Aquila Describes Appointment as Denver Archbishop 'Overwhelming'DENVER – In a homecoming of sorts, Fargo Bishop Samuel J. Aquila has been named the new archbishop of the Denver archdiocese.
By: Forum Communications and Wire Report,
DENVER – In a homecoming of sorts, Fargo Bishop Samuel J. Aquila has been named the new archbishop of the Denver archdiocese.
Aquila, 61, was ordained in Denver in 1976, and worked in several Colorado parishes there until coming to Fargo 11 years ago. He's been the bishop of the Diocese of Fargo since 2002.
He'll remain in Fargo until shortly before he is installed in Denver on July 18.
At a news conference in Denver Tuesday, Aquila said he learned of the appointment last week.
“All of this is overwhelming,” he said.
He praised Fargo as “a place where both the Christian faith and family life are strong,” and called it “the most pro-life environment – and I mean pro-life in every sense of the word – that I have ever experienced."
The announcement came from Rome at noon Tuesday, or 5 a.m. in Fargo. The Denver post had been vacant since Archbishop Charles Chaput moved to Philadelphia last fall.
Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator for the Denver archdiocese, said Aquila would be welcomed back.
“Because the new archbishop is an old friend to so many of us, we are especially joyful today,” he said.
In his time in Fargo, Aquila was an outspoken advocate for a number of Catholic positions, including opposition to abortion and some forms of contraception. He also made headlines for defending the exclusion of same-sex couples from Catholic adoption and foster care services when the church clashed with state governments over the issue.