In an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday, the new archbishop of Chicago, recently appointed by Pope Francis, said Holy Communion is an “opportunity of grace and conversion” for pro-abortion Catholics, and was vague about his views about gay marriage and gay parenting.
Norah O’Donnell observed to Archbishop Blase Cupich, “You haven’t been particularly confrontational with politicians who disagree with you on issues like abortion. …Do you think the Eucharist has become too politicized?”
Cupich, whom O’Donnell said is regarded by some as “America’s Pope Francis,” responded:
Well, I think that is important always to begin with an attitude of dialogue. It’s important to listen to people and it’s very hard to have dialogue because in order for someone to tell you why they think you are wrong, you have to sit in patience to allow that to happen. The community–as I say, cannot be the place where those discussions are fought, but rather we have to look at how we’re going to deal with the tough issues of the day in a constructive way and as adults who respect each other.
O’Donnell pursued, stating, “So, when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.”
I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It’s also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth.
O’Donnell went on to ask Cupich, “What should the church say about same-sex marriage?”
The archbishop responded:
Well, I think in Washington State where I was bishop for last four years there was a referendum on this very issue and I spoke very clearly about this. I said first of all that we cannot use this moment of public debate to say anything or do anything that would provoke violence against gay and lesbian people. We have to make sure that we’re not part of that and we would condemn that. At the same time it’s not just about gay marriage. It’s about whether or not we’re going to have statutes in our states that uphold and protect people who take the risk of bringing children into the world. People who as mothers and fathers coming together in their love, continue the human race.
“Pardon me,” O’Donnell pressed. “Do you think gay parents can be good parents?”
“I think there are people not only who are gay but many single people are good parents. And I don’t think that’s the issue,” Cupich asserted. “I think the real issue is, should we have– should we continue to have legislation that supports, protects and upholds those people who take the risk of actually bringing children into the world and preserving the human race.”
“I understand the church’s teaching,” O’Donnell persevered, “but just to be clear, so you do think there should be legislation to protect the parents who are bringing children in to the world and caring for them that are in same-sex relationships?”
“Well, but no. I’m saying that the people who bring children in to the world are man and a woman in their own love that bring children in the world,” Cupich said. “I do know that there are gay couples, there are others–grandparents, single people who adopt children, who maybe even have children not from the act of love, but to care for children in that way.”
“And yes, I think that there has to be way[s] in which we do support them,” he added before stating:
“But I do think there is something unique about a man and woman coming together and bringing children in to the world, preserving the human race and providing that example as a mother and father, a male and female within family that also deserves the state’s support and also protection.”