By Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich said he won’t disclose any more of what Pope Francis shared with him during a private meeting last week inside the Vatican, only that the Holy Father has repeatedly asked for prayers in the two personal encounters that followed.
“He was very pronounced about this,” Cupich said in a Skype interview from Rome on Monday. “It’s not a casual type of thing. He really needs prayers at this time of his life.”
Cupich received the pallium from Pope Francis on Monday morning during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The pallium, a piece of wool that symbolizes his new office as Chicago’s archbishop, was enclosed in a leather box embossed with gold images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Tied with an orange ribbon, it also included a sealed envelope addressed to the pope’s U.S. ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the contents of which remain a mystery.
“I don’t open other people’s mail,” Cupich said. During a ritual previously performed by the pope on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome, Vigano will drape the pallium around Cupich’s shoulders Aug. 23 inside Holy Name Cathedral.
The one-on-one interview came a day after Cupich released a statement about two of last week’s Supreme Court rulings, upholding health care and legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The statement came out as Chicago’s 46th annual Pride Parade came to a close Sunday afternoon. But Cupich said the timing was not intentional. He simply needed a few days to reflect on the ruling amid a hectic schedule.
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