Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago — who is participating in the Synod of the Family at Pope Francis’ personal invitation — said at a press scrum in the Vatican press office this afternoon that the conscience is “inviolable” and that he believes divorced and remarried couples could be permitted to receive the sacraments, if they have “come to a decision” to do so “in good conscience” – theological reasoning that he indicated in response to a follow-up question would also apply to gay couples.
During the lengthy press briefing, the archbishop also spoke approvingly of the so-called “Kasper Proposal,” which would permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in some cases. Cupich explained that he had distributed Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book, The Gospel of the Family, in which the cardinal had laid out this proposal, to all of the priests in his diocese.
“In Chicago I visit regularly with people who feel marginalized: the elderly, the divorced and remarried, gay and lesbian individuals and also couples. I think that we really need to get to know what their life is like if we’re going to accompany them,” he said.
When asked to give a concrete example of how he would accompany the divorced and remarried in their desire to receive the sacraments, Cupich replied: “If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that. The conscience is inviolable and we have to respect that when they make decisions, and I’ve always done that.”
“Conscience is inviolable,” eh? It’s almost like, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
Cupich, recall, was Pope Francis’s first major US appointment, and was personally selected by the Pope to be a Synod father. Audio snippets of the Archbishop’s presser here: