Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich in Response to the “Testimony” of Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Carlo Maria Viganò
The former nuncio makes a number of references to me in his “testimony.” The first is in the sentence: “This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal.”
The former nuncio is confused about the sequence of these events. In fact, I was appointed to the Congregation for Bishops on July 7, 2016, and was named a cardinal on October 9, 2016.
The second reference to me is in the sentence: “The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.”
I consider these remarks astonishing. The only substantial conversation I have ever had about my appointment to Chicago with the former nuncio was on September 11, 2014, when he called to inform me of the appointment. The former nuncio started the conversation by saying: “I call with news of great joy. The Holy Father has appointed you the archbishop of Chicago.” He then congratulated me upon hearing of my acceptance. That is the extent of any conversation I have ever had about this matter with the former nuncio. Moreover, the former nuncio personally participated in my installation ceremony in Chicago in November 2014 and personally presided at the imposition of the pallium the following summer, and on both occasions offered only supportive remarks and congratulations. As to the issue of my appointment to Chicago as well as the question of episcopal appointments in general, I do not know who recommended me for the Archdiocese of Chicago, but I do know that Pope Francis, like his predecessors, takes seriously the appointment of bishops as one of his major responsibilities. Pope Francis has made it clear that he wants pastoral bishops, and I work each day to live up to that expectation in collaboration with many fine lay and religious women and men, my brother priests and brother bishops. I am proud to serve the church in Chicago and I am grateful for the help I receive.
The third and fourth references to me deal with my statements on the causes of clerical sexual abuse as it relates to homosexuality. Any reference I have ever made on this subject has always been based on the conclusions of the “Causes and Context” study by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, released in 2011, which states: “The clinical data do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity or those who committed same-sex sexual behavior with adults are significantly more likely to sexually abuse children than those with a heterosexual orientation or behavior.” John Jay researchers came to this conclusion after reviewing many studies on the topic. Their scholarly work is not to be dismissed out of hand.
As for the rest of the “testimony,” a thorough vetting of the former nuncio’s many claims is required before any assessment of their credibility can be made.