June 24, 2022
SUBJECT: Bishop Bonnar Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
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YOUNGSTOWN, OH – In response to today’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, and the Catholic Bishops in the State of Ohio have released a statement through the Catholic Conference of Ohio. The shared statement is attached. Additionally, Bishop Bonnar offers the following statement.
Statement from Bishop David J. 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.
In this historic moment, I call upon Catholics and all people of good will to respond with care and I join my brother Ohio bishops in embracing a broad vision where all people can flourish and contribute to the common good. In public policy, including here in Ohio, we expect to have the opportunity to now advocate for laws that legally protect the lives of those not yet born. At the same time, as people committed to life, we must also advocate for policies that can more effectively respond to the many realities that threaten life and human dignity: systemic poverty that affects women, children, and families in a profound way, the wide availability of assault weapons and the deeply rooted causes of violence in our culture, the mental health and addiction crises, an unjust system of capital punishment, the enduring scourge of racism, among many other pressing needs.
Faith communities have an important role in responding with care and practicing what Pope Francis calls the “art of accompaniment.” I join with U.S. Bishops throughout the country in encouraging all parishes to find new ways to accompany women, children, and families through the Walking with Moms in Need initiative. In the Diocese of Youngstown, Catholic Charities works with low-income families every day, providing assistance with food, housing, utilities and other basic needs, as well as linking them with services and resources to help them succeed as parents and work toward greater financial self-sufficiency.
While the Dobbs decision will no-doubt engender all kinds of reactions and response, it is important that we accompany by listening to one another, even in our disagreement. We must especially listen to women and families as they share their experiences and needs.