Catholic Latinos went to Mass on Sunday hopeful and optimistic that the next leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be willing to speak out for immigration reform, the needs of the poor and be a bigger part of their parishes.
It was announced Saturday that Pope Francis had chosen Bishop Blase (BLAYZ’) Cupich (SOO’-pihch) to succeed Cardinal Francis George, who is stepping down as he battles cancer.
On Sunday, several people at largely-Latino parishes in Chicago said they think the next leader of the nation’s third-largest archdiocese will speak out and support issues that are important to them.
“He comes from a family of immigrants, so therefore we have something in common,” said Jose Sauceda, 63, as he was arriving for Mass at St. Pius V Church.
Cupich on Saturday told his own story of having four grandparents from Croatia as he called for immigration reform.
Steve Vidal, a 42-year-old teacher attending Mass at St. Pius V Church, said he believes George and other Catholic conservatives left gays feeling “marginalized” and hopes Cupich’s views will mirror those of Pope Francis, who has been more welcoming.
At nearby St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Nelly Viramontes, 36, said it seemed like George rarely visited the Hispanic parishes, whose members account for 44 percent of the archdiocese. She said she hoped Cupich would reach out to Hispanics more.