May 10, 2022 // Bishop

Statement from Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades

The Upcoming Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs Case

 The draft opinion of the Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, leaked last week, has generated angry protests from those who oppose the reversal of Roe v. Wade. For us who are pro-life, the overturning of Roe v. Wade would be an answer to prayer, the correction of a Supreme Court decision 49 years ago that failed to protect the most basic human right, the right to life. In 1973, the U.S. bishops called the Roe v. Wade decision “erroneous, unjust, and immoral.” It was a tragic and sweeping 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 Roe v. Wade decision has also led to the further erosion of the value of human life, even the allowance for partial-birth abortion, near infanticide, as well as a diminishment of respect for the lives of other vulnerable people, including the disabled and the terminally ill, as seen in euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

With cautious optimism, we await the final ruling of the Supreme Court. Together with my brother bishops throughout the United States, I call upon the people of our diocese to be fervent in prayer during these weeks. For 49 years, we have prayed for a reversal of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision. We bishops also recommend fasting during this pivotal time in our nation. We stand ready to assist and accompany any woman or couple facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies. We are part of the USCCB’s “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative and continue to be committed to offering loving and compassionate care through our parishes and diocese, Catholic Charities, and our support of the Women’s Care Centers and other collaborators devoted to helping “Moms in Need.” 

Though we are hopeful for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, such a reversal will not end abortion in our nation. Permissive abortion laws will continue or increase in many states. Here in Indiana, we will need to continue to advocate for legislation to protect the unborn and to help their mothers. And we will need to continue to work for the evangelization of our culture since in many ways since Roe v. Wade, what St. John Paul II called “a culture of death” has grown and spread. We evangelize by proclaiming, living, and serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of life, the Gospel of love and mercy. We serve the good of society when we teach and educate and form consciences about the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition. We serve the Gospel of life when, motivated by love, we care for the poor, the marginalized, migrants and refugees, the elderly, the suffering, and all who need assistance.

I hope and pray that a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade will mark a new beginning in our nation. In the short term, it will undoubtedly elicit angry protests, as the leak of the draft opinion has. I pray that, in the long term, it will help to awaken the conscience of our nation to the sacredness of all human life. May the Lord strengthen us in our commitment to the Gospel of life! May He bless our nation with a new culture of love and solidarity, a culture that respects the dignity of every human person from the moment of conception until natural death!  

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