Pope to name Chicago’s Cupich as a synod delegate

(Crux) Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich is set to receive another major nod from Pope Francis: a place at the table for the upcoming Synod on the Family in Rome.

The news was first reported by the Catholic News Agency and was later confirmed by Crux by a Church official who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops had chosen Cupich as an alternate last November, along with San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a conservative voice in the US hierarchy who leads the bishops’ committee on marriage.

Francis will appoint another bishop to the US slate as well: Bishop George Murry, the leader of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, who is a Jesuit like Pope Francis. Murry is one of a handful of African-American Catholic bishops.

When Cupich was in Rome for the Pallium Mass in June, Cupich was one of the only newly appointed archbishops granted a private audience with Pope Francis.

Cupich, 66, has quickly emerged as an outspoken leader of the center-left wing of the US hierarchy since his appointment last November. He was handpicked by Francis to serve as leader of the nation’s third largest archdiocese, and this latest appointment will further bolster his profile as the pope’s man in the United States. [More]