Speed Reads

Pope and Change

Pope Francis just replaced one of America's most conservative cardinals with one of its most liberal

On Tuesday, Blase Cupich was installed as the ninth archbishop of Chicago, replacing Cardinal Francis George. Archbishop Cupich isn't a cardinal yet, but as head of America's third-largest diocese, it's only a matter of time. Cupich (pronounced SOO-pitch), 65, is Pope Francis' first big appointment in the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, and along with Francis ally Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston, is now one of America's most liberal senior prelates.

People overuse the idea of liberal and conservative wings of the Catholic Church, but assuming, roughly, that liberals focus more on social justice issues (poverty, death penalty, peace) and conservatives focus more on socially conservative ones (contraception, abortion, gays and lesbians, culture war), Cardinal George, 77, is probably among the most conservative of the 18 U.S. cardinals.

Like O'Malley and Pope Francis, Cupich is forgoing a palatial residence, in this case Chicago's Gold Coast archbishop's mansion, for more modest digs in the rectory of Holy Name Cathedral. --Peter Weber