Vatican City, Jul 7, 2016 / 05:43 am
On Thursday the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ decision to nominate Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago as a new member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.
The Pope’s appointment of Archbishop Cupich to the Vatican department was announced in a July 7 communique from the Vatican.
The Congregation of Bishops, currently headed by Cardinal Marc Oullet, is responsible for what pertains to the “establishment and provision of particular Churches and to the exercise of the episcopal office in the Latin Church” – primarily, overseeing the process of selecting and appointing bishops.
Cupich’s nomination to the congregation comes just two years after he was tapped to lead the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was appointed as Archbishop of Chicago by Pope Francis Sept. 20, 2015, replacing Cardinal Francis George.
He was also among the 45 bishops appointed by Pope Francis to participate in the 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.
Born in Omaha, Neb. In 1949, he was ordained a priest in 1975 and studied at the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota as well as the Pontifical College of North America in Rome. In 1998, he was named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and in 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane. He took over for Cardinal George in Chicago in 2014, due to the cardinal’s failing health.
In December 2013, nine months after his election to the papacy, Pope Francis made significant changes in the congregation’s membership, appointing several new members and confirming others in the roles they already held.
Among those appointed at that time was Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who also serves on several pontifical councils, as well as committees of U.S. bishops. He served as relator general for the October 2012 Vatican Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, and was also among those tapped by Francis to participate in the 2015 Synod of Bishops.