An Aurora, Colorado Catholic high school allegedly fired two teachers this winter for allowing a pro-abortion opinion piece to be published in the student magazine.
The Colorado Sentinel reports the student opinion piece upset parents after it appeared in the winter edition of the Regis Jesuit High School student magazine “Elevate” in December. The column advocates for the killing of unborn babies in abortions in contradiction to Catholic Church teachings.
In a letter published Dec. 17, principal Jimmy Tricco said they retracted the magazine issue because of the “deeply troubling and unacceptable” opinion piece.
“An opinion piece that presented a stance on abortion clearly in opposition to Church teaching was included that we found both deeply troubling and unacceptable,” Tricco wrote with school president David Card. “We believe that protection of life at [conception] represents the foundational requirement of respecting the dignity of human life at every stage.”
They said school leaders are examining the editorial process of the magazine to ensure that it represents the school’s Catholic mission.
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“We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again,” they wrote. “The issue has been retracted in its entirety. While we believe in providing an avenue for student expression, we are taking steps now to consider the magazine’s editorial process to ensure its compatibility with and responsibility in representing the mission of Regis Jesuit.”
According to the Colorado Sentinel, two faculty advisors for the student magazine do not work at the school anymore. When contacted by the newspaper, however, the former teachers did not say why they are no longer employed there, and the school declined to discuss personnel matters.
An unnamed student who spoke to the newspaper said the teachers were fired because of the pro-abortion column.
The column, an image of which the Sentinel published online, makes numerous misleading and incorrect claims. For example, the student implied that a baby in the womb is not a living human being.
“… there is a difference between a baby and a fetus,” they wrote. “A baby is a living human whereas a fetus is an organism inside of a woman’s womb that grows during pregnancy until it becomes a baby.”
The student also argued that opposing abortion is about forcing certain religious beliefs on others and that banning abortion “can lead to even more deaths.”
Complaints about the op-ed drew the attention of Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila. According to the newspaper: “… in a letter to the community written over winter break, Aquila said that many families had reached out to the diocese expressing concern about the op-ed. In the letter, he said it was a failure that it had been published, and that he has asked his team to assist the school in ensuring that students and staff are receiving Catholic faith formation.”
Tricco and Card said the op-ed is a sign that the school has failed to teach its students about the dignity of human life, and they are taking action to correct the problem.
“We want to be clear that as a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we believe that life begins at the moment of conception,” they wrote. “We are fully invested in disseminating and defending this and all Church teaching in all that we do.”
The Catholic Church teaches that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death, and abortion is a sin because it destroys an innocent unborn child’s life.