Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged U.S. politicians to denounce what they described as the "alarming rate" of vandalism against Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore released a statement Monday noting that attacks and vandalism against Catholic churches have been increasing for the past two years and that they first called on elected officials to condemn such attacks in 2021.
Since the leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, they observed that the attacks have become almost daily and the lives of justices have been threatened.
"This past January, we prayed that all religious communities would be free to worship without fear. Only rarely have the motives been clear; when they were, it was often opposition to the Church’s teachings on life in the womb," the clergymen wrote.
Dolan, who serves as the chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Religious Liberty, and Lori, the chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, explained that since the leaked Court opinion "charities that support pregnant mothers in need have been firebombed, and pro-life organizations have been attacked almost daily and terrorized, and even the lives of Supreme Court justices have been directly threatened."
"In light of this, we urge our elected officials to take a strong stand against this violence, and our law enforcement authorities to increase their vigilance in protecting those who are in increased danger. We thank those who have already done so, and we encourage them to continue," they added.
Dolan and Lori also lauded the Catholic Church's "long history of service to those who are most vulnerable, including both mother and child," and said it "remains the largest provider of social services in the United States."
"The Church consistently bears witness in word and deed to the beauty and dignity of every human life," they said. "Above all, each of us must choose the path of peace and open our hearts to the love that God has for his children. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, touch our hearts and make them like your own."
Six weeks ago, Politico published a leaked draft opinion indicating that a majority of the Supreme Court justices supported reversing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. A final decision is anticipated later in June.