Pope Picks Liberal Cardinals Cupich, Marx, Tagle for Featured Talks at Vatican Abuse Summit

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors in the Church” beginning later this week.

Cardinal Cupich, one of the main organizers of the summit and a lead prelate of the delegation from the United States, emerged as an immediate proponent of the Vatican summit when, at the last minute, the Holy See blocked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from pursuing its agenda to address clergy sexual abuse at the groups meeting last November.

The Chicago Archbishop’s appointment to a high profile role at the summit raised eyebrows from the outset, particularly after he dismissed Archbishop Viganò’s testimony on the McCarrick abuse cover-up as a mere “rabbit hole” distracting the Church.  As evidenced at today’s press conference, Cardinal Cupich continues to believe that homosexuality is not a significant contributing factor in the abuse of minors, despite statistics showing otherwise.

At a press conference today, former Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced the list of featured speakers and the topics they will be discussing at the upcoming meeting:

  • Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines) and since 2015 President of Caritas Internationalis and the Catholic Bible Federation:  “Smell of the sheep. Knowing their pain and healing their wounds is at the heart of the shepherd’s task”
  • Charles J. Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta and Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “Church as field hospital. Taking responsibility.”
  • Card. Rubén Salazar Gómez, Archbishop of Bogotà (Colombia) and President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM): “The Church in a moment of crisis – Facing conflicts and tensions and acting decisively.”
  • Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India: “Collegiality: sent together.”
  • Card. Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois: “Synodality: jointly responsible.”
  • Linda Ghisoni, Undersecretary for the Laity of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life: “Communio: to work together.”
  • Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ, from Nigeria, Elected Leader of The Society of the Holy Child Jesus: “Openness: sent out into the world.”
  • Card. Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of München und Freising (Germany); chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference: “Transparency in a community of believers.”
  • Valentina Alazraki, a Journalist and writer in Mexico: “Communication: to all people.”

The Vatican also released the list of meeting participants. The list of names has been published on a dedicated website aimed at providing resources for journalists and concerned Catholics during the Vatican summit.

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