PopeWatch: EJ Dionne




PopeWatch has been amused at a number of Catholic bloggers seeking to convince their readers, perhaps even to convince themselves, that the appointment of Blase Cupich to be Archbishop of Chicago does not send a clear signal by Pope Francis of where he intends to lead the Church.  EJ Dionne, Washington Post columnist, yellow dog Democrat, liberal, pro-abort and Catholic, has a better understanding of what the appointment means and does a victory dance in his Washington Post column:



Cupich is a Francis Catholic through and through. He was one of the first church leaders I know who immediately and fully understood the meaning of this pope’s election — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, was the other — and in an e-mail Wednesday, Cupich embraced the pope’s commission in explaining his priorities.

“I keep going back to the Holy Father’s call for the kind of serious ongoing conversion that all of us are called to,” he wrote, “on the issues of accompaniment, non-judgmentalism and the throwaway culture of exclusion.”

Asked which aspects of the American church needed to be preserved and safeguarded, he offered a list that made his priorities clear. Note what he put first: “our outreach to the poor, the participation of laity in the liturgical life of the church, the vitality of the new immigrant groups, the heroism of parents who sacrifice for their children because of their faith, and the continuing witness of priests and religious women.”

As for American politics, Cupich has emphasized dialogue rather than confrontation with the Obama administration over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. While many bishops declined to help the uninsured sign up for coverage under the ACA, Cupich asked Catholic Charities in eastern Washington to join in the effort on the basis of a long-standing Catholic principle. “We consider health care a basic human right,” he said.

Go here to read the rest.  If you truly do not believe that the appointment of Cupich does not mean a clear attempt to drive the Church to the left, then please explain why EJ Dionne is smiling.

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  1. So, I read here that Bishop Cupich has locked TLM adherents out of their physical church building during the Easter Tiduum and loudly told a genuflecting girl about to receive Holy Communion to not do that again in his church. I also read here that he forbade his priests from participating in the 40 Days for Life. I can truly see why he would also write that he agrees with the Pope that we are all called to conversion on the issues of “accompaniment, non-judgmentalism and the throwaway culture of exclusion”. Seems self-evident.

  2. I know half a dozen lapsed Catholics who idolize this pope as though he is the first real pope in their lives. Not one of them has started going to Mass, receiving sacraments, considered raising their children as Catholics, or, in any other way than sending out news releases about Pope Francis, indicated that the Faith is other than a cultural marker.

    If eviscarateing our understanding of the Faith is supposed to lead to a resurgence of practice, where in the heck is the evidence of it?

  3. Thoughtful Catholics I know have been wary of labeling division in the Church, thinking that such left right labeling was submission to a politicizing of the Church. We have strained mental muscles thinking of ways to define who and what we mean: Catholic with a large or lower case “c”, trad, orthodox, etc. Dione simply labels Cupich a “Francis Catholic”.
    The rift is widening. I think of the words about Jesus passion in the Gospel song Oh what a Savior”. “His side was riven”

  4. If Cupich is going to be our religious leader, let him bring the Holy Eucharist in procession to reclaim the streets of Chicago, every time, everywhere.
    Perhaps a rosary vigil in front of his residence. (and with pick and pitch forks)

  5. EJ Dionne and others of like mind may be smiling for now, but when they realize that Catholic teaching will not be changing to suit them, they will face a dilemma; either humbly submit to what neither Pope Francis or Archbishop Cupich have any intention of changing, or turn themselves inside out trying to figure out what how their “allies” could have fooled them into thinking they were making common cause with their agenda. I certainly don’t want to minimize the concerns many have, some of which I share, but I don’t want to make too much of them either. Our Faith does not change with the times. It is built upon Rock, not sand. Those swayed by the changing political winds and tides will ALWAYS be disappointed sooner or later.

  6. David Spaulding: “I know half a dozen lapsed Catholics who idolize this pope as though he is the first real pope in their lives. Not one of them has started going to Mass…”
    Exactly. This sums it up perfectly from those here on the V.L. (Very Left, as in Vladimir Lenin) Coast. Accolades from putative atheists.

  7. Also: EJ Dionne: “[Cupich] has been a courageous voice inside the US Conference of Cath Bishops against a culture-war approach to evangelization.”
    What really scares Dionne and his ilk is a militant Christianity; it is the same as what Screwtape was frightened of most in his advice to Wormwood.
    So Bishop Cupich wants to be shepherd of the Church of Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6). I would say he is 90% “there”.

  8. Thoughtful Catholics I know have been wary of labeling division in the Church

    Label or not, the division exists. And it is not too difficult to describe. A lot of folks (on both sides of the divide) just don’t want to face it.

  9. I would be somewhat shocked if any binding teaching was actually changed. I am confident most in the hierarchy that lean left/progressive/what have you don’t plan to change the rules – just bend the practice. Much like the enforcement of most anti-sodomy laws were long abandoned in practice before Lawrence v. Texas was decided.

  10. E.J, Dionne has long felt he had the pulse of both the universal Church as well as the Church in America. I don’t believe he has either. What he puts out for consumption is the “world – Church according to E. J. Dionne-that’s it.

    Now if that is the whole quote of soon to be Archbishop Cupich I am a bit surprised, but my guess is that those are his ‘pastoral’ priorities etc and not the more fundamental priorities of his ministry in Chicago

    Just my thoughts

  11. A box has been opened, and it cannot easily be shut again. Under Pope St. John Paul and Pope Benedict it was understood that some issues were “closed” and not up for discussion. And now, just at the moment everyone was prepared to finally move on from the “Spirit of Vatican II”, Pope Francis has let the modernizers out of their box and given renewed legitimacy to their voices. No matter which side ultimately “wins”, this will be a disaster. In all honesty, the two worldviews represented here are not compatible. A house divided against itself cannot stand. The Church must become all one thing or all the other. If not, it’s internal division and strife will destroy its ability to witness to anyone.

  12. BXVI,

    I hear you and would not argue against your thought/position. I would offer a further reflection however. Yes, it does seem as if Pope Francis has opened up something that cannot easily be shut again, but i have been around long enough to realize that there are underlying and festering issues ‘on the progressive side’ just as there are on the traditionalist side which at some point need to be tackled. Even the great philosophical (JPII) and theological (Benedict) abilities of our recent popes have not been able to calm these waters or quell the division that sadly is present within the Church.

    I would propose then that Pope Francis knew exactly what he was doing in calling for the two synods plus the world-wide meeting in Philadelphia (already planned) on the family. While he has given some sound bytes that convinced people he was going in a progressive direction his Letter to Families published earlier this year, reveals his true intentions and how he sees the family.

    As Magister wrote, he used the consistery as a dry run for the Synod. While not alone, Cardinal Kasper had been arguing with the then Cardinal Ratzinger over not only communion for divorced and remarried Catholics but on other issues-such as Church primarily being Universal or local (diocese). The ease with which some speak of enabling divorced and remarried Catholics and Catholics in other difficult situations which actually prevent them from participating in/receiving Communion bespeaks a deeper theological-Eucharistic issue. WHat began within some circles of Protestant exegesis of seeing Christ’s institution of the Eucharist as simply an extension of the table fellowship with sinners which the Lord did indeed do within His ministry, has now been ‘bought’ by many Catholics. While sounding nice and seemingly Scriptural, it is actually a principle of Luther’s vision of the baptized person-fundamentally a sinner yet redeemed (and sort to ‘sugar coated’ with grace)-thus the Eucharist is not the Sacrament of the Redeemed (a wonderful term Pope Benedict uses) but a Table open to and welcoming of sinners. In fact however, Christ’s Last Supper was not a ‘fellowship for sinners’ but a ‘closed’ community of His (already washed-see John 13) Apostolic band, an event for which they needed their feet washed (forgiveness of post-baptismal sin?)

    The Synod will reveal not simply rancor, but the real, ecclesial, Eucharistic divides that need to be brought out into the open so that they can be addressed and healed/reconciled. I actually believe that we are about to witness the last expression of the Progressive wing of the Church-that seeing the identity, mission and direction of the Church as it really is and not merely how they want it to be, they will once and for all be reconciled or simply go their own way, fragmenting as other “progressives’ already have Just google to see how many sects there are which claim the name “Catholic” in America alone.

    These are my thoughts only. I do not own or use a crystal ball. We will all have to wait and see,

  13. In the end, sooner or later, Progressives lose. What is happening today is frustrating, but Satan knows his time is limited and drawing to a close.

  14. Paul Primavera


    Saint Augustine has this to say,
    “All shepherds should therefore be one in the one Good Shepherd. All should speak with the one voice of the One Shepherd, so that the sheep may hear and follow their Shepherd; not this or that shepherd but the one Shepherd. All should speak with one voice in Christ, not with different voices…..The sheep should hear His Voice, a Voice purified from all schism, freed from all heresy, and so follow their Shepherd, Who says, “My sheep hear My Voice and follow Me.” [Sermon on Pastors]

  15. “I would propose then that Pope Francis knew exactly what he was doing in calling for the two synods plus the world-wide meeting in Philadelphia (already planned) on the family.” – Botolph
    My apologies, Botolph: I cant bend my mind to be able to conceive that PF “knew exactly what he was/is doing” in calling for these two soon-to-be disastrous synods. Increasingly I see PF as the puppet-occupant—not the first time in papal history—of the pontificate and Cards Kasper, Lehmann, Danneels (do not overlook Danneels’ key position in Bergoglio’s synod) along with the rest of the Martini-church that has become their own ecclesiastical “Occupy” movement.

  16. Steve Phoenix,

    I do not take umbrage with what you say. If I am correct we have two quite different outlooks on the two synods as well as their outcomes. At this point in time we will have to wait and see if either is close to being on target or perhaps even an alternative outcome to our two views will arise. Time will tell. The one thing I am convinced of however is that the Lord Jesus is indeed Lord and Head of His Church and will not allow His Bride to be separated from Him.

  17. I have stated before that I never wanted a Latin American pope. Evangelicals have been swarming Latin America converting Catholics out of the church in the millions. Brazil will likely be a majority Evangelical country in 20 to 30 years.

    The political corruption is the major cause of bone-deep poverty throughout Latin America. This political corruption has often blamed the Church for poverty – when it is not blaming the United States. The Latin American Church joins in with this finger pointing at the US. Argentina is a basket case of a country – in 1900 it had the 7th biggest economy in the world and today it is a third would nation. Pope Francis blames capitalism for Argentine poverty. Maradianga in Honduras is almost a Marxist.

    What does Pope Francis do when he meets American evangelicals? He has lunch with them at Castel Gandolfo. He issues an apology to them….for what, I don’t know. Who gets the back of his hand? Trads.

    Kasper is a lunatic. He needs to be confined to a monastery, like Weakland, Mahony, and others (Daneels belongs in jail). PF gives Burke the back of his hand.

    E. J. Dionne is the quintessential Catholic squish. He wants the church to be a full fledged branch of the Democrat Party – silent on abortion, birth control, same sex marriage (murder and sins of the flesh Our Lady warned about at Fatima) and be nothing more than a distribution system of aid to poor people.

    Piety and charity go hand in hand. A practicing Catholic is neither “left” nor “right” but lives out Catholic teaching – of which substantially all existed before 1962.

  18. Anzlyne wrote, “Dione simply labels Cupich a “Francis Catholic”

    Anzlyne wrote, “Dione simply labels Cupich a “Francis Catholic”

    “But I speak of this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is the Christ divided?” [1 Cor 1:12-13]

  19. Just re-read “Jesuits” by Malachi Martin. It is frightening. The explosion of Modernism in the Jesuits which warred against the last 4 Popes may now be regnant in the Vatican. It seems we are in de facto schism. Pope Francis seems to me deviously vague and antagonistically anti-USA and pro Socialist. He also seems to me to have limited intellectual ability – he is just a banal Leftie from a provincial country that is a complete mess. Orthodox Catholics are in for a time of suffering perhaps unless the Holy Spirit can fill this Pope in his heart and mind and soul. Forget your POLITICS Holy Father; shepherd the Faith.

  20. No personal judgment of his soul here: but while many see P. Francis’ settling away from the Vatican as a mark of his humility, it is more symbolic of his abandonment of his authority as Peter. (Never mind the historical fact of some other Popes voluntarily or under duress living outside Rome.) The combination of a Latin American and a modern Jesuit is a deadly formula: keep a look-out for many explosions.

  21. Good thing there are the exhortations and advice in the letters of St. Paul to the various people (twelve tribes?) he was able to visit! Branding shepherds and other religious is what has been wrought by hierarchy becoming too modern to be helping their flocks to Truth through the mercy of affording them basic tenets of the Catholic faith with basic literacy. I don’t know whether this article fits more in the ‘He’s Back’ post, where I thought of bus fuel being in that barrel of gas while I was extinguishing a cigarette uselessly. I chose to link it here because the subject exemplifies the sad states of understanding/confusion.

  22. Bishop Cupich joins a long line of Catholic Bishops whose gaze is forward and not backward. They have no use for Tradition, the TLM, or any “old” ways of worship or piety. They are one part managers, one part administrators, and a third part politician. They are most comfortable amongst like minded Progressives, and they would much rather organize than preach. At best they remain silent concerning the “hot button” issues of abortion, contraception, adultery, and heaven and hell. At worse, they quietly allow heresy and political pressures to find their way into the Church. As a group they are decent administrators but terrible shepherds.

  23. I suppose one good thing will come out of this synod: at least we will know where everyone stands on the issues and we can draw clear battle lines. It is regrettable that it has come to this but it was inevitable.

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