Published by First Things. Archbishop Riordan High School, a Catholic school in San Francisco, recently held an all-school assembly featuring pro-life activist Megan Almon. During the assembly, a number of students walked out in protest of the event. Archbishop Cordileone went to Riordan High School to meet with student leaders in small groups on November 8. What follows is the letter he sent to all students in preparation for these meetings.
Dear Students of Archbishop Riordan High School,
Every stage of life has its blessings and challenges, its gifts to offer the broader society and its blind spots. As young people, you are idealistic, full of energy to be advocates for justice and changing the world into a better place. It is a joy for me as your archbishop to see this energetic idealism in you when I visit your school.
This is a great blessing, and it is the gift that you offer to the rest of us. However, you still have much growing and learning to do; much success and failure, joy and suffering lie ahead for you—and learning as well. To be learned is to seek truth that is given to us by God. My prayer as your archbishop is that you will be open to learning and growing in your 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. This action put on full display one of the blind spots of youth due to young people’s lack of extended life experience: gullibility. Let me explain.
While every generation has valued science and contributed to its advancement, your generation, more than any other in the past, looks to science as a guide for navigating oneself through life. Let’s then look at what science has to say about abortion.
Abortion is the killing of a human life. 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. No matter the method, abortion is a horrendously violent act. This is not hyperbole. It is scientific fact.
Science is a very important guide for us, but it is not the only one—nor the most important, for that matter, since the knowledge we acquire from science is always evolving. Abortion, just as any other major social issue, has many other dimensions to it: political, societal, emotional, spiritual, relational, economic, and so forth. Primarily, though, it is, like any other major social issue, a moral issue.
For the whole excellent letter, click HERE.