The Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale has long been known for the inclusivity and diversity of its community, which is reflected in both those who share in our faith and those who frequent the center for entirely nonreligious purposes. While striving to make the center a home for everyone, we endeavor to never forget our Catholic identity. All who have walked into our center are welcomed by a smiling life-sized cutout of Pope Francis. We have a weekly soup kitchen and offer daily Mass. And last weekend, our center hosted the annual Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) Vita et Veritas Pro-Life Conference.
A recent YDN article, “What to expect when you’re expecting (at Yale)” (Sept. 23, 2016) makes CLAY out to be an organization of anti-woman crusaders. Yet such a description is the very antithesis of what CLAY stands for.
Anyone sincere in familiarizing themselves with Yale’s pro-life group will find a group of students who genuinely care for the well-being of women, and who sympathize with the difficult, diverse and complex situations faced by pregnant college students. These students are determined to ensure that carrying a child to term is a viable option for any woman on Yale’s campus, by guaranteeing that there are policies, infrastructure and support systems in place. We encourage you to peruse CLAY’s website or speak to CLAY members for yourselves to develop a fully informed opinion. CLAY does not proselytize, nor does it judge.
In his encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis condemns the manner in which we degrade our planet and challenges us to do better. Some might be surprised that the pontiff’s encyclical touches on the issue of abortion. He writes that “concern for the protection of nature is … incompatible with the justification of abortion.” It is the very interconnectedness of Creation, he argues, that makes it impossible to “genuinely teach” concern for other vulnerable beings when we deny protection to the human embryo. In this spirit, we, the Undergraduate Council at Saint Thomas More Chapel, stand in support of CLAY’s mission to foster a society that respects the inherent dignity of every human being, from conception to natural death.
Juan Pablo Gonzalez is a senior in Morse College and is a member of the undergraduate council of Saint Thomas More Chapel.