ROME --- Former Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich became a Cardinal on Saturday. He is currently the Chicago Archbishop.
He was one of 17 named as Cardinals. Dressed in red robes, they were each honored by the Pope with the traditional three cornered hat that symbolizes their commitment to the Catholic Church. For Cupich, the elevation means he will have a vote in future papal elections, while also continuing on as Chicago's archbishop. Two others who were named Cardinals were also from the U.S.
Many Chicago leaders traveled to Rome this week in support of Cupich, as well as some of his Spokane friends.
Cupich was previously a Bishop in Spokane before moving to Chicago to become Archbishop. Cupich arrived in Spokane in September of 2010. He came here after 12 years as bishop in Rapid City.
Cupich is remembered for a variety of things in Spokane. He re-energized the diocese after the priest sex abuse scandal rocked it earlier. He gave new emphasis on Catholic schools through his fundraising in the newly created Nazareth Guild and is credited with probably keeping a few schools from closing. He also put new emphasis on measuring success among many new goals he credited. Finally, he will be remembered for leading a lawsuit against the Paine Hamblen law firm that handled the initial response for the diocese in the priest sex abuse scandal. Cupich is considered a moderate among Catholic leaders.