Hartford Archbishop Talks Abortion, the Pope, and Jesus in the Huddle


This Sunday on Face the State we were joined by the new Archbishop of Hartford, the most reverend Leonard Blair. Blair comes to Connecticut’s capital city from Toledo, Ohio. The Detroit native was installed as the 5th Archbishop of Hartford in December, and is still getting a lay of his new land.


Blair and I talked about the financial health of the church here in Connecticut, Pope Francis, abortion, Obamacare and Catholic hospitals, and asked him to weigh in on the controversy at UConn. This week UConn president Susan Herbst made headlines when she said there was “no place for Jesus in the huddle.” Herbst’s comment came after an assistant football coach said it was important that “Jesus Christ” be in the huddle. Here’s an excerpt of Archbishop Blair had to say about it:

“I do think we have to be sensitive to people of other faiths…but that does not mean we have to be absolutely silent about our religious convictions or spirituality. I would hope that we don’t so exclude religion and religious references from our speech in any kind of setting that God is left completely out of the picture.”


I also asked Blair if he will be an activist church leader, like the late Archbishop John Whealon. In our Face the State flashback this Sunday we showed the new archbishop a report about his predecessor from his installation in 1969 to his death in 1991. Blair also has a message for Connecticut Catholics who have left the church. You can watch the entire interview with Archbishop Blair and the flashback on Archbishop Whealon right here:

part 1: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9741751

part 2: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9741727

Also on the broadcast today, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst talks about challenging longtime State Treasurer Denise Nappier. Here’s a preview here: https://dennishouse.tv/2014/01/16/herbst-criticizes-nappier-in-exploration-of-treasurers-race/


In the spirit of full disclosure, I went to Catholic school, was married by an archbishop (in a sweltering non air-conditioned church) and even dressed up as a priest for a Halloween party in high school.



6 replies »

  1. Aww, awesome you two are married, didn’t put the 2 together. Concerning Jesus I the huddle or not; well, God gave us free will and those who choose to believe in Jesus know that many will reject him, and persecute those who do even if it’s simply by getting Him (Jesus) out of everything, schools, courts, huddle etc.
    Thanks for sharing Dennis.


  2. I think the church is doing a great disservice to women who may having a calling to the priesthood. We have heard for years that there is a shortage of priests, and the archbishop himself said the current priest population is aging. As someone who was raised and is still a practicing catholic, I have never understood this. Other faiths have allowed women in and I think this is something the church needs to seriously consider. As always Dennis, really enjoyed the show!


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