Pope taps Chicago archbishop as member of Congregation for Bishops

IMAGE: CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World

By Cindy Wooden

Francis has named Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich a member of the
Congregation for Bishops, the office that advises the pope on the nomination of
bishops around the world.

Archbishop Cupich, 67, takes
the place left vacant by U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, who turned 80 in
mid-June and automatically ceded his membership.

The congregation is led by
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, its prefect. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of
Washington also serves as a member.

In a statement from Chicago,
Archbishop Cupich said: “I am humbled by the Holy Father’s trust and
confidence in me. While my primary responsibility remains here in the
Archdiocese of Chicago, I look forward to joining other members of the
Congregation for Bishops to serve the pope and the church in this

or Vatican ambassadors, around the world conduct the initial search for priests
suitable for the office of bishop and forward their names to the congregation.
Congregation members review the biographies of potential candidates and
comments and recommendations collected by the nuncios before making their
recommendations to the pope.

The congregation also advises
the pope on the establishment of new dioceses or the consolidation of old ones;
advises bishops’ conferences on their work; coordinates the joint activities of
military ordinaries around the world; and organizes the “ad limina”
visits that bishops regularly make to the Vatican to report on the status of
their dioceses.

The congregation is tasked
with supporting the work of bishops in their dioceses, a function regularly
carried out with the review of reports prepared in conjunction with the
“ad limina” visits. But it also is responsible for organizing
apostolic visitations of dioceses where particular tensions or controversies
have arisen.

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