Denver's Archdiocese Gets New Leader

Samuel Aquila becomes the Denver Archdiocese's fifth archbishop today.
July 18 2012, 10:25 AM

Denver's Archdiocese gets a new leader today as Samuel Aquila is installed as the archdiocese's fifth archbishop during special ceremonies at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Aquila (pronounced ah-KWIHL-ah) returns to Denver from North Dakota, where he had been bishop of the Fargo Diocese for the past decade. The 61-year-old was ordained as a priest in 1976 in Denver and served in a variety of positions while he was in Colorado.

Aquila is considered ideologically on par with his outspoken predecessor, Archbishop Charles Chaput, who left the Denver Archdiocese last year to lead the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Before Chaput was installed in Pennsylvania, the New York Times called him "one of the nation's most prominent advocates of a politically engaged and conservative Catholicism." Similarly, the conservative Colorado Catholic Conference has called Aquila an "advocate for the unborn and [for] religious liberty."

Politically, the new archbishop is perhaps best known for speaking against the University of Notre Dame's decision in 2009 to invite President Barack Obama to give the school's commencement address. In an appearance on Fox News that year, Aquila said that "to extend an honorary degree to someone who is opposed to a basic, fundamental right as the right and the dignity of human life, from the moment of conception until natural death, that sends a very mixed message and certainly is perceived by the average layperson as condoning or giving an appearance of supporting his ideas on human life and the unborn child.”

For more information about today's events, visit archden.org.

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