Sep 20, 2014 11:19 AM

Pope names Cupich as next Chicago archbishop

The Associated Press

The bishop chosen by Pope Francis to be the new head of the Archdiocese of Chicago says that people should not read too much into the decision about the Catholic Church's future direction.

Bishop Blase (BLAHZ') Cupich (SOO'-pihch), of Spokane, Washington, has been described as a moderate and has called for civility in the culture wars.

During a news conference Saturday in Chicago, Cupich was asked several times about whether he would shift direction as a successor to Cardinal Francis George, who is particularly admired in the church's conservative wing.

He responded simply that he would be himself and it was up to others to decide whether that constituted a change.

Cupich also said it was wrong to think of his appointment as a strong signal from Pope Francis about the direction he wants to steer American church leaders.

"I think the holy father is a pastoral man," Cupich said. "I think that his priority is not to send a message but a bishop. And that's what he's sending you, someone to serve the needs of people. I wouldn't want to in any way overly politicize or put this in a different context."


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