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October 4, 2018 ( – The archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, condemned a pro-abortion forum recently held at a local Jesuit university.

The event was held September 26 at the Jesuits’ Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO) and brought together representatives from three pro-abortion organizations to speak in favor of a “right” to kill the unborn. It was variously characterized as a “forum,” a “dialogue” and a “debate,” and generated much consternation and protest from local Catholics.

The cardinal issued a response to the event on Tuesday, with the title “No to Abortion: Respect for life from its conception.”

“In recent days, in the facilities of a university of Christian inspiration, a debate was carried out headed by a non-Catholic organization that promotes abortion,” wrote Robles Ortega. “The fact, as was to be assumed and expected, caused surprise in many of the Christian faithful, and indignation in others.”

Responding to claims that the university only wished to “dialogue” with advocates of abortion, the cardinal responded: “Respect for life must not be subject to a debate, not even with the purpose of being ‘open’ or being in the ‘vanguard,’ much less because of tastes or of feelings, as if the respect for life were to depend on what some people might feel or think. Nor can it be subject to the judgment of the personal conscience alone, because the conscience must be objectively formed, and because what is in question is the life of an innocent person.”

“When this topic is discussed, and we do not accept abortion, it isn’t because of intolerance or the rejection of dialogue, but rather to be coherent with regard to the right that every person has to live, above all if it is an innocent person, which has not yet been born, a right that is not subordinate to individuals nor to parents, nor is it a concession of the society or the state.”

“Regarding the aforementioned debate, I want to clarify that I did not know about it in advance, nor was it authorized by me, as some of the faithful, in their surprise, assumed, asked about, or questioned,” wrote Robles Ortega. “Through Fr. J. Jesús García Zamora, Vicario General of this diocese, I made known my astonishment to Fr. José Morales Orozco, Rector of the ITESO, over the carrying out of the aforementioned forum in that University, and to indicate to him that I didn’t have any association with that event.”

As an institute of the Jesuit order, the ITESO is not under the daily supervision of the cardinal, who can only protest against such events. His only other alternative would be to remove the faculties of certain Jesuit priests, or to seek the expulsion of the whole order from his diocese, a difficult process that would have to be approved by Rome.

Although the ITESO itself has not responded, a former rector of the school, Jorge Morales, told the Guadalajara newspaper Mural that he continues to support the school’s “position in favor of a free dialogue” despite the cardinal’s denunciation.

As LifeSite has documented in several previous articles, the Jesuit order in Mexico has been repeatedly involved in direct pro-abortion activism, primarily through a “human rights” organization called the “Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Center for Human Rights” (PRODH). The center is a participant in the “All Rights for Everyone Network” (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, which includes the pro-abortion “Catholic” front group “Catholics for the Right to Decide” and other pro-abortion organizations.

Attempts to fundraise for PRODH in the Canadian archdiocese of Ottawa in 2011 led to the cancellation of the scheduled fundraising events by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast when the Archdiocese of Mexico City contacted the archbishop to warn him of the organization’s pro-abortion stance, and LifeSite published an exposé on the organization’s pro-abortion ties. PRODH’s director at the time, Luis Arriaga Valenzuela, soon left the organization, which was also cut off from funding by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP).

Robles Ortega reiterates Catholic doctrine on the inviolability of human life in the womb

Cardinal Robles Ortega noted that the event offered an opportunity to restate the Catholic Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.

“This event permits me to recall – and to ratify – the posture and the doctrine of the Church regarding the defense of human life, from its conception until its natural death, and the rejection of abortion,” wrote the cardinal.

“Our position as believers is based both in the Sacred Scripture and in the Magisterium of the Church, as well as in the natural law and in what science has demonstrated regarding the beginning of the existence of a human being.

“Serious scientific studies prove the existence of a life, of a distinct person, from the moment of its conception. They indicate that a human being is a unique genetic individual, which is not reproducible. Its biological identity is determined at the beginning of its life, conception.

“Sacred Scripture specifies what the fifth commandment prohibits: ‘Do not take away the life of the innocent and the just’ (Ex. 23:7). Therefore, human life must be respected and protected in an absolute way from the moment of conception, its rights as a person being recognized, among which is the inviolable right of every innocent person to life, which also constitutes a constitutive element of the society and its legislation. The Church has affirmed the moral malice of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed; it remains unchanging.”

To make your concerns respectfully known to the Jesuit University of Guadalajara:

Rector: Dr. José Morales Orozco, SJ
Tel: (33) 36693434. Extensions 3530 and 3538
[email protected]

Secretary: Dr. Juan Jorge Hermosillo Villalobos
Telephone (33)36693538 Extension 3538
[email protected]