Dan Caplis Show, Archbishop Sam Aquila, April 3, 2014

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Show:      Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Aquila

Link:        http://dancaplis.podbean.com/?source=pb

Date:       April 3, 2014

Topics:   Contraception, Reproductive Health, Abortifacients, Abortion, Conscience Clause, Cardinal Stafford, President Barack Obama, Obamacare, Dignity of the Human Person, Archbishop, Priests, Dreams from My Father, Health & Human Services (HHS) Mandate, Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) , Religious Liberty, Poor Elderly, Catholic Charities, Samaritan Shelter, Parable of the Samaritan, ‘Francis Effect’, Pope Francis, Catholic Teachings, Devil, Secular Media, Satan, Evil One, Blessed John Paul II, Mafia,  Italy

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HOST DAN CAPLIS:  And as I’ve told the Archbishop before – I’ve had the privilege of having him on air before. You know, I love how blunt you are, and how plain-spoken, you’re fearless, and you just tell it like it is.  And that’s exactly what we need.  So–.

ARCHBISHOP OF COLORADO SAM AQUILA:  Well, thank you, Dan.  I appreciate it.  It’s good to be with you.

CAPLIS:  […]  Could you start by giving folks your perspective on Obamacare.  And at least touch on your primary concerns with Obamacare.

AQUILA:  Sure.  With Obamacare, I think most people would agree that we needed some kind of universal healthcare, especially for the poor, and for those who are unable to care for themselves. The problem with this present form of Obamacare is that the mandates that it has for the types of insurance that are available.  And with that, many of the Catholic institutions, even though we were guaranteed by the President that consciences would not be violated, that Catholic principles would not be violated, the type of mandates do violate conscience, and do violate Catholic principles.  With that, we would have to – with the mandate we would have to be paying for things like contraception, abortifacients, and other procedures that we cannot do in good conscience and following Catholic principles on the dignity of the human person, and especially the value of human life, in the case of abortion.  And so, there have been many lawsuits have been brought against the mandate, and all we can do is wait to see what Supreme Court does with those lawsuits, because there are Catholic business people who are very, very faithful Catholics, and who really run their companies on Catholic principles.  They are very generous with their people.  They are very good with their people, with their employees and all.  So, with that, they do not want their principles violated.

CAPLIS:  Right.

AQUILA:  And so, it really is about freedom.  It really is about conscience.  It really is about the things that our country was founded on.  And, um, and there is a lot of hedging going on that today.  So–.

CAPLIS:  And I really am convinced that the Catholic business people are going to win their suits.  And I’m glad the church has stood up for its freedom here, because I think that the church is going to prevail. I mean, I understand there are individual circuits where cases may be lost, but eventually, as the U.S. Supreme Court inevitably ends up ruling on each category of case that applies here, I’m very confident that religious freedom is going to prevail.  It just—It’s so sorry and unnecessary that these battles have to be fought now, and take up all of the resources necessary – Lord knows, literally, that it’s worth those resources, but it does, it sucks up a lot of resources, a lot of time,  a lot of energy, creates a lot of angst, all of which is unnecessary, it seems to me, Archbishop, because if the President had given any thought or deference whatsoever to our Constitution, it would be obvious that you can’t force people to violate their religious beliefs this way.

AQUILA:  Oh, it’s– that is true.  And I mean, he assured the bishops early on that if Obamacare should pass that all of this would not have come about.

CAPLIS:  Mm-hmm.

AQUILA:  And so, in many ways, many of the bishops, especially those who were close to the negotiations really feel betrayed and let down because of the lack of faithfulness to the promises that were made.

CAPLIS:  Yeah.  And I don’t know whether you have any opinions regarding the President that you want to offer.  Obviously, one of your predecessors, now Cardinal Stafford, was very blunt in his appraisal of Barack Obama, the man.  But is there anything about this president that you would feel comfortable sharing publicly – your own view of him?

AQUILA:  Right.  I think that history will be the judge of that.  I am very cautious in terms of publicly judging him.  I think that his record speaks loud enough.  I think that the media protects him tremendously — the liberal media, at least.  And if there had been other persons in office there would have been a hue and outcry by now.  And I think it’s unfortunate that he just doesn’t seem to follow through on things that he says he will, and he really does let people down, especially people of faith, people of –who really desire to live their religious freedom, and all.  So, with that, it makes it very, very difficult to support Obamacare or, — and even though we really want to reach out to the poor and care for the poor.  And the church does that much better than anyone else.

CAPLIS:  Oh, my goodness!

AQUILA:  And whenever I talk with legislators, whenever I speak with persons who are in positions of authority in government, they all admit that, readily –and — that the church does a much better job.  And this could really impact many of our ministries because we cannot violate our consciences, and [we] cannot violate the principles from which we work, —

CAPLIS:  Oh, absolutely!

AQUILA:  — and um, because they’re really grounded in the dignity of the human person and the goodness of the human person.

CAPLIS:  Oh, that’s right.  […] And to me, the really sad irony here is, as you say, the church has really walked the talk, when it comes to social justice, getting down in the trenches, rolling up your sleeves, spending the money, serving the poor, the sick – the church does it on very, very large scale.  And then,– these are my words, not the Archbishop’s, but in my view, you have such open and overt hostility from this president toward the Catholic church, and I look at it as a kid who grew up on the south side, and then the southwest side of Chicago, and knew the priests working in some really challenging neighborhoods there, as, you know, the President gets his start as a community organizer because of some Catholic priests and Catholic churches in Chicago which largely fund his first job, and then he turns around and humiliates them and personally attacks them in his book, Dreams from My Father.  So, I sense, — this is just me – this open hostility, and no matter where it comes from, I think it plays out in things like this HHS mandate.  So, I’m just grateful that you and the church have stood up to that, that you’re fighting back, that folks such as the owner of Hobby Lobby are fighting back, and I think at the end of the day, we’re going to end up with this resounding statement from the Supreme Court on religious liberty that will leave us in a better place, with a clearer path forward.  So, I guess that’s the silver lining, if it all turns out that way.

AQUILA:  Right.  Yes.  And the church does it quietly.  I mean, the way that she cares for people, it’s like here within our own city.  We’re blessed with the Little Sisters of the Poor, who really do serve the poor elderly and in order to go into their homes for the elderly you have to be at poverty level, and low-income level.  And then, also the Samaritan Shelter that Catholic Charities runs, it’s an incredible facility and incredible success story that people — most people are really unaware of, that it sits in the heart of the city, it is one that opens its doors to the homeless, they have over 300 beds there, and they have beds for men who are homeless, women who are homeless, and families that are homeless.  And it’s an incredible story because they are permmitted to stay there for about a year, and they have all sorts of education pieces and everything else, and for those that stay more than 30 days, over 60% of them leave with jobs.

CAPLIS:  Yeah.  And you don’t have to be Catholic to benefit.

AQUILA:  And you don’t — No! The Samaritan Shelter will take in anyone and everyone. And so, to say that you are only Catholic when you serve Catholics –

CAPLIS:  Mm-hmm.

AQUILA:  –is totally against gospel principle, and totally against what it means to be Christian, that the Christian always reaches out, like Jesus did […] in the parable of the Samaritan.  He gives that example of, you know, people just walking by and it’s the Samaritan who help this other person.  And we’re called to help.  And he himself helped anyone and everyone who would approach him.

CAPLIS:  […] Um, the ‘Francis effect’.  Give us your take on Pope Francis and what effect he’s had in Colorado.

AQUILA:  I think that with the Francis Effect, that certainly he has really highlighted reaching out to the poor.  His actions speak louder than his words.  Once again, secular media really picks and chooses what words they will pluck out.  And Francis himself spoke to that some time ago, when he said, “You know, the media has painted me as a superman.  I’m not a superman.  I’m a sinner.”  He’s a very humble man, and in many ways, a very simple man.  And – but he has a deep love for those that are in need, for those who are poor, and reaches out to them, and so, the media never reports on his very real support for Catholic teaching and the understanding of Catholic teaching.  They never report on – he’s one of the few popes that, at least in my lifetime, who has referred to the devil in his homilies and his catechesis. And rarely do you hear the secular media reporting on that – that there is evil in the world, that there is – that Satan is real, the devil is real and he can really draw you away from the gospel message.  And, of course, in a secular world that denies God, they’re going to deny the evil one, too.  And so it gives free rein to the evil one and that is really problematic because it is not good for humanity.  Also, he is really one who embraces those who are sick or suffering.  And I watched a video yesterday on Blessed John Paul II[…].  And so Francis, too, has that goodness about him, and people really do see that he loves them and cares for them.  But he’s also very challenging.  When he – you know, the fact that he warned members of the mafia in Italy that they could go to hell if they continue to pursue their abuse of power and their murdering of people, and all of that.

CAPLIS:  Mm-hmm.

AQUILA:  It was refreshing, —

CAPLIS:  Yeah.

AQUILA:  — because we haven’t heard that message enough.

CAPLIS:  Yeah, tough – tough hombre.