Sneed exclusive: Archbishop Cupich requests ride-along with Supt. McCarthy
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL SNEED POSTED: 07/16/2015, 06:25PM
The priest patrol . . .
Sneed is told Archbishop Blase Cupich,who has until recently been publicly low key on the city's gun violence imbroglio, has requested to go on patrol with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in the city's most violent neighborhoods.
"The archbishop is taking this issue very seriously and has been doing his due diligence," said a top Sneed source.
"He and Superintendent McCarthy have had several conversations," said a top cop source.
"McCarthy was just given permission by his doctors recently to go back on full-time patrol since his heart attack last June, and was back on patrol July 4th," the source added.
Word is Cupich, who also recently invited McCarthy to dine with him, has been gathering input on the city's escalating gun violence from experts in the field and what role the church should play.
Cupich's visit to inmates at Cook County Jail and his statement at a news conference Tuesday of support on a gun ban in Catholic churches throughout the archdiocese "highlights his considerable concern about the issue," the source said.
Although Cupich, who was named the head of Chicago's Catholic flock last year, was unclear Tuesday on just what the archdiocese's gun policy actually was — the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the fiery peace priest who heads the South Side's largest black Catholic church — was very clear on the issue.
Pfleger, who unsuccessfully lobbiedCardinal Francis George to declare churches gun-free zones (Sneed scoop Aug. 1, 2014), tells Sneed:
"I just e-mailed Archbishop Cupich this week to come to St. Sabina's and talk to us about the gun violence issue.
"When I read in the Sun-Times [Cupich] supported a church gun ban, I was delighted. I am now hoping he will announce plans to make it an official policy in the archdiocese here at St. Sabina's. It's a major thing to do! It could set precedence for the entire country.
"I was not successful in getting Cardinal George to do so because he told me there were priests who argued against it, priests who apparently believed in the right to carry a concealed weapon in church.