Matt C. Abbott
Bishop: Catholic group's 'mission is evil'
By Matt C. Abbott
February 11, 2019

On Feb. 6, Bishop Robert D. Gruss of Rapid City, S.D., ordered a letter "[t]o be read from the pulpit at all Masses in the Diocese of Rapid City during the weekend of Feb. 9-10, 2019."

An image of the letter can be seen below. In it, Gruss asserts that the mission of Illinois-based Roman Catholic Faithful, which has been working to oust Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, is "evil and guided by the Evil One." The bishop goes on to praise Cupich as "an effective leader and shepherd, leaving a legacy that will long mark the ministry in our diocese."

On Feb. 10, RCF board member and Catholic attorney James Bendell issued the following open letter to Gruss:
    Your Excellency:

    I am General Counsel for Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc, and I write this letter in response to your February 6, 2019 letter to your flock, a copy of which has been provided to me.

    I am impressed that Your Excellency is able to read the minds of our members as to our motives for coming to Rapid City.

    You mention Cardinal Cupich. Very well, I challenge you to a public debate on the following – "Resolved, that Cardinal Cupich has promoted perversion and error, and he has betrayed the faithful during the times that he has served as bishop prior to being named Cardinal and assigned to Chicago." The debate will be videoed and made available in its entirety on the Internet. I am willing to debate you personally, not one of the personnel on your staff.

    You state that no bishop "deserves to be treated" as RCF has treated Cupich. On the contrary, no faithful Catholic of any diocese deserves to be misled and betrayed as Cupich has done. This will certainly be a lively debate, assuming you are not afraid of actually participating. The debate would be no longer that 60 or 90 minutes, and I'm sure that one of your many persons leading "ministries" could take care of your responsibilities during that time.

    Thousands of boys have been molested during the last several decades. RCF is committed to stopping this horrendous abuse. One of things that will help accomplish this goal is transparency, contrary to the climate of concealment practiced by the hierarchy over the last 50 years. Therefore, a public debate would be very healthy.

    Please contact me at my Idaho law office to arrange a time for the debate.

    Sincerely Yours in Christ,

    James Bendell, Esq.
Earlier this year, Bendell provided me with the following bullet points on why the cardinal should be ousted:
  • It has recently been learned that, while bishop of Spokane, Wash., Cupich knew the Church had parked retired abusive priests at Cardinal Bea House on the campus of Gonzaga University. He was aware of this fact yet failed to inform the university or the public of the presence of these predators. (Source)

  • Cupich banished Father Paul Kalchik – himself a victim of sexual abuse by a neighbor and a priest earlier in his life – without due process, for burning a rainbow flag (which also featured a large cross on it) that was used in the parish many years ago under a different pastor. Father Kalchik should have been praised for this laudatory act in view of the Church's perennial teaching that sodomy is one of the four sins which cry to heaven for vengeance. (Source)

  • Cupich has adopted a policy in the Archdiocese of Chicago that permits active homosexuals living in a 'marriage' to receive Holy Communion and ecclesiastical funeral rites. (Source)

  • Cupich has apologized to Jews for the Church's attempt to convert them. In doing so, he has slandered the many missionaries who truly loved the Jewish people and wanted to bring them to Christ. (Source)

  • Cupich locked out parishioners of a Traditional Latin Mass parish while he was bishop of Rapid City when they wanted to celebrate the Easter Triduum. In doing so, he demonstrated that he's basically a thug. (Source)

  • While bishop of Spokane, Cupich discouraged his priests and seminarians from participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign. (Source)
Also of note: In March 2018, Cupich removed Father C. Frank Phillips – founder and former superior of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius – as pastor of the world-renowned St. John Cantius Church, despite a review board's finding that Phillips did not violate any criminal, civil or canon law after being accused of improper conduct with adult men. The archdiocese never publicly specified the allegations against Phillips, which he vehemently denied. (Source)

In August 2018, Cupich lashed out at critics of Pope Francis and supporters of whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, asserting that those who are troubled about Francis' pontificate "don't like him because he's a Latino" and are thus racist bigots. (Source)

Last but certainly not least, Cupich wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune downplaying Planned Parenthood's innumerable monstrosities by espousing the "seamless garment" philosophy. (Source)

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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