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Once again, Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago has made a cuisine of his own foot. Over the weekend, Cupich addressed a group of young men studying for the priesthood at Mundelein Seminary, telling them that, despite the global crisis of homosexual abuse by priests, he is "very much at peace at this moment" and that he is "sleeping OK."
Some are calling his remarks "tone-deaf." But when considered in light of the details of the abuses committed by priests and covered up by their bishops, his callous statements reflect a deadened conscience and a gross lack of self-awareness. In fact, Cdl. Cupich's remarks are nothing short of a blanket dismissal of the serious issues taking place right under his nose.
Addressing the scandalous revelations of this summer regarding sexual abuse by priests, Cdl. Cupich suggested that the archdiocese of Chicago was not a reflection of what was discovered in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, saying, "Our record's clean."
Nevermind the fact that the archdiocese of Chicago has shelled out nearly $200 million to sex abuse victims. On Sept. 7, reports began circulating that a bishop who covered up for at least 25 criminal priests in Chicago was living in Cdl. Cupich's mansion. And on Sept. 4, two Chicago priests were arrested in Miami for performing oral sex on each other in a public place. Church Militant expanded on this case by exposing the homosexual pipeline from Columbia into Chicago through a seminary called Casa Jesus.
Despite the overwhelming stream of reports about clerical sex abuse, the existence of a homosexual network in the clergy and the active cover-ups engaged in by members of the hierarchy, Cdl. Cupich told Mundelein seminarians that "we have a bigger agenda than to be distracted by all of this." Downplaying the matter even further, Cupich told the seminarians that he doesn't believe that homosexuality is at the root of the problem, asserting that it's "wrong" to place the blame on a group of people like that, and claiming that "facts don't bear that out."
The fact of the matter is that Cupich is simply repeating his own discredited talking points. At the beginning of August, Cupich said that the John Jay report from 2011 "refuted" the notion that "allowing gay men to be priests has created a culture ripe for the kind of abuse Archbishop McCarrick is alleged to have committed." The truth is that the same report cited by Cdl. Cupich showed that 80 percent of the cases of sexual abuse of minors were on adolescent males. Cupich also said in an interview with NBC that Pope Francis needs to get on with a "bigger agenda," such as "talking about the environment" and "protecting migrants."
Continuing his 45-minute conversation with the seminarians at Mundelein Seminary, Cupich turned his sites on Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, attacking the former papal nuncio to the United States for his 11-page statement on corruption in the Curia. Saying that he supports the idea of hauling Abp. Viganò before a tribunal, Cupich said Vigano "needs to take responsibility for what he says" and "back up what he says." Suggesting that Abp. Viganò's statements are full of inconsistencies and contradictions, Cupich blundered epically by admitting: "If I say what he says is credible, then I have to say what he's saying is credible about me."
And as if Cdl. Cupich hadn't done enough to embarrass himself and insult the intelligence of the seminarians with whom he was speaking, he returned to his old talking point that the real problem was "clericalism." Cupich suggested that a homosexual "subculture" could develop within the Church, but that it would be wrong, not because homosexuality is immoral, but because it is "inappropriate" for there to be "cliques" among the clergy.
Cupich likened this sort of clericalism to corruption in police departments where officers "cover" for each other when they act wrongly. Perhaps His Eminence fails to see the irony in his own statement, but the kind of corruption he is discussing is criminal in nature and can only be rooted out by an outside investigation with the full force of the law behind it. And when the corrupt individuals are discovered, they need to be arrested, tried and convicted.
Cardinal Cupich has made a habit of sticking his own foot in his mouth, but he's hardly alone. Nearly every prelate in the United States that has attempted to deflect attention away from the deeply entrenched network of homosexual clergy within the Church has done so at the cost of his own credibility. Cardinal Donald Wuerl has lost the confidence of his own archdiocese so completely that he announced on Sept. 11 that he will be meeting Pope Francis in the very near future to discuss his resignation. Cardinal Joseph Tobin is roundly mocked at every new attempt he makes to grab control of the narrative.
Our Blessed Lord said that the truth will make us free. If these prelates were actually committed to the truth, they wouldn't be putting forth so much effort into spin and damage control. But instead of seeking truth, they seek their own power by concealing the truth. For those who act in this manner, Our Lord said, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."