America magazine’s Michael O’Loughlin reported on the cardinal’s comments, made in response to a reporter’s question following a talk the prelate gave at the City Club of Chicago this week. Cupich said:
“We have always wanted to make sure that we start the conversation by saying that all people are of value and their lives should be respected and that we should respect them.
That is why I think that the terms gay and lesbian, L.G.B.T., all of those names that people appropriate to themselves, should be respected. People should be called the way that they want to be called rather than us coming up with terms that maybe we’re more comfortable with. So it begins with that.”
O’Loughlin pointed out the timeliness of the cardinal’s remarks:
“The cardinal’s comments come at a time when some Catholic leaders are considering how to engage the L.G.B.T. community. America editor-at-large James Martin, S.J., argues in his new book Building a Bridge that gay and lesbian people should be referred to by those names, noting that Pope Francis himself has used the term gay.
“But critics have said that using those terms in place of phrases such as ‘individuals who experience same-sex attraction’ is a capitulation to secular culture.”
O’Loughlin also reported:
“Later that evening, Cardinal Cupich appeared on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” to discuss gang and gun violence in the city. He declined to comment on a newly promulgated document in nearby Springfield, Ill., in which Bishop Thomas Paprocki told priests that gays and lesbians in same-sex marriages should not receive Communion or be given Catholic funerals.”
” ‘That is not our policy,’ Cardinal Cupich said, adding, ‘as a matter of practice, we don’t comment on the policies of other dioceses.’ “
Cardinal Cupich already has a strong record of being welcoming of LGBT people. He was one of the few U.S. bishops to make a statement of sympathy and solidarity to the LGBT community in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre last year. At the 2015 synod on the family, he stated that he thought synod bishops should have heard the voices of lesbian and gay couples at the meeting, and acknowledged that he did exactly that in his own pre-synod listening sessions. He also spoke out against denying communion to lesbian and gay people, recommending that pastoral ministers respect individuals’ consciences.
On the negative side, Cupich upheld the firing of Colin Collette, a married gay man who was a music minister at a Chicago-area parish.
Still, progress is made step-by-step, little-by-little, and Cupich’s latest comments are another move in the right direction.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, July 20, 2017