Bishop Aquila on Obstinate Pro-Abort Politicians: “Treat Them as a Tax Collector or Gentile. Expel them.”

School may still be out for summer, but in this interview with Catholic World Report, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, ND is unambiguous about what the rules for disobedient Catholic politicians ought to be:

How should the Church respond to Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion?

Bishop Aquila: Their particular bishops can use the process of correction that is given to us in sacred Scripture, especially in Matthew’s Gospel. Our Lord tells us to speak to the person, and then take two or three others with us if he does not change.

If he still does not change, the Church can speak to him, which is done through the bishop. [The bishop] exercises the authority of Christ. Christ then says that if that person is still obstinate and will not change, treat them as a tax collector or Gentile. Expel him.

We do this out of love for the person, seeking his conversion. He needs to understand that the salvation of his soul is in jeopardy because of the positions he is taking.

Catholics are called to defend human life, particularly that of the unborn. The Church’s teaching is clear. If we don’t challenge public officials who reject this teaching, we leave them in their sins and confuse the faithful.

Strong words, yes. But if we do not believe in and speak this strongly about protecting innocent life, how can we speak strongly about other important issues?

Also worth reading in the interview: Bishop Aquila explaining how he came to be so personally involved in the pro-life movement.



  • Pax 0mnibus

    Bless me Father for I have answered…

    My resolve this morning was not to answer any article, blog or comment that I could not praise.

    To make my sin worse, many have already pointed out that treating others like tax collectors and gentiles as Jesus did is exactly the opposite of expelling or shunning.

    My apologies. What can I do to make amends?

    May the Presence bring you peace, serenity and compassion

    • pnyikos

      The people you praise are almost two thousand years out of date. Their words should have been directed to St. Paul. And I’m sure St. Paul would have had some good replies.

  • Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    The Bishop that should have gotten Seattle… Oh well. I think Bishop Aquila would make a wonderful Archbishop of Denver.

  • Nathan

    After +Chaput’s announcement to Philly, I said I would put +Conley as the pole sitter to take over Denver. Not long after, it dawned on me Aquila fits the Benedict mold for archbishops: with granted exceptions, archbishop-elects have familiarity with the see (either a native, as Aquila would be, or is within the province), around the age of 60, a USCCB guy, and comfortable with media. I amend my initial assessment to put Aquila at at the top of the list to go to Denver.



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