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Cupich appointment could upend conservative dominance of US hierarchy

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The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing, to succeed Cardinal Francis George could upend decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy.

Cupich, 65, will succeed Cardinal Francis George, a doctrinal and cultural conservative who has headed one of the American church’s pre-eminent dioceses since 1997. In that time he became a vocal leader among the bishops and earned a reputation as a feisty culture warrior in line with the Vatican of the late St. John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI.

California wildfire destroys parish church

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A fast-moving wildfire destroyed Holy Family Catholic Church in the far northern California city of Weed on Monday. A Presbyterian church, the library, a community center, and 110 homes were also destroyed. Another 90 homes were damaged, as was an elementary school and the town's plywood mill.

"This is a tragedy, very sad," Fr. Joshy Mathew, a Carmelite of Mary Immaculate, told KCRA television news. "But we are here together," the pastor said of his parish of 200 families.

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