Join archbishop for hour of mercy

Faithful invited to pray against

With the fate of Senate Bill 175 “hanging in the balance with the votes of one or two senators,” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has asked life supporters to join him at 3 p.m. today, April 15, on the west steps of the Capitol to pray that the “right to abortion” legislation does not pass.

“I have just decided to head to the west steps of the capitol Tuesday, April 15, at 3 p.m.—the Hour of Divine Mercy—to beg God for his intercession so that this legislation is stopped,” he wrote in a letter distributed April 14. “I prayerfully ask that those of you who can, will come and join me.”

Click here to read Archbishop Aquila’s letter

Click here to read the letter from all three Colorado bishops opposing SB 175

Senate Bill 175 threatens to become the first in the country to create unfettered access to abortion and eradicate life-affirming laws in the state. After passing through committee on party lines April 10, the second reading is scheduled for today in the Senate. If passing in the Senate, it proceeds to the House. Then if passing in the House, it will be sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“This is last-minute, and it’s certain to involve some Holy Week sacrifices … but I’m convinced that moments like this are far more important than we can possibly realize,” the archbishop wrote. “It’s less than 24 hours away, so please pass the word as quickly as you can.”

The Colorado Catholic Conference, which represents the Church’s state level public policy, stated the bill poses an “undeniable and irreparable danger” to pro-life laws.

“This legislation has the potential to eliminate a broad range of policies, including, but not limited to, parental notification, conscience protection for health providers, and the list could go on,” conference director Jenny Kraska said before the Health and Human Services Committee April 10.

It could void state laws that restrict abortion and that protect youths and school policies on abstinence education, she said.

If unable to join the group to pray in person, Archbishop Aquila requests that all join in prayer for this intention at 3 p.m.

For more information on the bill and instructions on how to contact lawmakers, visit

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.

Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash