Ahead of receiving the pallium in Chicago today, Archbishop Blaise Cupich shared his thoughts on the significance of that event, the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States, and preparations for the Synod this fall.
From Catholic New World:
CNW: What are your expectations for the Synod of Bishops on the Family to be held in Rome in October? Archbishop Cupich: First of all, I like the process. The pope is introducing a new process here in which he is saying he really wants us to grapple with the issues and not just get up and make speeches. I think he is setting a new trend here that is going to be helpful to the church going forward for a long time. The Holy Father knows this will not be easy and he is asking us to do the hard work of thinking through how our teachings are lived, how our practices impact people. It is no longer sufficient to just repeat formulas of the past. The second thing is we are dealing with some very important pastoral issues that we all struggle with as pastors and they have not been addressed. He is willing to have us look at them with great seriousness and a very profound reflection that involves a discernment of spirits. Yes, I have great hopes because of the process but also the topic. CNW: What are some of those pastoral problems? Archbishop Cupich: There are many people who are in so-called “irregular marriages,” where they are not able to receive the sacraments. And yet many times these people have been abandoned; some married too young or they lacked the maturity for marriage. But, those attending the synod will also need to deal with those people who are struggling with living out their faith after being hurt by people in the church or by how the teachings of the church have been presented. How do we reach out to them? How do we continue a dialogue with them in a way that shows respect to them and accompany them? I think that those are the kinds of things that will be discussed and that’s why I said I’m so very pleased with the process because I think maybe he’s going to give us a way in which we’re going to deal with those situations in which people feel alienated within the church because of what the church has done or taught.
UPDATE: Rocco has text from Archbishop Cupich’s homily today, which elaborates on some of these themes:
Recently, as I was visiting with some patrons of the Vatican Museum, I noted that the aim of the Museum is not to make the pope an art collector. Rather, it testifies to his role of preserving the heritage of how the beauty of creation and the Gospel has been expressed in each age. So, too, the pope guards the treasures of our faith so that nothing is lost, ever keeping before us the entire tradition, lest we end up absolutizing one particular era. Peter’s successor not only keeps safe the entire treasury, the entire deposit as it has developed over 2000 years, but he keeps it before us in its entirety, reminding us of the whole story of God’s mighty deeds, which continues to develop in each age with the guidance of the Holy Spirit… …With the upcoming synod, it is clear that the Holy Father is calling the Church to examine our categories of expression about what we believe and be open to new avenues and creativity when it comes to accompanying families. All of this has much to say to us in Chicago, that we not settle for solutions that no longer work, expressions that no longer inspire and ways of working that stifle creativity and collaboration…