#AceWorldNews UNITED STATES(Chicago)- September 20 – Pope Francis on Saturday appointed Bishop Blase Cupich, a moderate who has called for civility in the culture wars, as the next archbishop of Chicago, signalling a shift in tone in one of the most important posts in the U.S. church.
Cupich, of Spokane, Washington, will be installed in the Archdiocese of Chicago in November, succeeding Cardinal Francis George, according to an announcement by the papal ambassador to the U.S.
The archdiocese has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning which Cupich is expected to attend. George, 77, has been battling cancer and has said he believes the disease will end his life.
In 2012, during the run-up to the Washington state referendum that ultimately recognized gay marriage, Cupich repeatedly underscored church teaching that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
But he also wrote at length to parishioners about the suffering of gays and lesbians because of anti-gay prejudice, and he condemned violence and bullying that has led some gay teens to suicide.
“I also want to be very clear that in stating our position, the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity,” Cupich wrote.
In a letter last year on the Obama administration’s birth control coverage rule for employers, Cupich said faith-affiliated groups should never be forced to provide services that the church considers morally objectionable.
However, he condemned threats by some U.S. church leaders that they would shut down social service agencies over the Affordable Care Act.