US Bishops Signal Resistance to Pope Francis’s Agenda?

Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal (go to Drudge to get the post without a paywall–look for “US Catholic Leaders Signal Resistance to Pope’s Agenda”.)

Here are some quotes:

“—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops chose a conservative archbishop for a key post Tuesday, signaling resistance to Pope Francis’s vision for the church among the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, of Kansas City, was elected chairman of the committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a vote of 96 to 82, he defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich, of Chicago, who is seen as a liberal in the church and a close ally of the pope.

The vote breaks a longstanding tradition of the position being held by a cardinal—an unusual lapse of deference in a highly rank-conscious body—and suggests that Catholic leaders in the U.S. remain largely resistant to the changes Pope Francis is trying to bring to the church.”


” ‘It is clear since 2013 that a majority of them sees the message of Francis’ pontificate, esp. on life and marriage, as not adequate for the Catholic Church in the USA,’ Massimo Faggioli, a theologian at Villanova, said on Twitter after the vote Tuesday.”–Ian Lovett and Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal, 14 Nov, ’17

The vote count was 96 to 82.   Cupich is a Cardinal and the position ordinarily goes to a Cardinal, so the closeness of the vote may be due to this break from tradition, rather than reflecting a focus on abortion and euthanasia as pro-life issues.   The article indicated that Cupich, a supporter of Pope Francis, would probably want to follow Pope Francis’s lead in bringing in other issues–capital punishment, global warming, etc–and this was rejected by the Bishops.

Is this an encouraging sign?   You tell me.

More to explorer


  1. Great news indeed for dearest among us, the unborn. But. How many US Bishops nearing the age of retirement? No. don’t tell me. Good news in our Catholic world has been so sparse lately I need a moment to absorb this. (Do they ever print how each Bishop voted?)

  2. Is this a pushback against Pope Francis by the USCCB? Who knows? But Weigel’s article is a big bowl of word salad with no calories.

  3. “US Bishops Signal Resistance to Pope Francis’s Agenda?”

    No. The vote had the resounding voice of uncertainty what with 34 abstentions. What else should we have expected from these weasel politicians?

  4. But 34 abstentions- too close to call?- 16%. They couldn’t tell them apart? Not enough of a difference? I overslept? I hate them both? I love them both? I’ll deal with this when I become Pope? Who are these people, and what do they want? Why are they bothering me? Oh, look a squirrel! What???

  5. The same group that, only a week ago, fired Fr. Weinandy for telling the truth . . . . I don’t see much by which to be encouraged. I see enough waffling to open a diner off the freeway.

  6. Weigel’s piece confirms my impression of a man out of place in the new order, and unable to come to grips with it. This is not the papacy he imagines it to be.

  7. There wasn’t a solidly pro-life Cardinal available? With all due
    respect to His Excellency the Archbishop of Kansas City– who is
    by all accounts an excellent prelate and will doubtless be a fine
    Chair– but I can’t help but think that this vote to give the
    chairmanship to a prelate of lesser rank signals a diminution
    of the USCCB’s regard for its Pro-Life committee. As the article
    pointed out, the USCCB is a “highly rank-conscious body”.

    Perhaps Cardinal Cupitch didn’t pursue the chairmanship
    because he knows the Pro-Life Committee is going nowhere
    with this USCCB. Why hitch his wagon to that horse?

  8. I’d rather have a bishop serve as an active chairman of the USCCB’s committee on Pro-Life Activities rather than a distracted cardinal who merely presides in name only.

  9. The comments are in indication of just how cynical we’ve become when we can’t just accept this as good news. Perhaps the cynicism is warranted.
    BUT in an age of a steady stream of depressing and distressing news coming out of this papacy, I will take even a narrow defeat for the likes of Cupich — Bergoglio’s FIRST hand-picked Cardinal for a major see — as good news for the Church.
    When all the likely suspects of the Catholic left are squealing like stuck pigs about how this is a “middle finger to the Pope”, let’s accept that as some modicum of victory.

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