Cupich, expected to bring heart of a pastor to new role as cardinal

Less than 20 years ago, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich was an Omaha parish priest deciding matters like church renovations and how to cut utility bills.
A week ago, Pope Francis named him a cardinal, placing him among a group of high-ranking clergy who will select the next pope.
In some ways Cupich’s ascent seems remarkable. His appointment as cardinal comes two years after Francis named him archbishop of Chicago, an influential diocese and the country’s third-largest, with 2.2 million Catholics.
But those who know the Omaha native and former grade-school altar boy say he has long displayed the pastoral and merciful approach that reflects the vision Francis has for the church, one that shows its forgiving face rather than an emphasis on rules. Cupich, considered a moderate, is known for a common touch and an open-minded and collaborative leadership style on controversial topics such as same-sex marriage.

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