Abortion — “the attack on life in the womb” – is the most urgent crisis today, said Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in an interview last week.
A vocal pro-life leader, the San Francisco archbishop spoke with the Catholic News Agency about the devastating passage of pro-abortion Proposition 1 in California and the need to support women and children.
“The most urgent crisis today is the attack on life in the womb, and the lack of support for women who are in need to be able to make a choice for life,” Cordileone said.
The archbishop lamented how society has regressed from thinking the killing of unborn babies is a necessary evil to celebrating it as “reproductive freedom.”
“You know, it was originally something that people said was a necessary evil, then it became a choice, and then it became health care,” he said. “Now they’re calling it reproductive freedom, which can mean all kinds of things, and now it’s celebrated as a good.”
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Asked about Proposition 1, a pro-abortion ballot measure that passed earlier this month creating an unlimited “right” to abortion in the California Constitution, Cordileone said violence is not the answer to families’ struggles.
“The answer is not violence. The answer is not killing. The answer is love and support,” he said. Cordileone mentioned Walking with Moms in Need, an initiative by the U.S. Catholic bishops to equip churches to help pregnant and parenting moms and dads in their communities.
“We have to continue holding up what is real compassion for a woman in that situation, who’s scared, isolated, full of anxiety, under all kinds of pressure, and feeling lonely. She needs to be surrounded with love and support,” he said.
Pro-life advocates especially must strive to reach out to low-income women who often feel they do not have any other choice, he said. When these women receive information and support, he said most choose life for their unborn babies.
“I think that’s the way we build the culture of life. Laws are important, and political advocacy is important. … But in a bitterly polarized society, we need to support the women in these situations and show where true love and compassion is,” the archbishop continued.
Cordileone said the violent attacks and false narratives about pro-life pregnancy centers have him especially troubled because these are the organizations supporting families in need. According to The Daily Signal, more than 86 Catholic churches and 74 pro-life organizations have been victims of firebombs, vandalism and other attacks since May.
“That’s why I’m horrified at the hostility toward crisis pregnancy clinics. That’s all about love and support, and even beyond the birth of the child, making sure she and her baby are OK. This is the most worrying sign to me — the attacks on the crisis pregnancy clinics. And our leaders are not speaking out against it and being active in protecting them, and in fact, are denigrating them,” he said.
Cordileone encouraged pro-life advocates to keep striving to communicate the truth about unborn babies and offering support to mothers in need. He also encouraged women to share their stories because personal experiences often touch hearts and change conversations more than facts do.
The San Francisco archbishop has been a strong pro-life voice in the Catholic Church in America. In May, he told out-going U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she may not receive communion unless she repents of her radical pro-abortion actions. He said the pro-abortion legislation that Pelosi supports amounts to “child sacrifice” and is what “one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.”