When Cardinal Blase Cupich took out his iPhone Wednesday afternoon, he might not have appreciated the importance of the tweet thread he was about to produce.
Twitter can be like that. We often fail to realize what a tweet might mean for us until after we have sent it — until the replies and quote tweets start pouring in.
He is unwise in the ways of controversy. Easily surprised.
Twitter should not be underestimated. Most Americans learned that lesson during the reign of the tweet-happy President Donald Trump, who spent four years tweeting zealously: Firing cabinet secretaries, fighting with Congress, and setting foreign policy, all in 280-character chunks typed out with his thumbs on a cell phone.
By comparison, the impact of Cardinal Cupich’s Jan. 20 tweetstorm might seem insignificant. But the thread from Chicago’s cardinal is a moment of significance for the U.S. bishops’ conference, and may offer a moment of revelation about Cardinal Cupich, and his role in the Church.
Yes, let us consider the man.
Cupich was tweeting about a statement released by USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez, which pledged the bishops to work with incoming President Biden on areas of agreement, while also calling out the “moral evils” of the Biden administration’s policy agenda on issues like abortion, gender ideology, and religious liberty.
The cardinal thought Gomez’ statement was “ill-considered,” produced with insufficient consultation, and evidence of unspecified “internal institutional failures” at the USCCB.
Take that, you foolish opponent of mine, for whom I have zilch respect.
“I look forward to contributing to all efforts” to address those institutional failures, Cupich tweeted, though he has since declined to clarify to The Pillar precisely what failures he thinks should be addressed.
Impulsive retort, since regretted?
In fact, the consultations required by USCCB policy took place before the Gomez statement was released, and bishops tell The Pillar that additional consultation, as suggested by Cupich, would not have been customary for Gomez to release a statement in his own name.
Gomez followed protocol. Elected to dog, needed no Cupich OK.
Nevertheless, the cardinal has made clear that he is not happy, and that he does not intend to let the matter rest.
He’s talking to Rome about this. Watch out.
It is unusual – and a breach of customary episcopal etiquette – for a U.S. bishop to air a dispute with his brother bishops in public, and especially on Twitter.
Indeed. Many the non-insider would catch that.
Since Wednesday, some commentators have suggested that Cupich has fired the first shots of a coming intra-conference civil war.
One would think that, though said commentators might have been linked here. In any case, more analysis follows, with a conclusion:
When Cardinal Cupich took out his phone Wednesday, and decided to challenge openly the bishops’ conference president, he may have thought it the moment at which to take a stand. But before posting the tweet thread he might now regret, he may not have expected to find himself standing alone.
We hoy polloi await.
Dr. Charles Camosy, a theology professor at Fordham University and former board member of Democrats for Life of America [which is where the juggling would come in, not to mention
prestigitation], praised Biden for attending Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on Wednesday morning, along with congressional leaders.
Biden’s heart, Camosy said, “is a Catholic one and a deeply Catholic one at that. His decision to pray with Leader McConnell before being inaugurated shows a deep commitment to the kinds of values we would expect from a son of the Church.” [Idea
being if you’re willing to pray with McConnell, you got it,
Had advice for us:
Catholics, Camosy said, should seek to work with Biden on areas of agreement and hold him accountable [well!] when his public policies conflict with the teachings of the Church–including on Biden’s support for taxpayer-funded abortion.
But keep in mind . . . the heart!
“Happily, he [Biden] believes in his Catholic heart that abortion is always wrong,” Camosy said. “This is a foundation on which to build for changing his mind about public policy.” [Hey, you got the votes, you got the change.]
But whatever happens . . .
“There is common ground to be had on abortion, and we owe it to prenatal children and their mothers to seek to find it. No pro-lifer should allow their understandable anger and frustration to lead them to put castigation and vitriol before taking the chance to save lives,” Camosy said.
Agreed. Let us all agree: No castigation and vitriol. It’s a fall-back position for his colleagues.
Biden Shuts Down Keystone, Kills 11,000 Jobs
What a way to start his presidency (Fox Business).
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “disappointed” but realizes this is part of what progressives demand in the name of climate change (NY Post).
From the Wall Street Journal: Mr. Biden is sending an early signal that the climate panic will trump nearly everything else in his Administration. The unstated but operative message from the Keystone kill is that he will use regulation and permitting to do the dirty work (WSJ).
Joe likes his finger in sooo many pies . . .
Reading these bishops’ almost all approving responses to the letter written to Biden by Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, elected head of their conference, and noting the angry disapproval of it by Cardinal Cupich of Chicago, who decried the lack of discussion beforehand, I can only conclude that the cardinal wanted a statement by committee.
He wanted in on it, obviously, and a chance to tone it down, to “craft” it (his interesting word) so as to . . . what? Be less direct?
The U.S. bishops’ conference held back a statement on incoming President Joe Biden Wednesday morning, after officials from the Vatican Secretariat of State intervened before the statement could be released.
The statement, from conference president Archbishop Jose Gomez, took uncompromising positions on abortion, gender, and religious liberty, warning that the Biden administration’s policy agenda would advance “moral evils” on several fronts.
Joe Biden is sworn in for his second term as vice president in 2009. Credit: United States Navy.
“[A]s pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture,” Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote in a statement that was expected to be released at 9:00 am Jan. 20.
“So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences,” Gomez added.
more more here on how bishops and Vatican have collided in re: Biden and abortion . . .
On the attack, Francis’ man in Chicago. Via Twitter! “Scathing attack.”
On Archbishop Gomez of LA, elected by his fellow bishops as president of the U.S. conference of same, who wrote the statement, which Cupich calls “ill-considered.”
Cupich is a tiger here and obviously was furious about the Gomez letter.
Early in the pandemic, “trust the science!” could actually be used in a debate without attracting derisive laughter. But as the flip-flops, mistakes and, yes, lies have accumulated, a consensus seems to be forming that the health care authorities are no more trustworthy than the people running Congress or the Fed.
For proof, let’s start with vitamin D, which sure seems to lessen the severity of coronavirus infections. As the chart below illustrates (couldn’t find the source, but google “covid vitamin D” and you’ll find lots of studies that track with this data), people with higher levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream tend to experience covid-19 as a non-event while people low levels found the infection life-threatening.
There are obvious questions about causality here, so calling vitamin D a “cure” is going way too far. But if it has even a marginal effect – and the data suggest considerably more — a rational government would, you’d think, be handing out vitamin D like Halloween candy. In fact, since we’re mandating/prohibiting all kinds of other behaviors, we might expect vitamin D consumption to be required along with masks and social distancing.
Even covid-czar Anthony Fauci recently said: “If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending — and I do it myself — taking vitamin D supplements.”
So why aren’t family-sized bottles of vitamin D arriving in the mail from the CDC? A cynic might wonder if the fact that Big Pharma doesn’t make much money from cheap, widely available supplements plays a role in the government’s apparent lack of interest.
Makes a guy wonder.