Colorado Archbishop Samuel Aquila recently supported a Catholic high school’s decision to retract a student magazine piece that promoted “absolute evil”: the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Colorado Times Recorder reports the Denver archbishop thanked the leaders of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora for taking action in a letter dated Dec. 23.
“Let it be clear should there be any doubt, abortion, along with euthanasia, are the preeminent issues for the Catholic Church today,” Aquila wrote. He also quoted Pope Francis in describing abortion as an “absolute evil.”
Aquila, a strong pro-life voice in the Catholic Church, said the column published in the Regis Jesuit student magazine “Elevate” in December contradicts church teachings about the “sanctity of life,” and publishing it was a “failure” by the school, according to the report.
He thanked Regis Jesuit leaders for doing the right thing by retracting the issue.
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According to the Colorado Sentinel, Aquila wrote the letter in response to numerous complaints that the diocese received from families about the pro-abortion piece.
The Catholic high school also allegedly fired two teachers for allowing the pro-abortion opinion piece to be published in the student magazine.
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.
“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 “The issue has been retracted in its entirety.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.”
The column, an image of which The Colorado Sentinel published online, made 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.”
School leaders 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.