'America' partners with NBC News for special profile on Chicago's incoming Archbishop Blase Cupich

New York, N.Y. (November 14, 2014) – Father Matt Malone, S.J., president of America, announced today that America has partnered with NBC News and Ann Curry for a special profile on Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich as he becomes the new Archbishop of Chicago.  The extended segment will air on NBC Nightly News Weekend on Sunday, November 16 at 6:30pm EST.

“We are honored to be a partner on the profile of Bishop Cupich with NBC News,” said Father Malone.  “He has been a good friend and contributor to America magazine on numerous occasions and we are filled with hope for the Archdiocese of Chicago and the larger church in the United States as Archbishop-designate Cupich takes on this important role.” 

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Cupich told Curry he had never met Pope Francis and “hadn’t the slightest idea” why he was selected to lead the third largest diocese the U.S. He also shied away from describing himself as humble, a quality often ascribed to the pope: “I just try to be myself…. When I overreach or am not myself, then I get in trouble. And God has been very gentle with me about slapping me back into into shape, by humbling me whenever I go beyond my capacity or abilities.”

When asked about his vision of a more inclusive church, Cupich said, “I think that's what the mission of the Gospel is. Christ said to go out and seek people who are lost. People who are injured. People who are excluded. And he did that his whole ministry. That’s what got him in trouble. So if I get in trouble with that, I don't mind. I'm in good company.”

In a series of follow up questions with Father Malone, Cupich said that the church in the United States needs to have a discernment process that is "very suspect of attachments." "I think there's a conversion that's needed particularly in the leadership of the church to make sure that they are clear in their own mind that they are not so attached to power or the power structure that has made their life more comfortable or secure. I think that is the key moment, for all of us in hierarchy, to ask whether not we are attached."

A transcript and video from the interview will be available on America's website, along with a podcast interview with Ann Curry.

Blase Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska, as one of the nine children. He attended St. John Vianney Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he obtained his B.A. in Philosophy in 1971. He then studied in Rome at the Pontifical North American College and earned his Bachelor's in Sacred Theology (1974) and his Master’s of Theology (1975) from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Cupich was ordained to the priesthoodon August 16, 1975. From 1980 to 1981, he was an instructor at Creighton University in Omaha. He then served as secretary of the nunciature to the United States until 1987, pastor of St. Mary Church in Bellevue from 1987 to 1989, President-Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, from 1989 to 1996, and pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Omaha from 1997 to 1998.

On July 6, 1998, Cupich was appointed the seventh Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, by Pope John Paul II. On June 30, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him bishop of Spokane. The Press office of the Holy See announced on September 20, 2014, that Pope Francis had named Cupich to become the new Archbishop of Chicago. He is scheduled to be installed there on November 18, 2014.

America is the leading national Catholic weekly magazine, offering a smart Catholic take on religion, politics and culture. Founded in 1909 by the Jesuit order and directed today by Jesuits and lay colleagues, America is a resource for spiritual renewal and social analysis guided by the spirit of charity. http://www.americamagazine.org/

NBC News is the nation’s top-rated nightly news program. http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news

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