Open Letter to Archbishop Cupich



Archbishop Blase Cupich
Archdiocese of Chicago
835 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611You’re Grace:  

Your Grace: 

Merry Christmas! 

My intention in writing this public letter to you is to gain clarity from you as both shepherd and teacher in Archdiocese of Chicago concerning some of your public pronouncements on LGBT people in the Church. 

While I am both Gay and Catholic, the later has been more difficult to maintain in a Church that shows public hostility to LGBT people. Such an environment can only further foster misunderstanding at best and un-justified discrimination at worst.  Morally it makes no difference if this is done intentionally, or not. 

Recently you attended the Synod on the Family in Rome; you have said things that both confuse, and give my pause for hope. It is not my intention to put words into your mouth rather to ask for clarification of words you have already spoken.

“When people who are in good conscience working with a spiritual director come to a decision, then they need to follow that conscience. That’s the teaching of the Church. So in the case of people receiving Communion in situations that are irregular that also applies. The question then was: Does that apply to gay people? My answer was: they’re human beings too. They have a conscience. They have to follow their conscience.” 

“It’s not up to any minister who is distributing the Eucharist to make a decision about a person’s worthiness or lack of worthiness. That’s on the conscience of those individuals,”

Further you said: “They have to be able to have a formed conscience, understand the teaching of the Church, and work with a spiritual director and come to those decisions. And we have to respect that.” 

Like Pope Francis you have been the object of substantial criticism. This criticism has at times been unfair. Words can be used as weapons, and used as rocks and stones to demonize others by diminishing their reputation in order to belittle their position. Reasonable people of good will must condemn such behavior loudly and unequivocally when it tries to pass itself off pastoral care.  

In the spirit of understanding, and not wishing to take your words out of text and context, my goal is to seek clarity, precision and understanding. I hope you would agree with me that like race and gender, sexual orientation is not a choice, and should not be given such moral equivalency in our theology implied or not. 

So let me test my understanding with this question;  Do you welcome LGBT Married and un married couples to receive Holy Communion within the Archdiocese of Chicago, or not? The reason for this question is because in many Archdioceses such couples are being denied, based on Church Teaching. 

I pray for you as I hope you will for me. People of both good wills and reason can disagree. But before we can reach that point we must be willing to listen to each other respectfully.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics)


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