By Doug Mainwaring
ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Cupich, one of the main organizers of the upcoming Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse, said this morning at a Vatican press conference that “the Holy See did us a great favor” when it intervened at the last minute to block the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from pursuing its agenda to address clergy sexual abuse at the group’s meeting last November.
At the press conference, organized ahead of this week’s Vatican Abuse Summit, Cupich and other panelists experienced a barrage of broad questions about the sizeable presence of homosexual priests in the Church, while repeatedly brushing off those questions and offering responses narrowly focused solely on the abuse of minors.
“The Pope is asking us to make sure we focus on the task at hand,” said Cupich. “It’s a matter of focus that is so important.”
Cupich claimed that the Holy See’s eleventh hour derailment of the plans set forth by the USCCB last fall was actually a good thing, ostensibly because by doing so the Vatican avoided public discussion about homosexuality among priests and prelates and instead focused the U.S. and the global Church’s narrative on the topic of pedophilia.
“With regard to the November meeting in Baltimore among the bishops, it was clear that in talking to the bishops beforehand, even before we knew about this, that the proposal submitted by the bishops was problematic for many,” asserted the Chicago prelate.
“I believe that it would not have received a ⅔ vote anyway, so I think that in many ways, the Holy See did us a great favor in pointing out some areas that already were problematic for a number of bishops,” said Cupich.
“The Holy Father does want Episcopal Conferences to take responsibility—that was never a question. But we have to do it in such a way that we work together with each other,” continued Cupich. “That’s part of synodality, that’s part of collegiality, that this conference wants to highlight,” he added.
The Chicago archbishop’s appointment to a high profile position at the summit raised eyebrows when announced in November because he had been quick to dismiss Archbishop Viganò’s testimony on the McCarrick abuse cover-up as a mere “rabbit hole” distracting the Church.