New York Bishops Re-Engage in Pro-Life Outreach and Ask All Catholics to Join Them

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The bishops of New York who lead the Catholic dioceses in the state are shown clockwise from top left: Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Center; Bishop Michael W. Fisher of Buffalo; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Bishop Terry R. LaValley of Ogdensburg; Bishop Douglas J. Lucia of Syracuse; Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn; Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester; and Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany. (Photo: CDS composite)

ALBANY, NY (CNS) — The Catholic bishops of New York state said May 12 that regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade in his final decision on the Mississippi Dobbs case, “Abortion in New York would continue unfettered.”

Catholics must respond “in charity and sensitivity, but with clarity” to those for whom the prospect of a reversal of Roe v. Wade led to “fear and anxiety,” particularly to women facing the sometimes overwhelming challenges of unplanned pregnancies, they mentioned.

The bishops made the comments in a major statement titled “Towards a pro-life future in the Empire State.”

A press release said the bishops are “addressing head-on the false notion that the church is more concerned with the baby in the womb than with the mother and the child once it is born.”

“It is incumbent on us as shepherds to recognize and correct this misperception,” the bishops said.

“As early as the 1980s, the late John Cardinal O’Connor, a giant of the pro-life movement, made a promise that we reaffirm today: every woman, regardless of age, religious belief or affiliation, marital or immigration status – who is pregnant and in need can come to the Catholic Church and we will provide you with the services and support you need to carry your baby to term, regardless of your ability to pay,” the bishops said.

“We will not abandon you and your baby after delivery, but rather ensure that you have the resources you and your child need and deserve. No one will be denied essential life-saving care. life,” they continued. “If you’ve had an abortion you regret, whether recently or in the distant past, come to us as well, so we can offer you services to help you heal.

They also announced “a renewed pastoral effort” to help needy pregnant women and families expecting a new child who are struggling financially.

“We call on every Catholic parish, every Catholic charities program, every Catholic health care facility, every Catholic school, every Catholic college and university, and every religious community in our state to make a meaningful commitment. proactively with us in this pastoral effort,” the Bishops said.

They are “challenging every Catholic entity in the state to join them” in this effort. Through the New York State Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in the state, the Bishops have compiled a list of many resources available at www.nyscatholic.org/HelpForMoms .

The website also has a map of all Catholic parishes, schools and Catholic charities in the state – www.nyscatholic.org/places.

The bishops also said state and local governments “must also do their part.”

“Elected officials are constantly going wild in a rush to announce new initiatives to further expand abortion in order to garner votes,” they said.

“Support programs for women who choose to keep their babies, to the extent that they exist, are underfunded and not well promoted,” they said. “Yet many political leaders tend to go more to abortion providers and advocates than to women who might well make a different choice, if only they knew about it and had other options.”

The declaration was signed by: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Bishops Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany, Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, Michael W. Fisher of Buffalo, Terry R. LaValley of Ogdensburg, Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester, John O. Barres of Rockville Center and Douglas J. Lucia of Syracuse.

It was published in light of “growing social unrest over the issue of abortion”, particularly after a first draft Supreme Court opinion leaked on May 2 said the High Court was on about to overturn its Roe v. Wade, returned 50 years ago. abortion legalized across the country.

The court should also reverse its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, who upheld Roe and banned regulations that created an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

If the final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overrules Roe and Casey, abortion issue would be referred to states. Judge Samuel Alito writes the majority opinion.

“Over the years, advocates of legal abortion have skillfully framed the narrative as one of ‘choice’ and ‘reproductive freedom’, completely ignoring the biological reality of what abortion is: the intentional killing of ‘an innocent child in the womb,’ the bishops said. mentioned.

“Even though ultrasound technology and advances in neonatal medicine clearly show us the truth that what is ‘interrupted’ is human life, the pro-abortion movement refuses to take on the science.”

The message from the abortion industry “has been so successful” that “the right to abortion has become inextricably linked to the notion of women’s rights and equality for a significant part of the country, it is why the prospect of a nation without Roe has caused fear and anxiety for many people,” they continued.

“Millions of our fellow Americans – even, it must be said, many of our fellow Catholics – have succumbed to this misconception, and we must respond with charity and sensitivity, but with clarity.”

“The fears and anxieties of a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy are valid,” they said. “She’s probably terrified. She may be overwhelmed with a plethora of legitimate questions: How will she support her other children with another baby on the way? Will the father abandon her? Will she be able to continue her studies? Where will they and their family live? Who will take care of the children when she returns to work? For many, abortion seems the only way out.

“These feelings are real and the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy are difficult. This represents a pastoral challenge for bishops, clergy, church leaders and, indeed, for all Catholic faithful,” they said. .

In a 12-point section at the end of the statement, the bishops lay out their vision of a New York State where all work together across all sectors to do more for expectant mothers and families in need so that no woman in pregnancy crisis is never made “to feel that she has no choice but to abort”.

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