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More Catholic churches, pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial vandalized

LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25, 2022. / LifeChoice Pregnancy Center

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 19:20 pm (CNA).

More vandalism of Catholic churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial have been reported since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday. 

LifeChoice pregnancy center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25.

Director of Development for LifeChoices Lyndsy Flanagan told CNA Tuesday that the clinic was alerted by a local pastor who saw the damage on Sunday morning. A local church community, Winter Haven Worship Center, volunteered to repaint the whole building on Monday, Flanagan said.

The vandals also painted over security cameras and the clinic’s sign, she said. A pressure washer could not clean it and the clinic now needs a new sign, she said. 

Photos of the graffiti show the words “Janes revenge,” “Jane was here” “Abortion 4 all,” “Your time is up,” “We’re coming for you,” “We are everywhere,” some flowers, and anarchist symbols.

Being in a smaller community, Flanagan said she was surprised at the vandalism, despite the heated political climate.

The damage is estimated between $3,000 and $4,000 she said. The vandals were caught on video.

When CNA asked how many perpetrators were in the video, Flanagan said the FBI told her not to give any details until they finish the investigation. "They asked us not to speak on any of the details involved in the video footage until the investigation is complete, " she said.

"Because it's a national group that they believe could be involved in this, they are asking us to tread very lightly with all details concerning what we have knowledge of based on the video footage so that we can continue the investigation," she said.

Pro-abortion graffiti was discovered June 27 on the doors of the The Church of the Ascension in Manhattan. 

A purported photo of the vandalism on the church doors shows the words “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you!” 

Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York, said that “Any act of vandalism or violence against any house of worship should be condemned, particularly when such vandalism is a result of hatred of that religion.”

“Fortunately, thanks to the good work of the NYPD and local police departments, and the security measures the archdiocese encouraged the parishes to take, it appears that this is the only act of vandalism against a church in the archdiocese in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision,” he said.

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Renton, Washington had its windows smashed and was defaced with pro-abortion slogans in the early hours of June 25.

Dean Savelli, the church’s facilities manager, told CNA that three vandals defaced the front of the church with graffiti that said “Abortions save lives,” in two places. He said the vandals destroyed three of the five locks in the church.

The vandals smashed seven stained glass windows, Savelli said. The vandals, who were caught on camera, also broke some of the tops to collection boxes. The damage will amount to between $25,000 and $30,000 he said. 

Richard Garnett of South Bend, Indiana, told CNA that he drives by a memorial cross for aborted unborn babies almost every day and noticed June 25 that it was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. 

The white cross which says “In memory of aborted children” with a red heart, had yellow graffiti that crossed out the pro-life message and wrote pro-choice down the horizontal stretch of the cross, a photo of the vandalism shows.

According to a Saint Joseph County Police Department incident summary, an employee of St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church reported to the police June 27 that the sign was vandalized.

Karissa Lundstrom, who leads the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center in Cortez, Colorado told CNA that her clinic was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti sometime between Saturday night and Sunday evening. 

She would not share a photo of the vandalism nor say what the graffiti said, because she does not want the vandalism to be the center of attention. The graffiti was partly on the sidewalk and partly on the building, she said, and it was cleaned up easily.

Judges temporarily block abortion bans in Louisiana, Utah, Texas

The scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after the court released its decision in the Dobbs abortion case, June 24, 2022. / Katie Yoder/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Judges in Louisiana, Utah, and Texas have temporarily blocked the enforcement of those states’ laws banning abortion, after the Supreme Court returned the regulation of abortion to the states.

On June 24, the court voted 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Mississippi law restricting most abortions after 15 weeks. At the same time, justices voted 5-4, to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary block June 27 on a 2006 Louisiana law banning abortion in the state in the case of Roe’s overturn, in response to a lawsuit filed by abortion providers. 

“Abortion groups, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, argue the abortion restrictions violate providers' due process rights and ‘lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement,’” Fox News reported about Louisiana.

In the coming weeks Giarrusso will rule whether the law may be enforced on a permanent basis. A hearing is set for July 8.

The Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, even said that he is "unabashedly pro-life and opposed to abortion,” yet he is aware that not everyone feels the same, according to the BBC.

In Utah, Third District Judge Andrew Stone issued a 14-day block June 27 on the state’s trigger law in response to a lawsuit brought by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. NBC says that Stone claims women are “deprived of safe, local medical treatments to terminate pregnancies."

Utah State Senator Daniel McCay, sponsor of the state’s trigger law, said, “I'm confident that Utah’s abortion ban will be upheld, and we can work to support life." 

A hearing in the matter will be held July 11.

In Texas, Judge Christine Weems in Harris County granted a temporary restraining order June 28 against the enforcement of a 1925 law banning abortion.

Marc Hearron, a lawyer for the abortion providers in the Texas lawsuit, said, according to Reuters, "Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory." 

The state’s law banning abortion from about six weeks into pregnancy is still being enforced.

The Texas attorney general has said he will appeal Weems’ decision; a hearing is scheduled July 12.

Challenges to abortion bans in several other states are focused on state constitutions in which rights to privacy are included. These include Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Washington. 

Reuters reported that abortion providers in Kentucky, Idaho, and Mississippi are suing to block enforcement of trigger laws in those states.

Biden official promises 5 actions to protect abortion after Roe

Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. / vasilis asvestas/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 14:25 pm (CNA).

The Biden administration is taking five steps to protect access to abortion, according to Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Those steps, Becerra said on Tuesday, include increasing access to medication abortion and training health workers following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Becerra condemned what he called the court’s “despicable” decision that leaves abortion policy up to each individual state.

“There is no magic bullet. But if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS,” Becerra said June 28, referring to instructions that he received from President Joe Biden.

Becerra stressed that HHS would support Biden as he works to make available abortion pills and to enable women to travel for out-of-state abortions.

Both Biden and Becerra, who are Catholic, support abortion, in contrast with the Catholic Church’s teaching that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

Following the overturning of Roe, Becerra would not say Monday if he thought fewer abortions would be a good thing in America.

“I think if we leave things in the hands of a woman to make decisions for her own body, we’re going to have the best decisions made,” Becerra told EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen.

At the Tuesday news conference, Becerra outlined the HHS’ five steps to protect abortion. He began with abortion pills, which allow women to perform early abortions without leaving their homes.

The HHS, Becerra said, “will take steps to increase access” by ensuring that federally-supported programs and services provide these pills in cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life, in compliance with federal law.

The department is also looking into protecting patient and provider privacy, supporting doctors’ “clinical judgment” when treating pregnant women in emergencies, and training providers on family planning and “helping patients navigate this new reality,” he continued.

Becerra added that he is directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to also protect “family planning care,” including contraception.

When asked about the possibility of placing abortion clinics on federal land to bypass state laws or helping women travel to different states to obtain abortion, Becerra responded that “every option is on the table.”

Of all the steps, Becerra emphasized increasing access to abortion pills, calling it a “national imperative.” That included, he said, working “to ensure that states may not ban medication abortion, based on a disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about the drug’s safety and efficacy.”

Pro-life research organizations, such as the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have expressed concern about the safety of this type of abortion for women.

“How we respond will speak to how we view the rights, the dignity and the wellbeing of women everywhere,” Becerra said. “All options are on the table. We will do everything within our legal limit of the law to reach patients and support providers.”

Immediately before his remarks, HHS launched a website claiming to inform Americans about their “rights” to “reproductive health care,” including abortion. Among other things, it recommends abortion funds “if you need help paying for an abortion.”

Following Becerra’s remarks, Senator Steve Daines, founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, issued a statement responding to the Biden administration’s plans regarding abortion. 

“The Biden administration will stop at nothing, not even a Supreme Court ruling, to force their radical, pro-abortion agenda on all Americans,” the Republican from Montana said. “Instead of allowing Americans’ voices to be heard when it comes to abortion, President Biden wants to force states to allow dangerous DIY abortion pills and is considering plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion tourism across state lines and even set up abortion clinics in our national parks.”

He added: “This is outrageous. Our fight is long from over—I will continue to stand up for all life, no matter how small.”

These U.S. companies will pay staff abortion travel expenses

Starbucks coffee shop. / AKS.9955/wikimedia. CC BY SA 4.0

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 13:54 pm (CNA).

As some states ban or regulate abortion following the Dobbs decision, numerous companies have announced they will provide financial assistance to employees traveling for abortions.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruled June 24 that the right to an abortion is not protected under the U.S. Constitution; states are thus now able to ban abortion.  

Many states already have enacted trigger laws to ban abortion immediately, while the practice remains legal in others. 

Some prominent corporations have announced they will support employees in states where they cannot procure abortion by covering travel costs associated with the procedure through their health insurance.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced June 24 that it will provide up to $4,000 in travel reimbursements to any employee, spouse, or dependent enrolled in its medical plan seeking an abortion in states where it is illegal. 

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic– and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” the company said. The statement also noted that it believes these decisions are “deeply personal.”

Some companies, including Starbucks and Levi Strauss and Co., will fully reimburse expenses for women seeking legal access to abortion. A Starbucks statement says, “We will provide partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion.”

Other companies making similar offers, The Hill reported, include Amazon, Yelp, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Tesla, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Mastercard, Lyft, Disney, Meta, Comcast, Airbnb, Patagonia, DoorDash, PayPal, Reddit, Meta, Zillow, and Uber.

Some of the firms had announced travel assistance for abortion before the Dobbs ruling was released, in reaction either to the May 2 leak of a draft of the decision, or the Texas law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

'The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain' stood in West Virginia for 150 years before it burned

St. Colman Chapel and cemetery. / Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Denver Newsroom, Jun 27, 2022 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Nestled in the thick woods atop Irish Mountain in West Virginia, a small, whitewashed wooden church stood resolute for nearly a century and a half — until this morning. 

Irish Mountain is aptly named — its bright green foliage would not be out of place on the Emerald Isle. But the name of the place goes deeper than appearances. St. Colman Chapel, which was discovered burned to the ground the morning of June 27, was the last surviving remnant of a once-thriving Irish immigrant community in the area, and its adjacent cemetery marks the final resting place of many of those Irish Catholics. 

The chapel burned under suspicious circumstances the night of June 26-27 and is being investigated as arson, according to the local volunteer fire department.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston told CNA it "is saddened to hear of the devastating fire at the historic St. Colman Catholic Church near Shady Spring, WV. Thankfully, no one was inside the building when the fire occurred and the structure is a total loss. The church, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places since it was built in 1877 was not regularly used. The Diocese is truly grateful for the response of so many fire departments in the area, but the little church burned quickly and nothing can be saved. The cemetery behind the church will continue to be maintained."

St. Colman Catholic Church and Cemetery in Raleigh County, West Virginia, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known as "The Little Church on Irish Mountain.". National Register of Historic Places photo
St. Colman Catholic Church and Cemetery in Raleigh County, West Virginia, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known as "The Little Church on Irish Mountain.". National Register of Historic Places photo

According to the nomination form for its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Colman’s was founded around 1877 to serve the burgeoning Irish immigrant population. It gained the moniker of “The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain.”

The Irish were some of the earliest European settlers in West Virginia, arriving in the mid-19th century. On Irish Mountain, the populace had grown to more than a half-dozen families after the first Irishman to settle in the area, Maurice Sullivan, purchased a large tract of land in 1855. 

The area is marked by stunning natural beauty; Irish Mountain is a relative stone’s throw from New River Gorge, the newest U.S. national park.

But in the late 19th century, the verdant wilderness represented a foreboding obstacle. 

“Located in an extremely isolated area, this community of Irish farmers became virtually self-sufficient and formed a distinctive ethnic group,” the nomination reads.

“The one aspect of their lives, however, in which they did not feel self-sufficient was their lack of a place of spiritual solace. The closest Roman Catholic church was St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hinton, founded in 1872, which was nearly fifteen miles away over torturous mountains and through rugged terrain.”

New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. Jonah McKeown/CNA
New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. Jonah McKeown/CNA

So, in 1876, Sullivan — the landowner — deeded one acre of his land to the Diocese of Wheeling (today the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston) for the establishment of a mission church and cemetery, with construction commencing the next year. 

The boxy, simple building was originally constructed of hewn logs, and many years later, in 1928, the log structure was covered with clapboard wood siding painted white. The church was dubbed St. Colman.

A large, unadorned wooden cross rose above the roof level at the chapel’s front. Inside, the white altar and some of the benches for the congregation were constructed in 1904 by Father J. J. Swint, who was a carpenter as well as priest, and later became Bishop of Wheeling.

Outside, the chapel’s cemetery contains the graves of several dozen of the area’s Irish residents, marked with granite and marble upright gravestones. It also has what is known as a "Lost Corner,” located in the cemetery’s rear, which is a small plot of unconsecrated ground where the unbaptized were buried. One gravestone bears the epitaph:"Remember kind friends as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare for death, and follow me."

Despite the area losing some of its population as a result of some of its men leaving to work on the railroad, the community at Irish Mountain continued to thrive into the 20th century, with an average of 15 to 20 families occupying the area, the nomination says. But the mission church was never given its own priest, instead always relying on the Hinton parish, St. Patrick. 

At the time the Historic Places register nomination was written — 1984 — the author of the form described the worshipers there as “occasional."

Kelli Thompson Harrison, 50, from Crab Orchard, West Virginia, told CNA that her ancestors were Irish Catholic immigrants who worshipped at St. Colman Catholic Church.

“It's just truly heartbreaking because there's so much history there,” she said. The church was a place of meaning and purpose for the immigrant community, Harrison said, and it saddens her to see it destroyed.

The chapel had attracted attention in recent years for reasons other than its Catholic history — it was visited by ghosthunters, who claim to have experienced “cold spots” and the presence of ghosts at the site. In particular, the presence of the cemetery’s “Lost Corner” appears to have captured the imagination of believers in the paranormal. 

Ghosts or not, the attention given to the chapel by ghosthunters has caused it demonstrable harm. In 2012, the “windows, pews and the altar were broken and destroyed” by vandals, according to a report from the Beckley Register-Herald. The assailants also reportedly spray painted a message on the chapel’s interior: “This s*** is not haunted.” 

It is unclear whether the suspected arson attack that destroyed the church this week is related to its phantasmal reputation, or to the spate of arson attacks against Catholics that have plagued the nation as a whole in recent months.

In particular, Catholic churches, crisis pregnancy centers, and other pro-life groups have been on heightened alert in response to threats of retaliatory attacks by pro-abortion activists in the wake of the landmark abortion ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24.

Vandalism of Catholic churches, pregnancy centers continues after Dobbs decision

Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Virginia had its windows smashed and was defaced with graffiti the night of June 24-25. / null

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 27, 2022 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

In the wake of Friday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Catholic churches, crisis pregnancy centers, and other pro-life groups have been on heightened alert in response to threats of retaliatory attacks by pro-abortion activists.

Several such locations have suffered vandalism since the June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

In Reston, Virginia, about 16 miles northwest of Arlington, police and fire rescue arrived at St. John Neumann Catholic Church responding to a call for smoldering mulch June 26. 

Authorities at the scene determined that an accelerant was likely used in the fire, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. Photos of the graffiti show the words “This won’t stop” written on the church’s sign, and an illegible statement written on the wall of the church. 

Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Virginia had its windows smashed and was defaced with graffiti the night of June 24-25, Lynchburg police say. Authorities responded to a call of property damage just before 11 a.m. June 25, and upon arrival discovered the spray paint and broken windows, police say. 

Photos of the graffiti shows the words “Jane’s Revenge,” “If abortion aint safe you aint safe,” and another illegible statement. 

Police say that security footage shows four masked individuals vandalizing the building. The investigation is ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Dubie at (434) 941-9937 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Anonymous tips can be left online at http://p3tips.com or on the P3 app on a mobile device. 

At Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in New Orleans, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a memorial stone for aborted unborn babies was defaced with red paint, Fox 8 reported June 25. 

Life Choices, a pro-life pregnancy center in Longmont, Colorado sustained fire and heavy smoke damage Saturday. The FBI and local police are investigating the fire as suspected arson. Pro-abortion slogans, including the words, "If abortions aren't safe neither are you," were written on the building in black graffiti.

Tree of Life Pregnancy Support Center in Paso Robles, California had its windows broken and was defaced with anarchist symbols and the initials “JR” according to calcoastnews.com. The news outlet reported that “JR” stands for Jane’s Revenge.

Paso Robles police said that the pregnancy center received a letter from Jane's Revenge, according to KSBY. It is unclear whether the letter was received before or after the vandalism. The vandalism is being investigated through surveillance tapes from surrounding businesses according to KSBY.

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harlingen, Texas had three of its statues vandalized over the weekend, according to valleycentral.com. Photos of the vandalism show a statue of what appears to be the Blessed Virgin Mary toppled over and beheaded. The church said that two statues of angels were stolen, according to the outlet.

Investigation underway of major fire at Catholic bookstore in Houston

Damage to the San Jacinto location of the Sacco Company Catholic Store in Houston after a fire on June 25, 2022. / Brent Haynes

Denver Newsroom, Jun 27, 2022 / 15:40 pm (CNA).

A Saturday evening fire caused major damage to the Sacco Company Catholic Store in downtown Houston. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

A fire started about 8 p.m. June 25 at the store, which is more than 6,000 square feet in area. The building is on San Jacinto Street five blocks south of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. 

The store’s owners say they are still open for business online and at their other Houston location.

“We did suffer a fire on Saturday evening. It did destroy most of our store,” Andrew Sacco, the store’s owner, told CNA June 27. “It’s a pretty big blow. It’s a family-owned business. We’ve been in that location for over 30 years. It’s a significant blow to us.”

Sacco said he did not know of any signs of vandalism, arson, or threats

“We don’t have any information on that at this time. The fire is still being investigated,” he told CNA. “We’re waiting on insurance adjustors and inspectors. There’s been no determination on the cause of the fire.”

Arson investigators were on the scene of the fire, KPRC 2 News reports.

A Houston Fire Department spokesperson told CNA on Monday that the incident investigation is still considered open and active. 

The fire comes amid concerns about arson and vandalism at churches, pregnancy centers, and other institutions which oppose abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last week.

The store which suffered the fire was the Sacco Company’s main location and had all of its main inventory.

“We’re going to have to be rebuilding our inventory back up. We are working with our vendors,” Sacco said. “Any necessary orders can be fulfilled.”

The San Jacinto Street location is temporarily closed. The company’s other location, Veritas Catholic Bookstore, is still open on the 2900 block of Chimney Rock Road in west Houston.

“We are working out of our sister store, Veritas Catholic Bookstore,“ Sacco said. “We’re still operational, we’re just working to get things back up and running … We’re still taking church goods orders. We can ship directly from our manufacturers.”

What the U.S. bishops have said about Dobbs

The scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after the court released its decision in the Dobbs abortion case on June 24, 2022. Pro-abortion demonstrators gradually made up a decided majority of the crowd as the day wore on. / Katie Yoder/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 27, 2022 / 14:36 pm (CNA).

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision, bringing an end to nearly a half-century of nationwide legalized abortion in the U.S. 

The June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was welcomed by Catholic bishops across the country. 

Below is a compilation of responses to the decision from the local Churches and bishops of the U.S., arranged by state. Some local Churches do not have individual statements, but are represented by those of the state Catholic conference.

Alabama

Archdiocese of Mobile

Archbishop Thomas Rodi: “I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which from the beginning was objectionable for both Constitutional and moral reasons. However, this is not the end of our efforts to call our country back to a respect for life. This issue now returns to the Democratic process in state legislatures. We need to increase our efforts to share with others that the preborn baby is a human being so that our laws may reflect this. In calling our country back to a respect for life, we also need to do what we can to support mothers and their children.”

Diocese of Birmingham

Bishop Steven Raica: “Today’s decision marks a major step forward in constructing a culture of life. Over time, a culture of life becomes a culture of hope that honors and respects all.” Read full statement here

Alaska

Alaska Catholic Conference of Bishops: "We recognize that abortion remains legal here in our State and to that end, we will continue to work to uphold the life and dignity of the human person created in Gods image, from conception until natural death ... The Church will never cease to do what it has always done, to pray, work, and serve until the day when every human life is protected in law, and welcomed in love. Until that day comes, in every way possible, we will continue to care for women and children in need, so that every family has the support to joyfully choose life." Read full statement here.

Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau

Diocese of Fairbanks

Arizona

Ruthenian Eparchy of Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix

Diocese of Phoenix

Apostolic Administrator Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares: “Let today’s decision be a turning point for our nation—the day we renew our commitment to uphold the inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence and build a culture of life and civilization of love. Let us redouble our efforts to accompany mothers in need, act as peacemakers with all our fellow citizens, strengthen laws that protect innocent life, and proclaim the dignity of every human person, each of whom is made in the image of our loving God.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Tuscon

Diocesan spokesperson, Ana Sanguineti: “The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is gratified with the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and correct the previous injustice of denying preborn children their legal and human rights.”  Read full statement here

Arkansas

Diocese of Little Rock

California

California Catholic Conference: “Today is a day to give thanks and celebrate. The California Catholic Conference of Bishops profoundly welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has affirmed our dearly held belief that life is precious, valuable, and should be protected, and that states have a compelling interest to protect the unborn and limit abortion. This has been our prayer, the Church’s prayer, for the last 50 years.” Read full statement here. 

Armenian Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in Glendale

Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

In his role as chairman of the U.S. Bishops, Archbishop Jose Gomez released a joint statement with the bishop’s pro-life chairman, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori: “America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of San Francisco

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone:  “This historic Supreme Court decision would not have happened without fifty years of patient, loving, hard work by people of all faiths and none, in diverse fields including social service, religion, law, medicine, culture, education, policy and politics.  But our work has just begun.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Fresno

Diocese of Monterey

Diocese of Oakland

“Bishop Barber joins in giving thanks and celebrating today’s ruling by SCOTUS, and notes there is much more to do.” 

Diocese of Orange

Bishop Kevin Vann: “Roe might be overturned, but abortion will continue to be widely available in California. As bishops, we have been awed by the response of our Catholic community to reject the violence of abortion and to embrace the call to love and serve our sisters and families struggling with challenging pregnancies. Now is the time for us to continue to work together as a Church to build a civilization of love and reject a throwaway culture.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Sacramento

Bishop Jaime Soto: “Now is a critical time for people of faith to become even more involved in assisting women, children and families in California needing help during an unexpected pregnancy and beyond. Our support will make the difference so that all families can flourish. Find out more at WeWereBornReady.com.” Read full statement here

Diocese of San Bernardino 

Diocese of San Diego

Bishop Robert McElroy: “While we celebrate this decision — the culmination of prayer and decades of legislative advocacy, life-affirming events, committing time and resources to pregnancy centers, and walking with families facing an unplanned pregnancy— in many ways, our work has just begun. We must work to ensure that California law protects the rights of the unborn.  And we must emphasize that being pro-life demands more than opposition to abortion.“It demands we do everything we can to support families, to provide access to quality healthcare, affordable housing, good jobs and decent housing.” Read full statement here

Diocese of San Jose

Bishop Oscar Cantú: “As we seek to contain the expansion of abortion in California and work to defeat the efforts of state leaders to enshrine abortion into the state constitution permanently, my brother bishops and I ask that all Catholics throughout the state meet this moment and actively engage through the California Catholic Conference, in their dioceses and parishes, and in their communities to help women, children, and families. It is not enough to claim we are for life; we must be the hands and feet of Christ working to make it a reality. And while the Supreme Court’s decision will save the countless lives, we look to increase our work to support California’s women, children, and families and protect the sanctity of every human life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Santa Rosa 

Diocese of Stockton

Colorado

Colorado Catholic Conference: “All Americans who value the sanctity of human life should celebrate the end of nearly half a century of extreme judicial overreach on abortion, which cost the lives of millions of preborn children. Today, we celebrate our country embarking on a path toward embracing life at every stage and condition!” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Denver

Archbishop Samuel Aquila: “This is a remarkable moment, and I want to personally thank everyone who has fervently prayed and worked that we might see this day. Our prayers have truly been answered! With that said, we acknowledge that the work continues, especially here in Colorado.” Read full statement here.

Diocese of Colorado Springs

Diocese of Pueblo

Connecticut

Connecticut Catholic bishops: “Throughout this struggle to protect life, we have heard many voices cry out for the innocent lives of the unborn, and we are grateful for their witness and renewed commitment. This is a most hopeful and encouraging moment, but there is a need for renewed vigilance ahead as we work and pray to become a nation that values all human life, beginning with the unborn and extending to children in our schools and to all people who are vulnerable and at risk of violence.” Read full statement here.

Archdiocese of Hartford

Ukrainian Eparchy of Stamford

Diocese of Bridgeport

Diocese of Norwich

Delaware

Diocese of Wilmington

Bishop William Koenig: "We continue to pray for and support all mothers, fathers, and their children. We remain committed to the church’s teaching on the sanctity, value and dignity of human life from conception through natural death.”

Florida

Florida Catholic bishops: “The Dobbs case marks a new era for the work of the Church and all those who strive to protect children in the womb. We remain committed to ministries of service that accompany expectant mothers facing difficult or unintended pregnancies. We strive to continue to build a society that empowers women so that mothers are truly supported throughout pregnancy and beyond.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Miami

Archbishop Thomas Wenski: “Abortion too often is seen as the solution to an unforeseen problem, a fall back position if contraception failed or was not used. But abortion is no solution — and it is no right. It is a wrong, a grievous wrong that has prematurely ended the lives of more than 60 million souls in this country alone since 1973.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Palm Beach

Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee

Bishop William Wack: "While this decision is what we have been praying for, we know that the issue of abortion will not simply go away. Our ministry to assist women and families will continue. More than ever, we must be attentive to the needs of women facing unplanned and crisis pregnancies — to help them choose life for their child.” Read full statement here

Diocese of St. Augustine

Diocese of St. Petersburg

Diocese of Venice

“This ruling now undoes the grave injustice of 1973, when Roe v. Wade decided that an entire class of human beings, the preborn, were outside the protection of the law. Now the states will once again have the opportunity to protect the lives of preborn children and in doing so, also protect millions of women from the tragic consequences of abortion. Of course, legal protection must be accompanied by more care for mothers and their children. The Catholic Church, and the Diocese of Venice, stand ready to help mothers in need. Pregnant women are not alone.” Read full statement here

Georgia

Archdiocese of Atlanta

Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer: “We rejoice today that the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health will uphold some protection for unborn babies, their vulnerable mothers and fathers and the communities where abortion tears families apart, however, there is still work to be done. I applaud today’s ruling and urge further action to promote pro-life causes.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Savannah

Bishop Stephen Parkes: “I am grateful today for the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States giving each state the ability to legislate the availability of abortion services. As Catholics, we honor and celebrate that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God.” Read full statement here

Hawaii

Diocese of Honolulu

Bishop Larry Silva: "Although the decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade would have been welcome any day, it is significant that it occurred on this day on which we honor the ardent love of Jesus for all his people. For fifty years, we have been living with a legal decision based on a manufactured right that was never in the United States Constitution, and we thank God that the truth that the Constitution grants no such right has finally been affirmed ... I thank God for all the women and men who worked so hard and so patiently these past fifty years to bring the matter to the legal resolution announced today. I am particularly grateful to all the people in our own diocese and state who have never given up hope that this day would come. I invite all to praise God for bringing this landmark decision to fruition!" Read full statement here.

Idaho

Diocese of Boise City

Bishop Peter Christensen: "These past five decades, U.S. citizens have lived with an unjust law that permitted some to decide whether or not others can live. As a result, generations of preborn children have been denied the right to life. From here forward, June 24th can now be celebrated as a birthday of sorts for our nation; as a day that recognizes the value of God’s gift of life for all ... We must remind ourselves that although the Supreme Court’s decision offers a greater respect for life by returning this issue to the states, it increases the opportunity for all of us to be made even more ready and willing to offer Christian charity to all expectant mothers and their children who live in vulnerable, challenging situations." Read full statement here.

Illinois

Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Nicholas of Chicago

Syro-Malabar Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Chicago

Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal Blase Cupich: “Make no mistake, because this ruling regrettably will have little impact on abortion in Illinois, as there are virtually no restrictions here, we will continue to advocate strongly for legal protections for unborn children. And we will redouble our efforts to work with all to build a culture that values the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. This ruling is not the end of a journey, but rather a fresh start. It underscores the need to  understand those who disagree with us, and to inculcate an ethic of dialogue and cooperation. Let us begin by examining our national conscience, taking stock of those dark places in our society and in our hearts that turn to violence and deny the humanity of our brothers and sisters, and get to work building up the common good by choosing life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Belleville 

Bishop Michael McGovern: "The decision by the Supreme Court today gives fresh hope to Americans who wish to work to create a compassionate culture where every human being is welcomed in life, cherished in the community, and protected by law. Because abortion law in Illinois continues to be among the most extreme in the nation, all Illinoisans must strive to assist women who are pregnant to welcome their children, even in the most difficult circumstances. By providing material, emotional and spiritual support, the Catholic Community in southern Illinois is committed to providing pregnant mothers with real choices, building bridges that will help women in crisis pregnancies reach a secure future for themselves and their children."

Diocese of Peoria

Bishop Louisa Tylka: “Today’s decision is not the last word in this matter. It is, however, a significant moment in the efforts to work toward a greater respect for life and it is a reason to give thanks to God. May the Holy Spirit instill in all of us an ever-greater respect for the sanctity of every human life, especially the lives of unborn children.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Springfield in Illinois

Bishop Thomas Paprocki: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States marks an important moment for our nation, lifting a cloud that has hung over our country for nearly a half century. There is no way to undo the tragedy of tens of millions of innocent lives lost or the decades of division sown by the Roe v. Wade decision. But, for the sake of future generations, we can now move forward with a more honest debate and efforts to advance policies and support programs that protect innocent life and promote stability and security for vulnerable mothers.”

Diocese of Rockford

"Roe v. Wade has caused a collective loss of recognition and love for them as human beings and for their right to life enshrined in our Constitution and our national purpose. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court does not end our national debate about protection for the right to life of the preborn ... We need to ask for God’s grace for a renewed commitment to the beauty of God’s gift of life and for all the joys and sacrifices to serve that life as we build up the human family at every moment from conception to natural death." Read full statement here.

Indiana

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Archbishop Charles Thompson: “We pray that Indiana’s General Assembly will move quickly to pass legislation to protect the God-given dignity and humanity of all unborn babies and their mothers in our state, and we support all efforts to legally protect human life from the moment of conception until natural death.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Evansville

Bishop Joseph Siegal: “To be clear, the Dobbs decision and subsequent overturning of Roe v. Wade states that there is no constitutional right to abortion, and issues such as these should be decided by the people at the state level. It does not end abortion in this country as many suggest. Therefore, we should recognize this decision as one more step in our defense of human life. We now need to turn our attention to our state legislators to urge them to protect in law the rights of the unborn.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Bishop Kevin Rhoades: “Today is a historic day for our nation as the Supreme Court overturned the tragic Roe v. Wade decision which denied the child in the womb the right to life and led to the deaths of millions of unborn children in our nation.  The gravely immoral and unjust decision in 1973 has finally been reversed, after so many years of prayer and sacrifices, advocacy and peaceful witness for the protection of the lives of the innocent unborn.” Read full statement here.

Diocese of Gary

Bishop Robert McClory: “The ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a landmark decision, answering many prayers in the ongoing effort to protect the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. We are very encouraged by the decision, as it moves us forward in building a culture that respects and values all life.”

Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana

“The states are now left to legislate for or against procuring abortion. Some have already done so. While the Supreme Court’s decision offers an important moment for us to bolster life protections for the unborn, it does not end the public debate. We now need to turn our attention to our Indiana state legislators to urge them to enact or preserve sustainable laws to protect the rights of the unborn.” Read full statement here.

Iowa

Iowa bishops: “Here in Iowa, abortion is still legal. The Iowa Catholic Conference is advocating for the ‘Protect Life Amendment,’ which would allow Iowans to pass laws protecting preborn children. A recent Iowa Supreme Court decision has left the state constitutional right to an abortion in doubt.” Read full statement here.

Archdiocese of Dubuque

Diocese of Davenport

Diocese of Des Moines

“The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization corrects the grave injustice introduced in 1973 by Roe v Wade, when we, as a country, denied the right of the preborn to exist. Now, the legality of abortion rests with the states. The Catholic Church teaches that all human life possesses inherent dignity from the moment of conception to natural death and beyond.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Sioux City

Bishop R. Walker Nickless: “Deliberately taking the life of an innocent person, as is always done in abortion, is gravely contrary to both the natural law and the divine law.  A just civil law must protect the sanctity of human life. Let us pray for our nation and continue to respect the right to life.” Read full statement here

Kansas

Kansas Catholic bishops: “‘Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord.’ Isaiah 1: 18. Today the United States Supreme Court issued its widely anticipated ruling in the case Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion throughout America.”

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

Archbishop Joseph Naumann: “I’m overjoyed that the American people can determine what the public policy on abortion will be . . . I’m glad we’re back to where we were pre-1973. But the battle is not over. This is a significant victory, but now each state will have to determine what will be the public policy on abortion.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Dodge City

Diocese of Salina

Diocese of Wichita

Kentucky

Kentucky Catholic bishops: “We believe that the deliberate decision to end a life in the womb is not the answer for women, children or families. As Pope Francis states, ‘Yet this defense of unborn human life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems...It is not progressive to try to resolve problems by ending a human life’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 213-214).” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Louisville

Diocese of Lexington

Diocese of Owensboro

Diocese of Covington

Louisiana

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Archbishop Gregory Aymond: “We give thanks to God that the injustice of abortion on demand has come to an end, and that we as a society will have the opportunity to save more innocent unborn lives. The people of God in the Archdiocese of New Orleans must stand ready to support mothers in need and their babies. We must do what we can to advocate for medical care and resources for mothers and their families.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Alexandria 

Diocese of Baton Rouge

Randall Waguespack, director of the Office of Life, Peace and Justice: “We should look at the Supreme Court's reversing of Roe v. Wade as a significant accomplishment in the war against abortion, but it is also crucial that we remember that the fight is not over.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Diocese of Lafayette-Louisiana

Diocese of Lake Charles

Bishop Glen Provost: “On this historic day, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for the Supreme Court’s decision in support of human life, consistent with the Constitution of this nation.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Shreveport

Maine

Diocese of Portland

Bishop Robert Deeley: “Today’s decision reaffirms the truth that every life is sacred, and it promotes protection for women and children from the grave injustice of abortion. We welcome the possibility of saving the lives of countless unborn children as well as sparing many women and families from pain.” Read full statement here

Maryland

Archdiocese of Baltimore 

Archbishop William Lori:  “I think it is good news for the cause of life. And I also think it is a moment for us as Catholics, as believers, as people of goodwill, now to redouble our efforts to surround women in difficult pregnancies with love and care and services. So it is both a victory but also a day of challenge.” Read full comments here

Massachusetts

Archdiocese of Boston

Cardinal Sean O’Malley: “For all of us who have spoken, written, worked, marched, and prayed to reverse Roe v. Wade, today's Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson is deeply significant and encouraging. This decision will create the possibility of protecting human life from conception; it calls us to recognize the unique burden faced by women in pregnancy; and it challenges us as a nation to work together to build up more communities of support -- and available access to them -- for all women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Fall River

Bishop Edgar da Cunha: “Today’s Supreme Court decision will save the lives of millions of children who otherwise would never see the light of day or experience the warmth of a loving family.” Read full statement here.

Melkite Eparchy of Newton

Diocese of Worcester

Bishop Robert McManus: "Our prayers must continue in earnest for a greater respect for all human life. As Christians we must respond with charity in support of the life of the child in the womb whose dignity deserves our respect and legal protection, to the mother who is afraid, alone or whose life may be in jeopardy, and with respect for all citizens who struggle with this most divisive issue in our country and our world ... Only the virtue of charity can vanquish evil." Read full statement here.

Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts 

Bishop William Byrne: “I affirm today’s Supreme Court decision, upholding each state’s right to defend life. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we still have much work to do so that all citizens recognize the sanctity of all human life. We continue to work, advocate and pray that our brothers and sisters will recognize the right to life of the most vulnerable among us.” Read full statement here

Michigan

Michigan Catholic bishops: “Nearly fifty years after the unjust decision in Roe v. Wade, our country draws closer to a society that recognizes the God-given right of life for all persons, at any stage or in any condition. While today’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturns Roe is a cause for joy, we must remember that life is and always will be a gift from our Creator; it cannot be given or taken by governmental structures, judges, or elected officials.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Detroit  

Archbishop Allen Vigneron: “While the decision announced today by the U.S. Supreme Court is a cause for praise and thanks to God, it does not mean our work is over. I join my brother bishops in Michigan in affirming that the Church must redouble her efforts to ensure every woman, child, and family has the support necessary to thrive in pregnancy, early childhood, and beyond.” Read full statement here

Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit

Bishop Francis Kalabat: With gratitude and joy we give glory to God for the news on Roe v. Wade as we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since 1973 we have been strongly praying to God in addition to holding protests and rallies at home an in Washington D.C.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Gaylord 

Bishop Jeffrey Walsh: “In God’s Providence, the Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case was issued on the same day our Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today’s scripture passage read at Mass, from Ezekiel 34:11-16, prophetically reveals the love of God in stating: ‘I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.’” Read full statement here

Diocese of Grand Rapids 

Bishop David Walkowiak: “The United States Supreme Court’s decision moves America one step closer to protecting human life from its earliest stages of existence. The Catholic Church remains committed to helping women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies. For every pregnant woman who may be unsure of what is next, the Catholic Church is here. We will continue to accompany and care for women in need of emotional, spiritual, or physical support and their child(ren), born and unborn. Support is available through Catholic Churches as well as other local organizations.” Read full statement here.

Diocese of Kalamazoo

Bishop Paul Bradley: “Today’s historic Supreme Court decision overturning the unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 is a reason for all who value human life to rejoice. In union with my brother bishops in Michigan, I call upon all Catholics, along with all people who value human life, to prayerfully reflect on the significance of this decision. Let us ask God, the Source of all Life, for the grace to help us continue restoring a Culture of Life, and refusing to promote death for those who are the most innocent and vulnerable among us.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Lansing

Diocese of Marquette 

Diocese of Saginaw

Bishop Robert Gruss: "Please continue to pray for hearts to be softened as we commit and recommit ourselves to doing all we can to support and accompany women in unplanned pregnancies as well as their unborn and infant children. We all must ask ourselves what more we can do to walk with moms in need, so that no woman finds herself alone or believes abortion is her best option.”

Minnesota

Minnesota bishops: For almost 50 years, Roe grievously denied one of America’s founding principles: that all men and women — irrespective of their stage of development — are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Forgetting this self-evident truth has resulted in the death of over 60 million preborn children and the wounding of millions of mothers and fathers.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop Bernard Hebda: "The Supreme Court's decision to allow states to determine abortion laws fills my heart with a combination of sadness and gratitude. In 2022 with all of our scientific advancements that prove beyond any doubt that the child inside a mother's womb is human, it troubles me that in a moment of extreme vulnerability for both the woman and the baby that the violence of abortion is even discussed and debated as a possible good. How did our hearts become so hardened?" Watch full statement here

Diocese of Crookston

Diocese of Duluth

Diocese of New Ulm

Diocese of St. Cloud

Bishop Donald Kettler: “Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is good news for the protection and sacred dignity of human life. The right to life is one of our nation’s founding principles. It also is the first principle of Catholic social teaching. Every person is created in the image and likeness of God, and God loves every single human life.”

Diocese of Winona-Rochester

Bishop Robert Barron: “Friends, today is a time to rejoice as we celebrate the Supreme Court's decision to overturn 'Roe v. Wade,' a deeply unjust law that has resulted in over 60 million lost lives.”

Mississippi

Bishops of Mississippi: “Today, Lady Justice has turned her attention to the cry of the unborn child hidden in the refuge of his or her mother’s womb. Today, justice has not abandoned that unborn child and his or her capacity to feel pain, but there is still more work to be done. Together with many throughout our country, we join in prayer that states are now able to protect women and children from the injustice of abortion. The Catholic Church has had a vested interest in this matter – the dignity and sanctity of all human life.”

Diocese of Biloxi

Diocese of Jackson

Missouri

Missouri Catholic bishops: “The Missouri Catholic Conference welcomes the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The MCC has worked and prayed with other pro-life organizations for this day since the Court issued the Roe decision in 1973. With the return of the issue to the states, we know our work is not done.” Read full statement here

Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles

Archdiocese of St. Louis

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski: “Here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we will continue providing resources for women facing unexpected and difficult pregnancies, cherishing and protecting women and their children, so that they may both develop their full potential in this world and be happy with God forever in the next.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Jefferson City 

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight: “I welcome the decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, ending 50 years of our federal government defending the killing of the unborn. As I wrote recently, whenever we disregard the dignity of any class of human beings, we impoverish our own dignity and the bonds that hold our nation together suffer.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph 

Bishop James Johnston: “While we welcome this week’s good news for the value of human life, it is important to remember that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health does not put a universal end to abortion. Decisions about access to abortion now reside with our state governments. This Supreme Court decision does not change abortion access in the State of Missouri. The diocese stands ready to meet the increased demand for resources that may result with an renewed focus on alternatives to abortion.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Bishop Edward Rice: With the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v Wade and the return of the issue to the states, The Catholic Church stands ready to continue providing spiritual and material support to expectant mothers and their families through our parishes and ministries, and to advocate on their behalf and on behalf of their unborn children at the state and federal level. Read full statement here

Montana

Montana Catholic bishops: “Today’s decision is the result of prayers, sacrifices and advocacy of countless Americans from every walk of life. We join with them in gratitude for this moment and for their tireless work and witness over these past five decades.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

Diocese of Helena

Nebraska

Marion Miner, Associate Director of Pro-Life & Family Policy for the the Nebraska Bishops Conference: “We are overcome with joy at the arrival of this day, for which we have waited, worked, and prayed for 50 years.  Nebraska is once again free to protect preborn babies from the lethal violence of the abortion industry.  This is cause for rejoicing and is also a mandate to act.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Omaha

Archbishop George Lucas: “The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case is a major victory for unborn children, for their mothers and for the cause of justice in our country. Citizens and their elected representatives in each state will now have the opportunity to guarantee the right to life for the child in the womb.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Grand Island

Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt: “Today there is new hope for the unborn in this country. There is new hope for their mothers and fathers, that they might accept the amazing gift of life they have created. Today there is new hope for humanity, that each unborn person may be given the chance to enrich our lives with their unique gifts. Today the Supreme Court has taken an important step in bringing respect for all human life back to this country.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Lincoln

Bishop James Conley: “The fact that this decision was released on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is no coincidence. Our Lord has given us a great gift from the love of His most sacred heart. We now have to reach out to women and families who find themselves in difficult situations and love them with the heart of Jesus. We need to accompany them with our love and care, welcome them, walk with them and show them that life is good and they are not alone. Praised be Jesus Christ.” Read full statement here

Nevada

Diocese of Las Vegas

Diocese of Reno 

Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg: “Due to laws codified after Roe, abortion remains legal in the State of Nevada. Regardless of the legal status of abortion, the Church’s call to respect life remains unchanged. We must continue not only to speak out against abortion, but also to care for mothers who face unplanned or challenging pregnancies.” Read full statement here

New Hampshire

Diocese of Manchester

Bishop Peter Libasci: This historic decision comes down against the backdrop of extraordinary conflict and division in our nation and in our world. The Dobbs decision is the latest occasion that demands of us how we as Catholics, as Americans, and as human beings, will respond to the challenges of the present day. In times of great consequence, when decisions that are made carry with them the opportunity for some to assume victory and some to assume defeat, the mark of an evolved society will be the extent to which Prudence is invited, no, invoked and embraced to lead its citizens to the higher ground on which all are called to stand. As the scriptures remind us, ‘pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ (Prv 16:18)” Read full statement here

New Jersey

New Jersey Catholic bishops: “We the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey express our deepest gratitude for the United States Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health. This decision ends a very dark chapter in American history and now is the time for our nation to move forward to heal wounds and social divisions.” Read full statement here

Ruthenian Eparchy of Passaic

Syrian Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance in the United States 

Archdiocese of Newark

Cardinal Joseph Tobin: “The United States Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide recognizes that even the most helpless and dependent human beings have a right to life and possess inherent dignity and worth.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Camden

Diocese of Metuchen

Bishop James Checchio: “As Catholics who believe in the intrinsic dignity of life from conception to natural death regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status, we welcome the United States Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Paterson 

Bishop Kevin Sweeney: “That the Supreme Court has recognized that life begins at conception is an answer to prayer and is the beginning of a process of reclaiming our society’s respect for the fundamental dignity of every human person.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Trenton

Bishop David O’Connell: “For almost 50 years, pro-life Catholics and people of good will in the United States have prayed fervently, lobbied hard, participated in marches and raised their voices consistently that the fateful 1973 decision of the Supreme Court “Roe v. Wade” would be overturned.  Given the strident and unrelenting advocacy of those who have supported abortion over the years, it seemed an almost unreachable goal.  Today, that goal has been achieved.” Full statement here

New Mexico

Archdiocese of Santa Fe 

Archbishop John Wester: “​​This decision is the culmination of prayer and decades of legislative advocacy, life-affirming events, and walking with families facing an unplanned pregnancy. In New Mexico, we have worked hard to expand prenatal services through home visiting, secure access to universal pre-K, an increase in SNAP benefits (food stamps), and to advocate for the family tax credit. These policies help to support women and families in life-affirming ways. Yet, there are many more ways we as Catholics must support and walk with women and families in need.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Gallup

Bishop James Wall: “Today is a historic day in the history of our country.  The Supreme Court of the United States has correctly ruled in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which will in effect save countless babies in the wombs.  We have been praying for this wonderful news for a long time, and today our prayers have been answered.  Praise God!” Read full statement here

Diocese of Las Cruces

New York

New York bishops: “On this historic day, our gratitude extends to the millions of heroic Americans who have worked tirelessly toward this outcome for nearly a half-century. Women and men, children and adults, believers and non-believers, people of every culture and background have advocated for life. They have been a charitable and compelling voice for the voiceless, and today, their voice has been heard.” Read full statement here

Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn  

Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Saint Mary, Queen of Peace

Archdiocese of New York

Diocese of Albany

Diocese of Brooklyn

Bishop Robert Brennan: “Well, I think what [the Dobb's decision] does is it at least now allows us to have a conversation. So in a sense, at least in public debate, we were always shut down with 'this is decided' using the term 'abortion is a right'... had a lot of consequences. It also gave governments the ability to intrude into people who were pro-life; to force people to providing for things that their conscience they knew that were wrong. So this at least gives us the ability to talk about it. For the pro-life movement, we have a long way to go to change hearts and minds." Watch full interview here

Diocese of Buffalo

Diocese of Ogdensburg

Diocese of Rochester

Bishop Salvatore Matano: “By God’s Providence, as the United States Supreme Court today released their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I was with the Sisters of Life at their Motherhouse in New York preparing to celebrate Holy Mass for them for the Renewal of Vows of ten sisters; tomorrow I will celebrate Holy Mass for the First Procession of seven Sisters of Life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Rockville Centre

Bishop John Barres: “The overturning of Roe v. Wade rectifies a grave injustice that has resulted in the taking of more than sixty million preborn, innocent lives and caused an avalanche of devastation to families, the dignity of women, and our culture. However, this decision does not automatically set everything right—it returns to each state the opportunity to protect the lives of those not yet born.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Syracuse

North Carolina

Diocese of Charlotte

Bishop Peter Jugis: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling means the lives of countless unborn children will be saved from abortion, and for that we are profoundly thankful. The Catholic Church has always professed that every human life is a gift from God and holds inestimable value, and even with this step forward, our work to protect the dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death, continues.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Raleigh

Bishop Rafael Zarama: “The Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs case is a testament to the patience and perseverance of so many who have lifted their voices and prayers to protect the lives of the unborn. But our work is not done. Respect for life is not created only through laws, but through love.” Read full statement here

North Dakota

North Dakota bishops: “The North Dakota Catholic Conference rejoices that the United State Supreme Court has remedied a grave injustice that for too long prevented states from becoming sanctuaries for life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Bismarck

Diocese of Fargo

Ohio

Ohio bishops: “The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is a positive step toward a desperately needed conversion to a culture of life in our country, one that respects the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human being from conception to natural death.” Read full statement here

Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma

Romanian Eparchy of St. George's in Canton

Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr: “Today’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reverses the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, is a welcome and potential watershed moment in the history of the United States. This decision means that states, including Ohio, now have the option to legally protect the most vulnerable of all human beings: babies in the womb.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Cleveland

Bishop Edward Malesic: “​​I wholeheartedly applaud today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which reverses the grave injustice of 1973, when Roe v. Wade decided that a whole class of human beings, the preborn, are outside the protection of the law and had no constitutional right to life. Since that decision, more than 60 million innocent lives have been sadly ended. Now that Roe is overturned, states will again be able to protect the lives of preborn children and in doing so, also protect millions of women from the tragic consequences of abortion.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Columbus

Bishop Earl Fernandes: “We in the Diocese of Columbus are thankful for the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcare Organization.” Watch full statement here

Diocese of Steubenville

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton: “This decision has been sorely needed for several decades. Finally, respect due to expectant mothers has been affirmed. Continued prayer for progress for human dignity in our country is crucial.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Toledo

Bishop Daniel Thomas: “This historic moment moves us a step closer to establishing a culture of life where every life is valued, where the dignity of every person born and pre-born is respected, and where each human person is treasured as created in the image and likeness of God.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Youngstown

Bishop David Bonnar: “The dignity of the human person is the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching and as Catholics we are called to consistently protect and defend life. Today’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization is an opportunity to further a culture of life in our country.” Read full statement here

Oklahoma

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Archbishop Paul Coakley: “This is an historic day in the pro-life movement. The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a defining moment in our lifetime that fixes a legal and moral mistake, which led to decades of emotional distress, tremendous guilt, physical harm and infertility for women, and the unnecessary and cruel deaths of more than 63 million unborn babies who were denied their God-given potential because of poverty, fear or convenience. Women and children deserve better.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Tulsa

Bishop David Konderla: “Today is a momentous day to thank God for the gift of human life and for helping us to correct the errors that were made in the Roe v. Wade decision almost 50 years ago.” Read full statement here

Oregon

Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

Archbishop Alexander Sample: “Our goal has never been simply to make abortion illegal. Our goal is to make it unthinkable. Our battle to protect the most fragile and vulnerable of all human life, namely the unborn child, continues on the state level, including here in Oregon.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Baker

Bishop Liam Cary: "This extraordinary victory at the Supreme Court should spark even greater efforts to accompany women who bear the weight of difficult pregnancy with the compassionate care they deserve ... in Oregon Roe still rules, its spirit entrenched in legislation and administration, its strategically well-placed supporters determined to keep the deadly status quo in place." Read full statement here.

Pennsylvania

Ruthenian Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Archbishop Nelson Perez: “I am grateful to the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States for their willingness to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and for their opinion, which affirms the deep value inherent to every human life.­” Read full statement here

Diocese of Allentown

Bishop Alfred Schlert: “The past half century has consisted of dark days of human and judicial error that manipulated the Constitution to allow humans to play the role of the Creator and the arbiter of who deserves to live. I commend the justices for their courageous willingness to reexamine the right to terminate a life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

Bishop Mark Bartchak: “The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has not settled the national debate over the issue of abortion. Catholic teaching is clear when it comes to upholding the sanctity of every life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. The Church always stands in defense of the unborn, but our pro-life commitment does not end there.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Erie

Bishop Lawrence Persico: “The Catholic Church has long emphasized its commitment to respecting life from conception through natural death. While Dobbs v. Jackson is an important ruling, we acknowledge there are many complexities involved with unexpected pregnancies and recognize this is a challenging moment for all Americans. It is our hope we can play a role in healing and unity.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Greensburg

Bishop Larry Kulick: “By now, you have heard that a decision has been rendered by the United States Supreme Court on the Dobbs v. Jackson Health case, on a six to three vote, overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which allowed abortions without restriction. For nearly 50 years, parishioners from our Diocese, joining with the faithful all across the country, have prayed, marched for life in Washington, DC and in Harrisburg, and have used their voices to defend the rights of the unborn. As Catholics, we can rejoice that our prayers have been answered with this decision.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Harrisburg

Bishop Ronald Gainer: “Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is an important step in furthering the protection of the most vulnerable, infants in the womb. As a pro-life Church, not only do we support parents facing an unplanned or difficult pregnancy, we also continue our efforts to support the needs of the elderly, the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the refugee and immigrant, and those who have been marginalized.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik: “Those of us who have worked and prayed to protect unborn children are profoundly grateful that the Supreme Court of the United States has determined that there is not a constitutional right for abortion. In response, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will continue to support and encourage legislation that protects unborn children.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Scranton

Bishop Joseph Bambera: “One of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church is that all human life is sacred – from the moment of conception until natural death – and it must be respected and protected. In its opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, issued on Friday, June 24, 2022, I am thankful that the majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have recognized and upheld the sanctity of human life.” Read full statement here

Rhode Island

Diocese of Providence

Bishop Thomas Tobin: “The Supreme Court decision means that individual states will now have the responsibility of addressing abortion in their own jurisdictions. Sadly, Rhode Island has adopted one of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation, a disgraceful law that permits abortion even until the moment of birth. Some consider this to be “settled law,” but a law that permits the termination of children, including viable infants, should not be settled at all. I plead with political leaders in Rhode Island to do the right thing – to revisit our abortion laws in a way that safeguards the sanctity of human life and eliminates the enormous harm caused by abortion – to unborn infants, to vulnerable women, to the minority community, and to the dignity and quality of life in our state.” Read full statement here

South Carolina

Diocese of Charleston

South Dakota

South Dakota bishops: “During nearly half a century of legalized abortion, approximately 64 million preborn girls and boys have perished in the United States, a number that should disturb the conscience of us as citizens of our beloved nation and as individuals. These brand-new lives, known and loved by God from the moment of their creation, were denied their right to life. But today we have taken a giant leap forward toward the ultimate goal of protecting each and every life from the beginning of its existence.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Rapid City

Bishop Peter Muhich: “Our work is not over. As those decisions flow back to our states and elected representatives, we must continue to labor for life. I am confident that this important step towards building a civilization of life will be followed up with our continued commitment to support mothers in need, their children, and the least among us. The enemy of the world will not be joyful about this. Do not be afraid of the noise that will ensue because of this decision but draw your hearts toward the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Sioux Falls

Tennessee

Tennessee bishops: “Together as the bishops of Tennessee, we thank the United States Supreme Court for its careful consideration of the constitutional issues surrounding abortion and express our encouragement that it has ruled in favor of the right to life for the unborn.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Knoxville

Diocese of Memphis

Diocese of Nashville

Texas

Texas bishops: “We celebrate with grateful hearts the historic decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade. The state of Texas will again have the ability to protect and defend children in the womb at all stages. We are grateful the Texas Legislature and Governor Greg Abbott have already passed a law prohibiting elective abortion, which will become effective 30 days after the final ruling is issued.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo: “Today’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health is a welcome and positive step toward creating a life-affirming society. It is a necessary step. Abortion is too often viewed as a positive good and a practice necessary to ensure women’s liberty.  Although this perspective is deeply flawed, it is a widespread belief which will take time and patience to overcome.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of San Antonio

Diocese of Amarillo

Diocese of Austin

Bishop Joe Vásquez: “While this decision places the issue of whether to permit elective abortions before each state legislature and does not prohibit abortion across the country, it is a major step in helping to save lives by protecting children in the womb.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Beaumont

Diocese of Brownsville 

Bishop Daniel Flores: “The Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade is a welcome step forward toward building a society that truly values and honors human life. Since 1973 the Catholic Church in the United States, together with many other religious and non-religious communities, has publicly expressed its opposition to the Roe v Wade decision. That decision was gravely unjust, and an unprecedented aggression against the life and dignity of the unborn child. It was sweeping in its effects, stripping away all previous legal protections for human life in the womb.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Corpus Christi

Diocese of Dallas

Bishop Edward Burns: “Recognizing both the laws of nature and God’s divine plan, we acknowledge that life begins at the moment of conception. At that moment of conception, the child has the right to be born, the child has the right to life. Since 1973, we have prayed and marched for the right to life. We are grateful that this day has come and give thanks to God for the gift of life. Let us continue to pray that all will come to acknowledge this sacred right to life.” Read full statement here

Diocese of El Paso

Bishop Mark Seitz: “Today’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade comes as a relief for many who are committed to the defense of all human life. Abortion is never the solution. Make no mistake, any time we can advance the defense of human dignity in our laws, we are making progress.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Fort Worth

Bishop Michael Olson: “While the Catholic Church in the United States, the faithful of the Diocese of Fort Worth, other men and women of good will, and I have prayed and worked diligently for this day to arrive, we must thank God and acknowledge that this decision does not end our work for unborn children and their mothers and fathers. We must be mindful that at the heart of our prayers and labor is not the changing of law but the conversion of hearts — including our own — towards greater gratitude, respect, and love for each human person.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Laredo

Bishop James Tamayo: “I am grateful that this decision has finally come and I call on all people who respect human life to join with us in working toward a world where each unborn child is safe from harm. We are all called to cherish and defend life as it is growing in the womb of the mother. We must protect life from the moment of conception to natural death.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Lubbock 

Diocese of San Angelo

Bishop Michael Sis: “From the moment of conception, a human being has the right to life. Therefore, I give thanks to God for the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade.” Read full statement here

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Diocese of Tyler

Bishop Joseph Strickland: “It is with great joy that we receive the news of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The overturn of Roe v. Wade is a tremendous step in the direction of upholding the dignity of the human person. We are grateful for all those who worked so diligently to make this a reality.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Victoria

Utah

Diocese of Salt Lake City

“The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City welcomes efforts to protect the dignity and sanctity of every life from conception to natural death.  We are grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes the human within in the womb, but we also recognize it is the responses of communities to women in need before, during and after pregnancy and the birth of a child that are the most important to building a culture of life.” Read full statement here

Vermont

Diocese of Burlington

Bishop Christopher Coyne: “I believe it is helpful for us as Catholics to ponder the mystery of Christ’s love in light of today’s ruling of the US Supreme Court which overturns Roe vs. Wade and to use that image as a means of forming our response amongst ourselves and in the greater community. While we can rightly applaud the decision of the Court, we must also be vigilant to avoid any language that will further inflame the present public response.” Read full statement here

Virginia

Diocese of Arlington

Bishop Michael Burbridge: “We thank God for this welcome decision. At the same time, we also know that the work of protecting unborn children and their parents from the tragedy of abortion is far from finished. This is one, key moment in what I pray will be a long line of subsequent life-affirming victories. There is much work to do to create laws and policies in Virginia and beyond that recognize the sanctity of every human life and that provide women and their babies the protection, care and resources necessary to flourish.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Richmond

Bishop Barry Knestout: “Today, I am gratified that our nation’s highest court has overturned the fundamentally unjust Roe v. Wade decision and restored to states the ability to protect the dignity and rights of the human person from the moment of conception. Every life – both mother and children – is sacred and immeasurably loved and valued by God. I pray that throughout our nation – including here in Virginia – lawmakers will open their hearts to the opportunities before them to protect unborn children, support women in crisis pregnancies and promote life-affirming alternatives to abortion.” Read full statement here

Washington

Washington bishops: ​​”We commend the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and give individual states the opportunity to enact laws that respect life. We welcome this opportunity to reduce the number of abortions in the United States and build a culture of life.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Seattle

Diocese of Spokane

Diocese of Yakima

West Virginia

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Bishop Mark Brennan: “The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston applauds the Supreme Court’s decision today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. While this decision will offer greater protection for the unborn in some parts of the country, we call upon Catholics throughout the diocese to continue to foster a genuine respect for all human life throughout our country.” Read full statement here

Wisconsin

Wisconsin bishops: “Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This decision corrects a tragic wrong in our federal jurisprudence that has permitted the killing of millions of innocent human beings. In Wisconsin alone, approximately 600,000 unique lives were taken, each created in God’s image and loved for all eternity. While relieved that an inhumane and unjust right to abortion has been struck down, we know well that many of Wisconsin’s pregnant and parenting women face grave challenges. It is for this reason that our prayers and our work to protect every human life must increase.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Archbishop Jerome Listecki: “As a Church that advances the Culture of Life and as members of a civil society, we welcome the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs case. While no doubt we all feel a renewed hope for the future, let us also remember that our struggle to preserve the sanctity of human life is only just beginning. Abortion laws now return to the individual states.  Our challenge is to continue to promote that human life begins at conception and needs to be protected at all times.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Green Bay

Bishop David Ricken: “While the announcement by the Supreme Court, is met with gratitude from all of us who have been dedicated to protecting the lives of children in the womb, we know that there is still much work to be done, so that all life, in every stage, might be reverenced and protected.” Read full statement here

Diocese of La Crosse

Bishop William Callahan: “We welcome today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, as we continue to proclaim a vision for our society that upholds the truth that every human life is sacred and inviolable—a society in which the legal protection of human life is joined to profound care for mothers and their children.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Madison

Bishop Donald Hying: “After nearly half a century of federal legalized abortion, more than 65 million precious lives lost, and countless others enduring profound pain and suffering in the aftermath, today’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision effectively returns the question of abortion to the states, and is a long-awaited answer to decades of prayer and sacrifice by millions in our country. It offers us great hope for a deeper flourishing of human dignity. Many fewer lives will be lost to the grave injustice of abortion, which is the deliberate and direct killing of a human being, and a culture of life can begin to take root where it was previously not possible.” Read full statement here

Diocese of Superior

Wyoming

Diocese of Cheyenne

Bishop Steven Biegler: "The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, which overturns Roe v. Wade, a law that has been in place for nearly fifty years, places the legality of abortion in the hands of each state. Wyoming is among 13 states with trigger bans in place ... The Supreme Court ruling is bound to stir the emotions and fears of many people—whether pro- life or pro-abortion, but now is the time for all people of good will to engage in reasonable discourse and decision making. We also must encourage all people, including our state legislators, to advocate for services that will support families and accompany women experiencing unplanned pregnancies by providing resources and assistance so that children will be welcomed into the world with love and provided essential care that all human persons deserve." Read full statement here.

District of Columbia

Archdiocese of Washington

Cardinal Wilton Gregory: “We rejoice in this latest step in our journey, but our work is not done. Locally and nationally, we still have more to do to advance the dignity of human life and to make sure that the full range of life issues are adequately addressed. This includes supporting pregnant women in making life-affirming choices, providing better availability of prenatal and postnatal care for children and their mothers, advocating for affordable child care and safe schools, and advancing policies that support mothers in school and in the workforce. We must also recognize that a life-affirming ethic should also draw attention to a host of other areas that should be of great concern to humanity. This includes revoking the death penalty and caring for the imprisoned; addressing all forms of injustice, including racism; caring for the poor, the sick, elderly, and vulnerable; and advancing a greater recognition of our calling in the entire spectrum of human relationships to be brothers and sisters to one another.” Read full statement here

Archdiocese for the Military Services U.S.A.

Historic Catholic church in West Virginia destroyed in suspected arson

The charred remains of St. Colman Catholic Church in Shady Spring, West Virginia, which was destroyed in a suspected arson attack on Sunday, June 26, 2022. / Courtesy of Beaver Volunteer Fire Department

Mansfield, Mass., Jun 27, 2022 / 09:22 am (CNA).

St. Colman Catholic Church, a historic church located in Raleigh County, West Virginia, burned to the ground in an apparent arson attack Sunday, according to the local volunteer fire department.

The small, white building was known as "The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain," and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original structure dates to 1877-1888, according to the register.

“On 6/26/2022 units from Beaver VFD were alerted to a structure fire at the Saint Colman Catholic Church on Irish Mountain Road in Shady Spring, WV,” the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department said in an online post.

Once the department arrived at the scene, the church had already burned to the ground and was “smoldering,” the post says. The post says the fire is considered “suspicious in nature.” The fire is being investigated as arson, the post says.

St. Colman's is located in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. CNA contacted the diocese for more information but no one was immediately available for comment Monday morning. 

St. Colman Catholic Church and Cemetery in Raleigh County, West Virginia, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known as "The Little Church on Irish Mountain.". National Register of Historic Places photo
St. Colman Catholic Church and Cemetery in Raleigh County, West Virginia, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known as "The Little Church on Irish Mountain.". National Register of Historic Places photo

The fire department is asking anyone with relevant information to contact West Virginia State Police Trooper D. Daniels at (304) 256-6700. Other points of contact are the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1 (800) 233-3473, Crime Stoppers of Raleigh County at 304-255-STOP, or www.crimestopperswv.com.”

This is a developing story.

Supreme Court sides with football coach in prayer case

Joseph Kennedy, the ex-high school football coach at the center of the Supreme Court prayer case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District / First Liberty Institute

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 27, 2022 / 08:43 am (CNA).

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Monday in favor of a high school football coach in a First Amendment case concerning his right to pray on the field.

Both sides of the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, argued that the case concerns religious freedom — with the ex-coach, Joseph Kennedy, emphasizing his right to religious freedom and his former employer, Bremerton High School, citing students’ religious freedom.

Kennedy, a Christian, lost his job as a public school football coach in Bremerton, Washington, for refusing to stop praying at the 50-yard line after games.

The court ruled that the school district breached Kennedy’s free exercise and free speech rights.

“Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment,” the court’s opinion by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch reads. “And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech.”

“The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination,” it continues.

Justices John G. Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Gorsuch in the opinion. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh also joined, except for one part (Part III–B). Thomas and Alito filed concurring, or agreeing, opinions. 

Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion. She was joined by Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. They argued that the other justices placed the religious freedom of the coach above that of his student players.

“Today’s decision is particularly misguided because it elevates the religious rights of a school official, who voluntarily accepted public employment and the limits that public employment entails, over those of his students, who are required to attend school and who this Court has long recognized are particularly vulnerable and deserving of protection,” the dissenting opinion reads. 

Kennedy's case dates back to 2015 when Bremerton High School placed him on administrative leave. The school did not renew his contract for the following season. Kennedy filed suit to vindicate his right “to act in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs by offering a brief, private prayer of thanksgiving at the conclusion of BHS football games," according to his brief.

The case centered on two questions: “(1) Whether a public-school employee who says a brief, quiet prayer by himself while at school and visible to students is engaged in government speech that lacks any First Amendment protection; and (2) whether, assuming that such religious expression is private and protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses, the establishment clause nevertheless compels public schools to prohibit it.”

In oral arguments before the court in April, Richard B. Katskee, a lawyer representing the Bremerton School District, argued that Kennedy’s actions as a coach pressured students to pray.

“No one doubts that public school employees can have quiet prayers by themselves at work even if students can see,” Katskee said. But Kennedy, he said, “insisted on audible prayers at the 50-yard line with students.”

The Bremerton School District’s brief complained that Kennedy prayed “while on duty” and claimed that the practice “could be coercive.” The district maintains that it tried to “accommodate” Kennedy by suggesting, among other things, that he pray in the press box away from the rest of the team. 

Paul D. Clement, Kennedy's attorney, disagreed.

“When Coach Kennedy took a knee at the midfield after games to say a brief prayer of thanks, his expression was entirely his own,” he said during oral arguments. “That private religious expression was doubly protected by the free exercise and free speech clauses.”

Both sides respond to court ruling

The Bremerton School District reacted to the Supreme Court's Monday ruling.

“In light of the court’s decision, we will work with our attorneys to make certain that the Bremerton School District remains a welcoming, inclusive environment for all students, their families and our staff,” it said in a press statement. “We look forward to moving past the distraction of this 7-year legal battle so that our school community can focus on what matters most: providing our children the best education possible.”

Kennedy likewise responded to the decision Monday.

“This is just so awesome,” he expressed in a press release. “All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I am incredibly grateful to the Supreme Court, my fantastic legal team, and everyone who has supported us. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle.”

This is a developing story.