Denver, Colo., Aug 24, 2012 / 16:03 pm
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has criticized a Denver city councilwoman for withdrawing a proclamation that praised a Catholic-run company, after she learned that the owners filed a religious freedom lawsuit against the federal government.
"Choosing to marginalize the owners of Hercules for their religiosity is an insult to the founding values of our nation," the Denver archbishop said in an Aug. 23 opinion piece in the Denver Post.
"When religious people are marginalized from the public square all of us lose," he said. "Religious values (like those of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example) have served as forces for great public good in America. Public shame of the religiously convicted undermines the American ideal."
His comments come in response to the actions of Denver City Councilwoman Robin Kniech, who had initially intended to recognized the Denver-based HVAC manufacturer Hercules Industries' 50th anniversary.
The business' Catholic owners are suing the Obama administration over a Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring employers to provide no co-pay insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. They say the mandate violates their religious freedom.