Cordileone to Catholic students after boycott of pro-life assembly: ‘Do not be victims of the culture’

Kate Olivera   By Kate Olivera for CNA

 

Credit: Wuttichai Jantarak/Shutterstock / null

San Francisco, Calif., Nov 22, 2021 / 19:19 pm (CNA).

The archbishop of San Francisco has encouraged students at a local Catholic high school to reject the lies of the abortion industry and become courageous advocates for life, following a boycott of a pro-life assembly at the school.

“Do not be victims of the culture,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote in an open letter to students at Archbishop Riordan High School.

Cordileone met with student leaders at the high school on Nov. 8 to discuss the incident.

The meeting was “a chance for productive and thoughtful dialogue,” said the high school’s interim president, Tim Reardon.

Cordileone wrote an open letter to all students in preparation for the meeting. The text of his letter was published by First Things Nov. 19.

“There are powerful forces in our country that use slogans to co-opt you into being agents of their own self-serving agendas. You must see through the lies,” he said in the letter.

The students staged a walkout Oct. 22 to protest an all-school assembly featuring pro-life speaker Megan Almon.

According to an account of the incident by the San Francisco Chronicle, students began to exit the auditorium and file into an adjacent gym about “five minutes” into the presentation, leaving “a few dozen of the school’s more than 800 students” in the auditorium for the entire talk.

The walkout has since gained media attention after a video of the walkout went viral, with several hundred thousand views on TikTok.

“My school tried to hold a pro-life assembly,” on-screen text on the video of a throng of masked students reads, “So we walked out.”

In his letter, Cordileone praised students for their idealism and energetic advocacy for justice. He then challenged the students to discern the truth about abortion.

“Abortion is the killing of a human life,” Cordileone wrote. “This is a scientific fact. The fetus in the mother’s womb is a unique, growing human being, with its own unique DNA.

“The method of killing depends on the stage of pregnancy and type of abortion, but often involves such techniques as dismembering the limbs, crushing the skull, and burning the body,” he said.

But above all, abortion is a moral issue, the archbishop wrote.

“No matter the method, abortion is a horrendously violent act,” Cordileone said. “This is not hyperbole. It is scientific fact.”

Cordileone went on to challenge students to advocate for the truth about abortion, which is not glamorous, but fosters greatness.

“Think of the abolitionists of the mid-19th century, or the advocates of civil rights of the mid-20th century: They did not fit into the societies of their times, advocating for politically unpopular and unfashionable causes,” he wrote. “They risked, and some lost, their lives in the effort to correct the greatest injustice of their time. We now regard them as the moral heroes of their generation.”

He cited Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

“This, though, only happens when a new generation of moral heroes rises up to correct the injustice,” the archbishop wrote. “This requires a strong backbone, great spiritual stamina. Will you be the moral heroes of your generation? Do you have what it takes?”

Cordileone urged the students to cultivate their prayer lives. He wrote that only Christ—and His Church—can offer women true choice in the face of an unplanned pregnancy, and healing after an abortion.

He encouraged young women at the high school to cherish their fertility as a blessing that does not come at the cost of progress for women.

“God has given you the awesome gift of being able to conceive and bring to the light of day a new, unique human being, with an immortal soul,” he wrote. “I’m old enough to remember a time when our society cherished this gift and protected it; indeed, in effect, society organized itself around it.”

“It is true that back then women were deprived of many opportunities that they now enjoy, and this is progress to be celebrated. However, it should not come at the cost of women having to cancel out this awesome gift.”

Cordileone challenged young men at the high school to respect women as equals, not as tools to be used for selfish pleasure.

“You still have a ways to go before you mature into full manhood,” he wrote. “If you want to remain a boy forever, then spend your life caring only about yourself and every little immediate pleasure that you desire, because to be a real man requires a life of sacrifice and virtue.

“It also means acting responsibly by showing respect toward women as your true equals and cherishing and respecting that awesome gift she has of bringing new life into the world,” he said.

He prayed that students at Archbishop Riordan High School would be open to learning and growing in their knowledge, “and especially open to hearing and trying to understand points of view different from your own, even points of view with which you strongly disagree.”

“I wish that is what those of you who walked out of the speech by a pro-life activist recently would have done,” he wrote. “This action put on full display one of the blind spots of youth due to young people’s lack of extended life experience: gullibility.”


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 2915 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

3 Comments

  1. So most of the students at a Catholic school walked out of a pro-life talk? I think many of their parents approved.
    I’m afraid Archbishop Cordileone’s influence in the Bay Area is slim to none. It isn’t his fault, unless you think he is too soft. The culture of dissent runs deep there and has been going on for generations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local leftist politicians are more popular among the area’s Catholics than Archbishop Cordileone.

    • I don’t live there (Grace a Dieu) but I must disagree with you. Archbishop (should be Cardinal) Cordileone’s influence is undoubtedly less than that of the leftists there (like Nancy) but it is still there – HE is still there, and without him that area would be helpless.

      You wouldn’t be surprised if the local leftist politicians were more popular among the area’s Catholics than Cordileone? I for one would be surprised if they weren’t.

    • “Can any good come from Nazareth” (Jn 1:45). Or, from the Bay Area?

      Cordileon’s influence is to be found far from his home base. Eucharistic Coherence (secret-ballot approval by the USCCB 222-8, with 3 abstentions) is a long-term game changer, or at least irreversible. And, running parallel with the three-year and invertebrate synod on synodality, it offers the hope for some degree of resuscitation for a sacramental Church that for decades has drifting into the spiritual doldrums.

      True, much damage needs to be undone, especially with the young who have been sexually abused and textually abused.

      But leadership is where you find it. Even in San Francisco. And it is not to be found in the pretenses of the eight easily identifiable opponents. As a fraud, influential paradigm-shift prophecy has lost its luster.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Cordileone to Catholic students after boycott of pro-life assembly: ‘Do not be victims of the culture’ – Via Nova Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*