Over two years ago, we started exposing the work of the heretical Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP). Links to some of these reports are as follows:
Despite our repeated warnings, we continue to see remarks suggesting that the AUSCP is a fringe organization that should be ignored or a shriveling band of disaffected hippies that will soon find a natural end to their endeavors as they age out of existence. While it is true that the majority of visible members of the AUSCP are old, retired dissidents, their influence and reach cannot be underestimated!
The fact of the matter is that the AUSCP has powerful allies in the episcopacy who not only have a lot of influence in the Church in the United States, but hold key, influential positions at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This kind of reach through the AUSCP's allies is precisely why the AUSCP needs to be exposed and condemned and why it cannot be ignored or shrugged off.
What follows is a list of currently known AUSCP allies in the episcopacy.
In January of 2016, then-Abp. Blase Cupich welcomed the AUSCP's leadership team to discuss it's fifth annual assembly to be held in June of that year. At the assembly that June, Abp. Cupich celebrated Mass for the AUSCP with member Bp. John Stowe. This past June, Cdl. Cupich delivered the keynote address for the AUSCP's assembly on the topic "Ordination Does Not Annihilate Our Baptism."
When we consider that the AUSCP shares a comfortable enough relationship with Cdl. Cupich that he speaks at their conferences, celebrates Mass on their behalf and meets with their leadership team, we can certainly understand the AUSCP's excitement when Cupich was appointed to the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops.
After the appointment was made, AUSCP was quick to identify Cdl. Cupich as an ally, saying: "Archbishop Cupich, with whom the AUSCP celebrated in Chicago, will have a defining role in the selection of new U.S. bishops."
This is by no means insignificant! Cdl. Cupich also sits on the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, which also gives AUSCP considerable reach throughout the entire Catholic Church.
In June of 2016, Abp. John Wester agreed to serve as the episcopal moderator for the AUSCP, acting effectively as a liaison to the USCCB. In response to the invitation to serve in this role, Abp. Wester said, "I am honored by your request and am happy to serve in this capacity. I look forward to speaking with you in the future so that I can learn how I can be of assistance and support."
In January of 2018, Abp. Wester hosted the AUSCP leadership team to discuss the 2018 assembly, and in June of that year, he happily participated in it. Archbishop Wester was again at the AUSCP's assembly this past June.