Don’t let the gentle voice fool you: In his first year as shepherd of the nation’s third-­largest Catholic flock, Cupich roared. He stood up to American bishops at an important synod in October, supporting a controversial path to Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. He used his moral authority to publicly criticize Rauner’s antiunion stance. And he called for Illinois lawmakers to pass gun control legislation. “Social protest can only go so far,” he told an ABC-7 reporter in December. “We need solutions.” If we actually get them, the outspoken archbishop will be one reason why.

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