“This guy is not lukewarm about anything,” said Rob McCann, executive director of the local Catholic Charities, the diocese’s social ministry arm. “He’s a guy that doesn’t shy from a fight, and that’s exactly what the Catholic Church needs.”
He treads lightly where gummint is concerned, however, endorsing ObamaCare no matter what and shying away from at least one major social problem:
He launched an effort to enroll thousands of eastern Washington’s poor in health care under the Affordable Care Act, despite the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ opposition to the law’s contraception mandate.
And, shortly after arriving in Spokane, he would not endorse curbside vigils outside abortion clinics, which drew the ire of local opponents of abortion rights.
On the other hand, he knows how to run things:
From the beginning, Cupich focused on untangling the legal mess [remaining from
bankruptcy and other sex-abuse-related issued], according to some pastors within the diocese, who praised his shrewd administrative skills.
At the same time, those within the diocese said his rigorous work ethic drove various outreach efforts that helped rally the congregation.
All in all, what with programmatic and bully-pulpit injections of new life into parish school financing and outreach, including to migrant farm workers,
“His legacy is the momentum from a time of darkness to a time of great hope and enthusiasm, in just four years,” McCann said. “And in the cycle of the Catholic Church, where everything moves at prehistoric speeds, that’s amazing.”
Like Pope Francis, he’s a house-cleaner:
“He doesn’t believe in this privileged clerical class that can get by with whatever because they’re priests, bishops or deacons or chancery officials,” [Rev. Mike] Savelesky [vicar general for
internal matters] said. “He expects high personal integrity.”
As for anti-abortion vigils, he took a conservative position, temperamentally and logistically, endorsing “an education model that asked priests to ‘create new openings for learning and reduce obstacles.'” A sort of make-as-few-waves-as possible pragmatism strategy.
Which means he’s going to talk about it and preach about it, etc.? Old openings not working? What are some new ones? How reduce obstacles?
Finally, from this news conference watcher Saturday morning: The incoming archbishop did very well. Showed he will make good use of the television and radio pulpit which he does not directly control.
(Card. George did well too, btw, neatly reiterating to Jay Levine, who had asked him how he felt, that the question is what he thought. How so-and-so felt being in the category of “Otherwise, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”)
Finally finally, is it possible that Abp Cupich will address the state of the world, that is, the Catholic New World newspaper, which in my opinion can use an injection or two . . .