The Archdiocese of Chicago on Thursday named Grant Gallicho as its director of publications and media, a newly created position. Effective Nov. 1, Gallicho’s duties in his new position will include reviewing the archdiocese’s publications strategy and managing its print and digital properties. Gallicho is a Chicago native and currently serves as an associate editor of Commonweal, an independent, lay-run Catholic journal. He has also been published in America, the National Catholic Reporter, The Tablet, El Ciervo, Religion Dispatches, Religion News Service, The New York Observer, The New York Times, and elsewhere. “I welcome Grant back home to Chicago and look forward to working with him,” Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago said in a Sept. 17 statement. “He comes to this new position with years of proven publishing experience and digital-era savvy, and combines those skills with a deep faith and love for the Church.” Archbishop Cupich was appointed by Pope Francis one year ago, upon the retirement of Cardinal Francis George. Cardinal George died April 17 at the age of 78, after a long battle with cancer. Since his appointment to the Chicago archdiocese, Archbishop Cupich has taken steps to distance himself from Cardinal George, and to instead align himself with Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who preceded Cardinal George as leader of the third-largest archdiocese in the nation. For example, in an August column on the Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, Archbishop Cupich referred to the “consistent ethic of life,” a phrase coined by Cardinal Bernardin and popularly known as the “seamless garment” understanding of faith's role in the public square. “While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.” The videos, which show Planned Parenthood officials describing the harvesting of body parts from aborted babies at their clinics, offer “the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a nation to a consistent ethic of life,” the Chicago archbishop said. Archbishop Cupich was also personally chosen by Pope Francis earlier this week to attend the 2015 Synod on the Family in Rome, along with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Bishop George Murry of Youngstown. These delegates join those approved by the United States bishops: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia; Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles; and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family is set to take place Oct. 4-25, with the theme “Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the family.” The conclusions of the gathering will be used by Pope Francis to draft his first Post-Synodal Exhortation, which can be expected in 2016.
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