Cardinal Cupich booed and heckled by some at Chicago March for Life rally

Shannon Mullen By Shannon Mullen for CNA

Cardinal Blase Cupich. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 9, 2022 / 12:25 pm (CNA).

An otherwise peaceful March for Life event in Chicago on Sunday turned contentious when some in the crowd booed and heckled Cardinal Blase Cupich during his speech at a rally at Federal Plaza.

Cupich was escorted away by security personnel after speaking, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Approximately one minute into his speech, Cupich, who wore a mask at the outdoor rally, elicited a ripple of boos when he shared words of support for those he saw in the crowd wearing masks.

“You know, we come here in these days of the pandemic when life is threatened. And I’m so glad that I see many of you wearing masks. I hope that you continue to look for ways in which we can end this pandemic by promoting life. It’s really important to do that,” Cupich said.

Hearing boos and shouting from some in the crowd, Cupich then added: “Now I know you people, there are some in the crowd here who don’t respect the unborn, and that’s too bad. But let me speak. Let me speak.” You can watch Cupich’s remarks in the March for Life Chicago live stream video, beginning at the 43:53 mark.

The booing and heckling subsided momentarily, but grew louder toward the end of Cupich’s remarks. Some in the crowd could be heard shouting statements about “Biden” and one man yelled, “Tell the USCCB!”

“Now, these people won’t let me talk because they’re not here to respect the unborn. They’re not here to respect you,” Cupich responded.

Cupich was criticized by some in the pro-life movement last year for leading an effort to head off a direct confrontation between the United States Conference of Bishops and President Joe Biden, who as the country’s second Catholic president has pursued policies at odds with official Church teaching against abortion and same-sex marriage.

A year ago Cupich took to Twitter to issue a scathing criticism of what he called an “ill-considered” statement the USCCB released on the day of Biden’s inauguration that called abortion “a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family.”

Cupich flew to Rome to meet with Pope Francis 10 days later, in a move some observers saw as an attempt to enlist the Vatican’s help in steering the USCCB away from adopting a policy of denying communion to Biden and other politicians who actively promote legalized abortion. The U.S. bishops in November voted 222 to 8, with three abstentions, in favor of releasing a new teaching document that calls for Eucharistic renewal in the Church. The document does not mention Biden or any other politicians by name.

In his remarks on the March for Life rally on Jan. 8, Cupich referred to the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide when it rules on the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization later this year.

“We have many reasons to be hopeful that the legal protections for the child in the womb, which we have advocated for decades, will soon become a reality,” Cupich said.

“But as we’ve heard already today, that’s really not our only goal,” he said. “We march today for respect for all human life. That’s the goal that we need to pursue.” Cupich later pointed to the need to defend the elderly, the sick, immigrants, and those living in poverty, among others, against a mindset that treats human life as if it were “disposable.”

March for Life Chicago is considered the largest pro-life event in the Midwest. This year’s event drew thousands of pro-life marchers as well as a smaller counter-demonstration.

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    • The cardinal has not been my hero on several occasions but public disrespect is not a good thing at a Prolife event no matter what inspired it.

      • How do we define ‘public disrespect?’ Is a crowd expressing disapproval to certain words of a public authority a sign of ‘public disrespect’? Does a crowd have no right to express public disapproval? Must a Christian ‘pro-life’ crowd never oppose an authority who displays dishonesty, brazen hypocrisy, or sordid leadership? Was the cardinal’s position sullied by anyone other than himself?

        If the cardinal had spoken truth in Christian humility, there would have been injustice. As it is, the disapproval of the crowd was just and thus appropriate. How was harm done to either the cardinal or the crowd?? Does not the concept of ‘just war’ allow tactics outside the usual form of charity for a ‘brother’ who continually works in opposition to the Lord’s principles?

  1. How dare he hide behind the poor little unborn children when he won’t do so much as refuse the Body of Christ to those Democratic individuals who are responsible for killing scores of millions of them.

    Calling Cupich spineless would be to cast an unfair aspersion on invertebrates.

  2. This is one case where such behavior is perfectly justifiable. Cupich is a dishonest tyrant who undoubtedly surrounds himself with flatterers. Anything that can penetrate the bubble he inhabits serves a purpose. If it does not prick his conscience, it at least puts him on notice.

  3. A difficult case: public booing of a cardinal. Yet Cardinal Cupich, a Prince of the Church, would never talk to me–lowly Marypewsitter. Being conservative, while I disagree with him on many issues, when would he even care to talk with me? There would never be an opportunity and I would simply be dismissed as not being with it. But I represent many, many in the church.

    If the Cardinal doesn’t care, because he is always right, what option is there for those who oppose his views? So they boo publicly. What a shame. The elite refusing to listen; the little man’s booing is discarded as impolite which leaves a great gulf between sides.

    We are told that in the Synod process the little man will be listened to. If the good Cardinal cannot listen today, he will not listen tomorrow. The booing and the leaving of the church will continue. Lord, have mercy.

  4. I’m fine with the booing. Rotten eggs and tomatoes would have been better. This man is little more than the Democratic Party’s live-in housekeeper and full-time shill.

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