Archbishop Elect Samuel J. Aquila Named to Lead the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado
One of the most wonderful Dioceses in the United States, the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, has received a special gift from the Holy Father.
The Archdiocese of Denver is home to 700,000 Catholics and is a base for the New Evangelization in the Catholic Church. It has become a home to several of the most fruitful apostolates of our age.We are thrilled that such a good Bishop will continue that dynamically orthodox Denver witness and add to the already solid foundation left by his predecessor. Archbishop Elect Elect Samuel J. Aquila will be installed on July 18th.
Archbishop Elect of Denver, Samuel J. Aquila, with Pope Benedict XVI
DENVER, CO (Catholic Online) - Though rumors circulated throughout the blogosphere over the long Memorial Day weekend, I only knew the rumor was reliable when Rocco Palmo of "Whispers in the Loggia" confirmed the news. One of the most wonderful Dioceses in the United States, the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, has received a special gift from the Holy Father.
The official confirmation from the Vatican Information Service was short and to the point: "Vatican City, 29 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, U.S.A., as archbishop of Denver (area 101.279, population 3,328,000, Catholics 549,325, priests 306, permanent deacons 184, religious 203), U.S.A."
As someone who covers such appointments as part of my service to the Lord and His Church - and who, as my readers know, has a special admiration for the Archdiocese of Denver as a model of the New Evangelization - I have prayed for this particular appointment with a special interest and concern.
When Denver lost the wonderful Archbishop Chaput to Philadelphia, I knew those would be hard shoes to fill at this critical time in the history of the Church in the United States. I thought Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley, S.T.L., might have received the appointment. He is another hero of the Church in this hour.
However, the faithful of Denver will now have the privilege of having Archbishop Elect Samuel J. Aquila, now formerly of the Diocese of Fargo, to Shepherd them. The Archbishop Elect is another of a growing number of giants in the United States Episcopacy. The Lord is giving these gifts to His Church just in the nick of time.
I will never forget the letter Bishop Samuel J. Aquila sent to the President of the University Of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins, back when President Barack Obama was invited to speak to the Commencement and given an honorary doctor of laws. Sent on April 5, 2009, it showed Episcopal spine, coupled with the wisdom of a Bishop concerned for a priest. He is a true Shepherd of souls. I offer it for our readers in full below:
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Dear Father Jenkins,
I was surprised and saddened when I learned about the invitation extended to President Obama to speak at Notre Dame's commencement exercises and to receive an honorary degree. Your statements in defense of the award and invitation have only deepened my dismay.
We know by science and reason that human life begins at the moment of conception. That includes your life, President Obama's life, my life and every human being's life. Faith enhances reason and science by revealing to us that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and has inherent dignity and value.
The teaching of the Catholic Church on the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death is fundamental to our Catholic identity. I know you are a man of integrity and believe in the Church's witness. I also know as a priest and a president of a Catholic University, you are well acquainted with Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the 2004 statement of the Bishops of the United States on "Catholics in Political Life."
Even though President Obama is not Catholic, he clearly rejects the truth about human dignity through his constant support of a so called "right to abortion." He also tolerates the inexcusable act of letting aborted children die who are born alive. He promotes an intrinsic evil which must always be resisted by a just and civil society.
Inviting President Obama to award him a degree and to speak at a Catholic University implicitly extends legitimacy to his views on these issues in the minds of the average onlooker. Your actions and that of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame do real harm to the mission of Catholic education in this country and further splinters Catholic witness in the public square.
Your actions provide a forum for an advocate of abortion, in a university which is committed to teaching the truths known to reason and science, and most of all to our faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church. This places commitment to these truths on an equal plane with a commitment to an intrinsic evil which destroys innocent human life. Your judgment in this matter is seriously flawed, with damaging consequences, for ".you are not on the side of God, but of men" (Mt 16:23).
I know that many wonderful Catholic students, faculty and administrators at Notre Dame support the clear teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church. Unfortunately, your action and that of your Board diminishes the reputation of Notre Dame and makes one wonder what its mission truly is. I pray that you will see the gravity of Notre Dame's error in this matter and most especially how it undermines ...
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