The Catholic Church rejoiced after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, finding there is no constitutional right to abortion and returning the power to create laws regulating abortion to individual states.
Church officials within the U.S. and around the world praised the Court’s decision, according to the Vatican News Agency. Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the Catholic Church has advocated to overturn the decision.
The Pontifical Academy of Life released a statement declaring that the decision by the Court “challenges the world” to continue to defend human life, joining with U.S. bishops in applauding the decision.
“For nearly fifty years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born,” Archbishop José H. Gomez and Archbishop William E. Lori of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement Friday.
“We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court,” the New York State Catholic Conference (NYSCC) said in a public statement. “Today, our voice has been heard.”
The statement by the NYSCC was signed by all the bishops in New York state, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the United States. Bishop Burbridge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, released a similar statement to the NYSCC, praising God for answering the Church’s prayers and celebrating Roe’s defeat.
Abortion is considered a grave moral evil by the Church and should be avoided at all costs, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every pope has reaffirmed this stance including Pope Francis.
However, many church leaders urged their fellow Catholics to continue fighting against abortion, as now each individual state can create their own laws affecting access to abortion.
We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Read the statement from me and my brother Bishops of New York State: https://t.co/TZ8R9sViPz
— Cardinal Dolan (@CardinalDolan) June 24, 2022
“Make no mistake, because this ruling regrettably will have little impact on abortion in Illinois,” Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago wrote in his official statement.”We will continue to advocate strongly for legal protections for unborn children.”
Cardinal Cupich also called for national unity and peaceful dialogue between pro-life organizations and pro-choice supporters. Catholic churches have often been the victims of violence and vandalism by pro-choice activists, with attacks increasing over the past several months.
Other Church officials echoed Cardinal Cupich’s calls for continuing the pro-life movement, with Bishop Joseph Strickland of San Francisco calling on the faithful to “stay vigilant, even in this time of joy,” in his official statement.
Not all Catholics were pleased with the court’s ruling, with President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vehemently decrying the decision. Both Biden and Pelosi are practicing Catholics, and have been challenged by more conservative Catholics for supporting pro-choice agendas while professing their Catholic faith.
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