Cupich eyeing women for top leadership positions

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Pew news . . .

Nave notes: Advised by a cadre of concerned priests and laity to clean out the old wood at the chancery, Sneed hears the Chicago’s new archbishop is eyeing the installation of women in top leadership positions.

◆ Translation: Sneed hears whispers in the chancery Archbishop Blase Cupich may opt to use his crozier as a broom.

◆ Further translation: Sneed is told Cupich went calmly ballistic when he discovered a dearth of women, nuns and altar girls included in his installation Mass last week at Holy Name Cathedral.

◆ Backshot: When Cupich was bishop of the diocese in Spokane, Wash. — before he was chosen to replace ailing Cardinal Francis George — he permitted women to hold top leadership positions in the Spokane chancery, claiming he valued their perspective and they stopped him from making bad decisions.

Cupich’s office in Rapid City, S.D., where he served as bishop until he left for Washington in 2010, was staffed mostly by women, according to an article about him in Spokane’s Spokesman-Review.

Cupich also singled out St. Philippine Duchesne, the female founder of a school for Native American children in the mid-1800s, for praise during his installation Mass for reminding “us of the extraordinary contribution women religious have made and continue to make to the church and society . . . all of whom have shaped so much of our faith, our lives and our Church ministries.”

Stay tuned.

Over & out . . . 

So it has finally come to this.

Tom Leach, the man who became one of the longest serving public faces of a government organization; the man who called me “Mikie, Baby” for 46 years — has died.

I was verklempt when Tom, a former reporter, pulled the plug in 2007 on his perennial perch at the Chicago Board of Elections, a reporter’s go-to guy for 59 elections.

Word he died Sunday broke my heart.

My “Tommy Boy” had been the voice on the other end of my phone line five days a week for decades.

He had been an old friend; a reporter for the late Chicago American, the precursor to the late Chicago Today, when we wandered into each other’s beats in 1967-68 — an era of four healthy city newspapers competing for scoops.

When Tom hung it up back then in 2007, he called an abrupt halt to my longest-standing relationship on the other side of the pencil.

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