STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (ChurchMilitant.com) - Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS) is taking serious heat for hosting Cdl. Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, for an upcoming conference.
Church Militant has confirmed that a long-time donor of 25 years called up the school and expressed outrage after learning FUS would be featuring Cupich in late July, demanding that his recent donations be returned or else he would sue the school. The donor has given more than $100,000 to FUS.
Voice + Vision: The National Summit for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults is being held July 31–Aug. 2. Its purpose is "to give voice to what is happening in the United States in youth and young adult ministries and propose a vision on how we can move forward."
A recent FUS graduate also emailed the university expressing anger: "I am appalled and ashamed that you would invite Cardinal Cupich to come for the conferences. He is a horrible prince of the church and has allowed too much evil to happen in the church."
The alumnus said the cardinal is "a weak man that is part of the homosexual mafia [and] doing nothing to stop the problems in the church," adding, "He … silences anyone, even priests in his diocese, that opposes the gay agenda."
Dr. Bob Rice, FUS director of masters of arts in catechetics and evangelization, who admitted to being the one responsible for the conference, responded: "The short answer is, we didn't invite him."
Rice explained that Cupich's presentation during the conference is based on his membership in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and its connection to the National Dialogue for Pastoral Ministry. In short, the USCCB invited Cupich — not FUS.
As Voice + Vision "is the first national conference on Christus Vivit, the USCCB invited all the bishops who represented the United States in the Synod for Youth," Rice said. These include Cupich, pictured first in the lineup of speakers.
Cupich, a well-known proponent of the homosexual agenda, has been criticized by Catholic and secular media for his alternate sex abuse proposal to allow the bishops to investigate themselves with regard to sex abuse.
A recent poll on bishops resulted in Cupich making top of the list for "worst bishop in the U.S." in terms of "trust" and "orthodoxy."
The cardinal has also been criticized for cracking down on Fr. Paul Kalchik, succumbing to pressure from the openly gay Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot to remove the faithful priest from Resurrection parish for burning a blasphemous rainbow flag left over from the legacy of the disgraced previous homosexual pastor, Fr. Daniel Montalbano.
The cardinal has also given Holy Communion to non-Catholics, including then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and then-Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Cupich recently justified his practice of giving the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians, following in the footsteps of the man allegedly responsible for his appointment in Chicago: Theodore McCarrick.
In his August 22 testimony, Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò singled out Cupich for harsh criticism:
The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.
Regarding Cupich, one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims.
Church Militant has reported on Cupich's failure to include the name of the late Cdl. Joseph Bernardin, his predecessor in Chicago, among the list of accused clergy. Vatican documents and correspondence prove that a rape allegation was formally lodged against Bernardin in the 1990s, yet in spite of Cupich's recent claim that he reported all allegations, even unsubstantiated ones, to the Illinois attorney general, Bernardin's name was never reported, and Cupich refuses to answer why or give any indication where the Vatican files and correspondence are.
Cupich has also supported and taken part in the annual conference of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP), a dissenting clerical group that promotes female priests, in clear contravention of Church dogma forbidding women's ordination.
In spite of Cupich's presence, Voice + Vision is featuring some speakers who have demonstrated fidelity to Church teaching.
For example, one of the scheduled speakers is FUS graduate Jason Evert, founder of the Chastity Project, an organization that promotes chastity primarily to high school and college students and which invites them to launch chastity projects within their schools and churches to promote the good news of purity to their peers.
And Fr. Dave Pivonka, FUS' new president, Rice says, "will lead everyone in Eucharistic Adoration, which is a great opportunity to show what 'dynamic orthodoxy' is."
Pivonka replaced scandal-ridden Fr. Sean Sheridan, who resigned in April after he came under fire for his initial support for Dr. Stephen Lewis. Lewis was removed as chair of the English department last fall after it was learned he had assigned a blasphemous and pornographic book in a graduate course in spring 2018.
The report on Lewis led to a flood of complaints from parents, alumni and donors, resulting in Sheridan reversing course and issuing an apology for Lewis' actions. Lewis remains defiant.
Church Militant reached out to the Voice + Vision conference administrators for comment but received no response as of press time.
Fr. David Pivonka, President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Sofio, Spokesman: email@example.com