Former Spokane bishop to become Cardinal

CHICAGO (AP) - Pope Francis looked to the American Midwest when picking his first U.S. cardinals.

The Vatican announced Sunday that Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich and Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis, Indiana, will become cardinals in a Rome ceremony Nov. 19.

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.

Francis also picked Bishop Kevin Farrell for the honor. Farrell has led the Diocese of Dallas, but is leaving for a prominent Vatican post.

The three men are moderates who follow Francis' emphasis on mercy over rules.

Tobin drew national attention this year for rejecting a request from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for the church to stop settling Syrian refugees in the state. Pence is the Republican nominee for vice president and running mate of Donald Trump, who has proposed deporting illegal immigrants and banning entry of Muslims from other countries.

Associated Press


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