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UPDATE, August 10, 2015: The website for the event "New Faces, New Voices, New Ways of Being Church" has removed all mention of Abp. Blase Cupich. ChurchMilitant.com contacted the sponsor of the event, who confirmed that he will not be offering Mass for the event because of a "scheduling conflict." As of now, the National Catholic Reporter is still seeking a replacement who can offer Mass for conference attendees.
RIVER FOREST, Ill., June 16, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Blase Cupich of the Chicago archdiocese will be participating at an event for Catholic dissenters.
The event, called "New Faces, New Voices, New Ways of Being Church," will take place October 24 at Dominican University, and includes a line-up of dissenting Catholics who support gay "marriage" and women's ordination, among other causes. The event website reads
Join us for this one-day event featuring Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D.; Rev. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D.; Jamie Manson, Joan Chittister, O.S.B., and Archbishop Blase Cupich.
All of the speakers write for the National Catholic Reporter, a well-known dissident journal that has ignored its bishop's request to remove the word "Catholic" from its title, as it routinely promotes ideas incompatible with the teachings of the Church.
Maria Pilar Aquino is a self-styled feminist who supports abortion and female ordination. "We feminist Catholic theologians profoundly disagree with the intractable position of official Roman Catholicism regarding reproductive rights and women's human rights," she has said. She teaches courses on Liberation Theology, an ideology explicitly condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope St. John Paul II. A harsh critic of John Paul II, on his passing she criticized his pontificate as one exhibiting "strong signs of theological intolerance and of rigidity in the exercise of power. ... [The] mode of Church promoted by John Paul II was widely characterized by authoritarianism, centralism, conservatism, imperialism, and by monoculturalism, and is consistent with the patterns of dominant male-centered Western European Christianity."
Father Bryan Massingale, a priest of the archdiocese of Milwaukee and professor at Marquette University, will also be addressing the crowd. Father Massingale once spoke at an event on Capitol Hill on behalf of Equally Blessed, a gay activist coalition consisting of homosexualist dissenting groups Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families and New Ways Ministry. At the event, he advocated "full equality" for homosexuals. Afterwards, when asked whether he agreed with the Catholic Catechism's teaching that "homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law" and "[under] no circumstances can they be approved," he evaded the question and failed to offer a clear response.
Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., is a long-time dissenter on the issue of female ordination, and has also attacked the Church for its stand on abortion, claiming it takes away women's "freedom." Founder of Benetvision, the organization promotes "contemporary spirituality," with the aim of awakening the "Divine Feminine" within each woman. She has criticized the dogmatic Council of Trent as an event that "plunged Catholicism into the Dark Ages" and caused scandal and division.
Finally, Jamie Manson is a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter and regularly promotes gay "marriage" and feminist ideology. She has criticized Pope Francis for his speeches praising male-female complementarity because the notion of complementarity, in her view, denigrates both women and homosexuals.
"Complementarity is also used by the hierarchy to defend its opposition to women's ordination. So while Francis fights for equal pay for women in one breath, in the next breath, he extols the virtues of an idea that reinforces women's inequality inside the church's walls."
She also argues in favor of legal recognition of gay "marriage." "How sad that church leaders refuse to see that same-sex couples have as much potential to be visible signs of God's 'masterwork' as heterosexual relationships."
She goes on to say that Church leaders "must have the courage and humility to see that God can be as fully present in the relationships of same-sex couples as God can be in opposite-sex couples and that God can be as sacramentally present through the body of a woman priest as God can be sacramentally present in the body of a male priest."
Archbishop Cupich was appointed to lead the Chicago archdiocese last fall after Cardinal Francis George stepped down for health reasons. Although George was seen as a generally orthodox leader, Cupich has been labeled by some to be more "moderate" in his views. He has rejected the application of Canon 915, which requires withholding Holy Communion from pro-abortion politicians, and reportedly allowed sacrilege to take place when he presided over Mass where the pro-abortion governor of Illinois received Holy Communion. He is also known for prohibiting priests in his former diocese of Spokane, Washington from praying outside abortion clinics or participating in events with the pro-life apostolate 40 Days for Life.
Cupich will be offering Mass directly after the October conference ends, where, according to the website, "All are welcome."