Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich on Tuesday lost a key election to chair the Right to Life Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Instead, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City won with 54 pecent of the vote. That makes him the first non-cardinal to win that chairmanship in at least 30 years.
Rocco Palmo, who closey follows the Catholic Church and writes the popular Whispers in the Loggia blog called the result “a genuine shocker.”
Naumann was considered a conservative with a hard-line stand even against Girl Scouts selling cookies at Kansas City parishes because they receive funding from Planned Parenthood. Cupich, has been labeled “more progressive than the old guard” and as the first American archbishop appointed by Pope Francis, this vote further divides the American church leadership.
More bishops have been speaking out against the Pope’s reforms from allowing divorced Catholics to receive communion to the discussion of married priests.
Cardinal Cupich already has received a powerful appointment from Pope Francis as a member of the bishop selection committee, choosing the next leaders for the Catholic church worldwide.
Still, this vote by the American bishops, rejecting Cupich for the Right to Life post, is a key sign that Cupich is not as popular with his fellow bishops as his predecessor Cardinal Francis George.