CO-04 (Special Election) See Full Big Line

(R) Greg Lopez

(R) Trisha Calvarese



President (To Win Colorado) See Full Big Line

(D) Joe Biden*

(R) Donald Trump



CO-01 (Denver) See Full Big Line

(D) Diana DeGette*


CO-02 (Boulder-ish) See Full Big Line

(D) Joe Neguse*


CO-03 (West & Southern CO) See Full Big Line

(D) Adam Frisch

(R) Jeff Hurd

(R) Ron Hanks




CO-04 (Northeast-ish Colorado) See Full Big Line

(R) Lauren Boebert

(R) Deborah Flora

(R) J. Sonnenberg




CO-05 (Colorado Springs) See Full Big Line

(R) Jeff Crank

(R) Dave Williams



CO-06 (Aurora) See Full Big Line

(D) Jason Crow*


CO-07 (Jefferson County) See Full Big Line

(D) Brittany Pettersen



CO-08 (Northern Colo.) See Full Big Line

(D) Yadira Caraveo

(R) Gabe Evans

(R) Janak Joshi




State Senate Majority See Full Big Line





State House Majority See Full Big Line





Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
December 11, 2020 09:40 AM UTC

Denver's Catholic Archbishops Have Got A Lot Of Nerve

  • by: Colorado Pols
Archbishop Samuel Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver.

Anti-abortion site is excited to share the news:

A second Catholic archbishop spoke out this week against Joe Biden receiving communion unless he repents of his support for killing unborn babies in abortions.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila, of the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, agreed with Archbishop Charles Chaput who, earlier this month, said Biden, a pro-abortion Democrat, should not receive communion even though he claims to be a devout Catholic…

“Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion. His stated intention requires a strong and consistent response from Church leaders and faithful,” Chaput said.

What we have here are the current and immediately previous Archbishops of Denver–Charles Chaput held the position Samuel Aquila now occupies from 1997-2011–declaring that President-elect Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because Biden supports abortion rights. It’s not clear whether they are calling for Biden to formally excommunicated from the Catholic Church, or merely not allowed to take part in one of its foundational rituals. Since Biden is not a member of either archbishop’s congregation (Chaput is now retired), their opinion is just that. The D.C. Archbishop has already declared that Biden will still receive Communion, like millions of other Catholics in America who also happen to support abortion rights.

Chaput, the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, is against giving communion to those who refuse to repent, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“By his actions during the course of his public life, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” Chaput wrote in a column at First Things.

Father Charles Woodrich, local child molester.

The current and prior Archbishops of Denver are leading this political attack on President-elect Biden today, but it’s not the only time Denver’s Catholic leaders have been in the news recently. At the beginning of December, new information released to the public disclosed for the first time that a “beloved” Denver priest, Father Charles “Woody” Woodrich, was among dozens of Catholic priests in Colorado who sexually abused children for decades while the church worked tirelessly to cover it up. In a 2019 column on the longtime coverup of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests–before Father Woody’s crimes were disclosed–Megan Schrader wrote about Chaput’s role in keeping these crimes under wraps:

Chaput was the archbishop in Denver from 1997 to 2011.

The [2019] report notes that from June 2002 to 2012, the Denver Archdiocese failed to report 25 of the 39 recorded allegations of clergy sex abuse that Colorado law required it to report to law enforcement.

From 2005 to 2008, Denver church officials settled dozens of lawsuits alleging abuse, and Chaput offered an apology to victims. But while Chaput settled cases out of court with victims, he was actively opposing changes to the statute of limitations both for cases of rape and child abuse and for cases of failure to report child abuse. There’s evidence, given the dates of when old abuses were reported, that Chaput, like so many of his colleagues, failed to report suspected crimes to police or to treat victims with the understanding and dignity they deserved.

By most accounts including Schrader’s, Archbishop Samuel Aquila has been more cooperative in reporting sex abuse allegations against his clergy than Chaput was. But knowing what we know today about Chaput’s role in suppressing allegations of child sex abuse against Catholic priests, the idea that he should be considered a moral authority on any subject today lands somewhere between laughable and offensive. As for Denver Archbishop Aquila, the voters of Colorado once again rejected an abortion ban in numbers that prove he’s not speaking for any kind of majority here.

Instead of trying to tell the Archbishop of D.C. how to run his church, or telling Joe Biden how to uphold the law of the land as President, we suggest Archbishop Aquila stick to what should be his highest priority: making sure Catholic priests aren’t molesting Colorado’s kids.


25 thoughts on “Denver’s Catholic Archbishops Have Got A Lot Of Nerve

  1. I have to say it bluntly. Sorry.

    Who gives a crap about what the Catholic Church says about morality? Listening to the proselytizing of an institution that has tolerated and maybe even encouraged the sexual abuse of thousands and thousands of children is like listening to a serial bank robber rhapsodize about the virtues of property rights.



    1. You had better “give a crap.” You have a living will that says pull the plug if no hope of recovery. You think a Catholic owned or managed facility will honor your legal document, or will Church doctrine overrule the law?

      Also consider a woman who has just delivered her third baby and wants her tubes tied. Will a Catholic hospital honor her wishes, or will Church “ethics guidelines” come into play? What if that Catholic hospital is the only facility for miles around and the family doesn’t have a ton of money, or available time off work, to go traveling cross country?

      Better think about it.

      1. You're right that we need to care about what our hospital's ethics guidelines are. It turns out that almost all of the Denver metro hospitals are controlled by Catholics. So that's St Joseph, Exempla, Centura, Lutheran, etc. And they have this Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services  that limits reproductive and end-of-life care, as you said. HealthOne is another huge umbrella hospital organization – my quick check at Rose and Swedish found no reproductive care offered, although they have a phone number for "women's care".

        It's probably that they just don't want to list the a-word (abortion) in their services, or even contraception, in case the fundamentalist crazies decide to picket or bomb them. Right to Life! Yay.

        Kaiser, which is my provider, is an exception – they do offer reproductive care, including abortion. So is CU/Anschutz, Children's, Spalding, the VA Medical Center, most teaching hospitals. It's definitely worth researching what your hospital's policies are, particularly if you have family of reproductive age, or someone who may need end of life care.

        All that said, CHB, your tone is a little off-putting. I've been marching and organizing for abortion since before Roe V Wade. To get lectured about "I'd better give a crap" by an old conservative man is condescending, to say the least. I know there are others on here who are activists – Jason Salzman, for one, Dr. DaftPunk, probably others.

        1. I was responding to Not Hopeful. Will change the wording to “You.”

          Those who might lump all “old conservatives” together might remember that Barry Goldwater was pro-choice.

      2. I won't be going to a Catholic hospital. Those who do should consider themselves warned that clerics will deny them the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.

        Given the extremist right-wing SCOTUS we have now, which thinks "freedom of religion" means churches can do whatever they want notwithstanding the law, I am not hopeful that legislation to prevent this behavior will stand up.

        1. Right, Not-hopeful. That’s a large part of why I picked Kaiser- they still offer contraception, abortion, and patient-centered end of life care. It’s unconscionable that common procedures people need ( sterilization, birth control, abortion) and drastic ones like medically assisted death for terminally ill patients, are made unavailable to patients by these Catholic “ethics” boards , in most cases without prior warning. 

          In the months we have left to endure COVID19 exponiential growth,  everyone should get their medical directives done and find out what hospital policies are. 

          I think I’d look to Degette, some of our senior Senators, and incoming Veep Harris for leadership on the issue of rebuilding wall between church and state on health care decisions. We’re not going to win in SCOTUS, and might lose ground. Legislative and Executive branches are the way to go. 

      1. There was a time when they refused communion to lefties! There are two camps in the Church – I'm on the Papa Frank bus – and like CHB with his devotion to the GOP, I decided *not* leaving and being the uncomfortable voice in the room works best for me.  Hope springs eternal at St. Andrews. 

    1. Can we lock them up and then ignore them?

      Asking for a friend who is a lapsed Catholic.

      And speaking of the old men in skirts, I’m reminded of the story of Tallulah Bankhead running into Francis Cardinal Spellman at high mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. “Franny, your drag is divine but your beaded purse is on fire!”

      1. We had a family member who was the Vicar at St Johns Cathedral in the 90’s. Barry was openly gay  and had a warm relationship with Chaput during that period before he tragically succumbed to an aggressive form of brain cancer.  Chaput’s public rhetoric on homosexuality and his private relationship with Barry were not aligned in any sense. 

  2. In a diseased, twisted sort of way, it's almost charming that an organization with a centuries-old history of tolerating (arguably condoning) child rape and actively shielding child rapists from secular authorities thinks it has any moral authority whatsoever. The world would be a substantially better place if Holy Mother Church dried up and blew away.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Posts about

Donald Trump

Posts about

Rep. Lauren Boebert

Posts about

Rep. Yadira Caraveo

Posts about

Colorado House

Posts about

Colorado Senate

63 readers online now


Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop with regular updates!