San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denounced the “deadly epidemic” of legalized abortion Saturday, which he likened to “genocide on life in the womb.”
During a Mass for the Feast of the Holy Rosary (Oct. 7), Archbishop Cordileone preached a powerful homily in which he recalled the great evils witnessed in the past 100 years, including numerous genocides and intense Christian persecution.
Among these genocides, Cordileone called out the scourge of legal abortion, which is “a deadly epidemic, tantamount to a genocide on life in the womb.”
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, the Archbishop said that the last century has seen unparalleled evils, much as Mary had foretold.
“If we think about what has transpired in these last 100 years,” the Archbishop said, “does it not tell us that the century through which we have just passed was nothing other than an experience of hell?”
While recognizing the undeniable advances of the last century, such as improvements in communications technology, travel, medicine and civil rights, Cordileone said there have been “horrendous setbacks in other areas.” It has been a century which, “on so many fronts, has roundly mocked God,” he said.
The examples, he said, are too numerous to mention, beginning with the two great wars that enveloped the entire world in violence and bloodshed. “There have been the death camps and the genocides. Not ‘genocide’ but ‘genocides,’” he emphasized, “most notoriously the one perpetrated against the people God first chose to be his own.”
“It is a century that produced the most brutal regimes in history, all over the face of the world,” he added. “Who would dare to say that such barbarity is not a mocking of God?”
Cordileone also spoke of the ongoing persecution of the Church in “every decade of this century,” and all over the globe, leading up to “the oppression and extermination of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere, whose pleas for protection and justice from the international community fall on deaf ears.”
Bringing the examples closer to home, the Archbishop spoke of the recent “atrocity in Las Vegas,” which tragically “is only the latest and most devastating mass shooting in a whole string of such senseless violence in our country for many years now.”
Yet not all such lethal violence is illegal, as exemplified by the systematic “attack on innocent human life” through abortion.
“Our own land has been soiled by the blood of innocent children in what has become a deadly epidemic tantamount to a genocide on life in the womb,” he said.
“God is roundly mocked in our very streets and it is met with approval and applause in our community and yet we remain silent” and in so many ways, “what was once unthinkable has become routine,” he said.
In his analysis of the problem, Cordileone discovered a spiritual root that reveals a deep wound in our society that transcends our material afflictions.
“At the root of all this suffering and devastation is a spiritual disease, which contrary to the physical and mental kind has grown in our time and been largely left untreated,” he said. “It is the disease that dethrones God and replaces Him with the so-called autonomous self, making the self out to be God, creating one’s own reality for oneself.
“It is a disease that refuses to recognize God’s son Jesus Christ as the ultimate truth and perfect icon of love,” he said.
This is not the first time that the Archbishop has stood up for the unborn, even against powerful figures that defend a woman’s putative “right to choose.”
In 2015, Cordileone publicly rebuked one of his own flock, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, for her support of abortion on demand while claiming to be Catholic.
“It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception,” the archbishop said in a written statement. “This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.”
Cordileone said that this has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, and constitutes “a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience.”
The Archbishop also helped to organize a 2012 campaign of prayer and fasting to end abortion in America, during a period of repeated attacks on human life and religious freedom by the Obama administration.
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