out revolt. I don’t think Gomez and his supporters are going to back off this time. They have no choice; I can only imagine the mail they are getting now from conservative Catholics who themselves aren’t going to back off, except perhaps to back off from the collection baskets if their voices continue to be ignored.

  5. 48 years of working in the Devils “Workshop” has brought Mr Biden to the illegally exalted position he now enjoys.RBG is holding the boat for him on the River Styx.Mr Biden has forgotten the old axiom . “Giving The Devil His Due”

  6. No surprises here. He also had a meeting with James Martin. Seems the more liberal your theology, the more likely you are to get an audience with Pope Francis.

    • Would Jesus see anything moral and honest enacted with dignity and respect in the actions of Donald Trump over the last 4 years?

  7. Although science is greatly advancing, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are still the polar opposites of each other.

    Does the Catholic Church give free-for-all abortions the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’??????

  8. Just before leaving the US on one of his Papal trips, St. John Paul the Great said this to all US citizens, “The peace of your Nation depends on your response to Abortion”. St. John Paul the Great was a mystic through the Third order of Lady of Mt. Carmel. We must take him seriously today more than ever. With president Biden and vice-President Harris could we be one of the Nations annihilated as foretold by Our Lady of Fatima? God is the supreme being who is a God of Justice, a God of divine wrath. Just ask the inhabitants of hell. Someone commented, “Gomez had better watch out”. Bergoglio and Cupich just may have plotted the destruction of Gomez in that private audience. Bergoglio has done this only to good men.

  9. It is so sad to see so many radical, liberal cardinals and bishops who are promoting evil. I will no longer give one penny to Chicago diocese when you have such horrible people as Blase Cupich and James Martin who promote anything but family values. Shame on them and shame on their ideology which is anti-Catholic. So many are leaving the church because of these radicals. The pope has a huge problem in keeping people in the church when he endorses China, pure communist, to help appoint bishops, change the readings in church honoring them first, and killing Catholics and christians all over. This is not my Catholic church and I am ashamed of Chicago’s liberal radicals who have no concept of the teachings of the church or just don’t care. Cardinal George disciplined Martin many times but now this creep seems to have full reign of idiocy. Not sure how long I will continue in the church when I see the liberal nuns around here as well. What an evil. Satan has infiltrated the church big time.

  10. I believe it is possible that His Holiness was reminding Cupich that publicly upgrading a clergyman for upholding established Catholic doctrine is unseemly to say the least.

  11. It is difficult to know where to start with this one. Narrowing it down to two items : first, air travel in the age of “climate change”, for one cardinal? Where is Greta when she is really needed? Second, this is the Covid era. International travel is discouraged, and in some places, forbidden. Yes, Zoom would have been the answer, but only for plebeians. Modern day aristocrats are exempt from what is mandated for the masses.

    • Agree. To comply with Pope’s climate demands maybe all clerical travel to Rome should take Greta’s example and use sail boats for international travel. However must admit using a sailboat to navigate from Chicago to Rome is difficult this time of year. Seriously, this flying out to Rome during the time of anniversary of Roe vs Wade is a poor example.

  12. Many readers might have misunderstood that the above photo was taken on 2/7/2018 ; glad for the chance to have looked up to see what was happening around that time , which led to reading up on this – – The letter regarding the truth and dignity of life of even murderers on death row and the reasons for same , carefully given out , how same is in line with the revelation of God’s Will , as has been grasped in the goodness of the hearts of the previous two Pontiffs as well . That gives us a good reason for the joyful smile on the face of both in the above picture – of being in oneness in His Will ,in this particular area ..
    Feb 8th – also Feast Day of St.Josephene Bakhita , with the miraculous history of a joy filled life in forgiveness ..

    As to the occasion of the recent meeting as sited in the CNA article , even if we may not know what was discussed , we can be grateful that the nation as well as the world at large likely needed both – the warning words of Bp. Gomez as well as the aspect of hope in The Lord , the willingness to wait with the use of lesser words which too could have its effects ..

  13. Cupich should have the courage of his convictions. A Catholic must stand up against abortion and say so. It does seem that Cupich has an appeasement policy.

  14. Whatever could have been of such great importance to put Cupich on a plane to Rome for a private audience with Francis? The topic was likely how to nip in the bud any effective opposition to the Biden agenda from whomever, among the American bishops, can rouse themselves to at least take some action. What a pair of petty schemers with third-rate intellects these two are.

  15. The Pope refuses to meet with Cardinal Zen, despite the situation in Hong Kong and China being very dire for the Church. He refuses to meet with the surviving Dubia Cardinals. And yet he has time on his schedule to meet with Cupcake. For shame.

  16. Prediction: Before 2021 is over, Joe Biden will visit the Vatican and publicly receive holy communion from the hand of Pope Francis. It will be an intentional humiliation of Gomez and all US bishops who support him.

  17. With this and his recent remarks on Vatican II, Francis continues to bring more clarity to the root of the problem: it is himself and his allies.

  18. I am anti-abortion. I don’t always agree with church teachings, and yes I got in trouble for questioning indulgences in 5th grade. Back to Biden’s official statement. What I am wondering is if he has to do that considering all the demands on equal treatment under the law or ? Could his hands be tied? Should presidents be for or against abortion in their political position even if against it in their personal belief? N

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