Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone called for Christians to be the “moral conscience” of society during a Mass marking the end of a novena against an upcoming abortion bill. 

From Aug. 3-11, Californian dioceses and archdioceses prayed a novena for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to defeat Senate Bill 24, which would require state college and university health centers to stock medication abortion pills.  

In his homily for the 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, the archbishop spoke about the culture of death’s expression in society and how Christians can respond to it. 

He began by citing a recent New York Times editorial that called for embracing the basic values that have historically glued American society together. “The idea is that by focusing on the common good we can retrieve a sense of public decency,” he said.  

“This is a sentiment we can all agree with, certainly we’re here in church, certainly this is something we all here would agree with,” Archbishop Cordileone continued. “However, let’s think about that, let’s think about it deeply. Is it really possible to retrieve a sense of common decency when we consider what is going on in our country?”

Society not only tolerates abortion, he said, but celebrates its existence, heralding it as “as progress and a sign of an enlightened society.” The devastating effect of abortion on women who lacked the love, care and support to make a choice for life, the social indifference to their plight, he said, is masked.  

“Can there really be a sense of common decency if this is the case? Perhaps at a superficial level, perhaps we can be polite to each other, but at a deeper level of shared values there is a crisis going on,” he said. 

Christians should be “spiritually agile” and resistant to being fooled by popular fashions, political conventions, or cultural pressures.  Instead, he said, how Christians should make the Gospel the foundation of their thinking and action in the world and “serve as the conscience of society,” which can only happen if they live their faith with integrity.  

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.