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January 19, 2016 11:35 AM UTC

Denver Archbishop: Shun Candidates Supporting Planned Parenthood

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Yeah, and the “War on Women” is a liberal thing — Promoted by Colorado Pols)


You wouldn’t know it, because they were essentially ignored by Denver media (except Channel 7, Denver’s ABC affiliate), but thousands of anti-choice protesters rallied on the west steps of the state capitol Saturday in frigid weather, marking the 43 anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

In speeches, spiked with attacks on Planned Parenthood, rally-goers were exorted to take action on “life” issues–banning all abortion and preventing the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.

The big-cheese speaker at the March for Life event was Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who promised, “We will not be silenced,” after telling the crowd to call and email their state legislators–and to attend Colorado’s March caucuses, where political parties select candidates and hash out party platforms.

“Bombard [legislators] with emails,” Aquila said at one point.

Following the lead of his predecessor, former Dener Archbishop Charles Chaput, Aquila promotes political activism by Catholics. He hasn’t gone so far as Chaput did, recommending that faithful Catholics vote against one presidential candidate (Kerry) and for another (Bush). Aquila was nonpartisan on Saturday, urging the protestors to look at candidates through the filter of “life” issues, without mentioning a political party.

But one of the issues that most clearly divides the two parties these days is abortion, with Democrats mostly being pro-choice and Republicans mostly not. Among the presidential candidates, the division among the two parties is shocking.

So Aquila’s decision to focus the attention of Catholics on “life,” issues, rather than, say immigration, poverty, or climate change, puts him in the pocket of Republicans–especially given that he made no mention of the death penalty on Saturday, which is a big issue here in Colorado. Aquila’s priorities are GOP priorities.

You can see this in Aquila’s attitude toward Planned Parenthood, which was slammed at the rally. Ninety-seven percent of Planned Parenthood’s work has nothing to do with abortion but instead with providing women, many of them low-income, with basic health care and family planning.

So does Aquila think Catholics should support candidates who support Planned Parenthood? For an RH Reality Check post, I asked Aquila this question after the rally.

“No,” he told me,”I believe that we really need to give witness to life, and Planned Parenthood does not give witness to life.”


14 thoughts on “Denver Archbishop: Shun Candidates Supporting Planned Parenthood

  1. When Right Wing Radicals say "life" they mean only the life of a potential fetus or fertilized egg in the womb. They don't mean the lives of children poisoned by lead-polluted waters or immigrants fleeing murderous governments and gangs in South America, or any other "life" for that matter.

    Friar Bill Carmody did/does the same rhetorical murdering of the word from his base in the Springs Diocese for many years.

  2. Jason, you should have asked him if candidates like Tim Neville who worship the gun should also be shunned.  Does protecting gun violence give witness to life?

  3. The Archbishop should learn to keep his fucking cake hole closed. This is also a prime example of why religious organizations should have their tax exempt status revoked. If they want to try and influence elections then they need to start paying their taxes.

      1. Absolutely. Government shouldn't be subsidizing any religious organization with our tax dollars. Period.

        BTW, MLK was assassinated on April 4th 1968, so I'm not sure I see your logic unless you're trying to draw some pathetic false equivalency between a civil rights leader from the 1960’s and a Catholic Archbishop trying to shove his beliefs on us about how horrible it is to support a woman's right to choose or my right to die with dignity.

        Nice try though.

  4. Denver Archbishops Shun Pope Francis. 

    When are they going to read the writing on the wall — your Pope is telling you to focus on other issues. The bible is a big book, there is plenty in it other than abortion.

    Pope Francis is trying to silence you – dopes. 

    Move on to feeding and housing the poor, put more energy into that.

    You are destroying this country with your insane zealotry on abortion. 

    America has a rich tradition of compromise.

    Get a flippin’ clue already.

  5. Yet another chapter in the reason(s) why I am no longer a Catholic. Of course, once born and baptized, you count on their "membership rolls" until the day you die. 

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