Cardinal Cupich will lead a mass in the Croatian capital.
Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich arrived in Zagreb on Monday. He was met at the Archbishop’s Palace by Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal Josip Bozanić and Adjunct Bishop of Zagreb Ivan Šaško. Cardinal Cupich will lead a mass in Zagreb on 31 May, on the occasion of the celebration of the Day of Virgin Mary of the Stone Gate, reports 24sata.hr on May 30, 2017.
The Vatican announced in October the names of 17 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis. Among them was Blase Cupich, the 67-year-old Archbishop of Chicago, a descendant of immigrants from Croatia. He was one of three new cardinals from the United States. He was ordained a priest in 1975, and he quickly became known for his efforts to help the homeless and to fight against racism and deprivation in society.
In 2011, as a Bishop of Spokane, Cupich told clergy in his diocese that he absolutely did not support the participation of any of them in the anti-abortion protests and prayers in front of medical clinics, since women do not make abortion decisions in front of clinics, but at their kitchen tables and in their living room, often with their sisters, daughters, friends. Cupich told priests explicitly he did not want to be identified with the extremists. He also pointed out that the women were in a difficult situation, often abandoned by fathers of the children.
In November 2012, prior to a referendum on a same-sex marriage in the Washington state, Cupich wrote a letter to believers that, while thinking or talking about the subject, they should bear in mind that those advocating for the equalization of marriage were prompted by deep compassion towards those who have shown the courage to refuse to live in constant fear of rejection due to their sexual orientation. This compassion is a result of the tragic national history of violence against homosexuals, verbal attacks on their human dignity and suicides of teenagers who have been abused due to their sexual identity, he wrote at the time.
Cupich also criticised economic libertarianism as opposite to Catholic social teachings. He strongly supported health care expansion, saying that it was a fundamental human right.
As far as abortion is concerned, although he has never failed to say that abortion is harmful and wrong, in 2004, he objected to colleagues who wanted to expel Catholic politicians from the religious community due to their support for pro-choice policies.
As for his Croatian roots, he is one of nine children of Blaž Cupich and Maria Majhen from Omaha, Nebraska. His mother Maria was one of four children of Barbara Bahun, who arrived in Nebraska in 1917, as a 17-year-old girl from Vinica near Varaždin, and Ivan Majhen, who moved to the United States from Karlovac.