Archbishop Aquila ‘grateful’ for CDF reaffirmation of Church teaching on marriage

Archdiocese of Denver

On March 15, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a clarification approved by Pope Francis in which they reaffirmed the Church’s longstanding teaching that same-sex unions cannot be blessed. Today, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila expressed his support for the Holy Father’s declaration in a statement issued to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver.

Read the full statement from Archbishop Aquila below:  

“Recently the Holy Father issued a clarification through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions. I am grateful for this statement as it reaffirms the Church’s longstanding pastoral support for persons with same-sex attraction but in a way that does not condone a lifestyle that objectively separates them from God’s plan for the human person. Recognizing the complementarity of male and female for each other, the Church has taught for centuries that marriage, the covenant between a man and a woman, has three goods. These goods are: 1) the unbreakable bond to one’s spouse that ends only in death; 2) exclusive fidelity to one’s spouse for life; and 3) the blessing of children that comes from the marital embrace in which man and woman become one in the sign of their children. Furthermore, the Church affirms the virtue of chastity for all people, in accordance with their state in life.  

As the Holy Father has said repeatedly, the Church must always receive every person with love and compassion, including those with same-sex attraction. The Church, however, must receive every person with the truthful love that leads them to reconciliation with our merciful Father. To bless a same-sex union is contrary to the love that challenges us to separate ourselves from sin. Faithful to her Master, the Church blesses sinners, but does not and cannot bless sin. While this truth might be difficult for some well-intentioned people to accept, we would do well to listen to Pope Francis who has affirmed the truth of the teaching given by God.  I encourage you to read the full explanation from the CDF and to take some time to prayerfully seek to understand why Christ has called us to uphold and defend the truth of marriage, which goes back to the beginning of creation. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit continues to pour out his grace on the Church, keeping her in the truth during these challenging times.” 

COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright