Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Praised be Jesus Christ!
The day for which we have fervently prayed and sacrificed for a half-century has arrived!
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that there is no federally protected constitutional right to an abortion. While we rejoice at this decision, we recall and mourn the 60 million procured abortions in our Nation in the last 50 years. We beg God to forgive us for this national scourge of sin that has been permitted for so long. We repent of the human and judicial arrogance that manipulated the Constitution to allow humans to play the role of the Creator and the arbiter of who deserves to live.
While the media has relentlessly proclaimed that this is the end of abortion, sadly, it is not. The Supreme Court Dobbs decision has only ruled on the federal level. The question of legalized abortion is now returned to each state to decide if, and under what conditions, abortion should be allowed. Unfortunately, there will be much work to be done if abortion is to be outlawed in Pennsylvania. The pro-abortion lobby is very powerful in Pennsylvania and has great sway over many legislators. As a result, our prayers, our advocacy for life, and our legislative involvement must continue.
We also must remain very vigilant as a dangerous time is now upon us. Satan, the Evil One, has been dealt a setback, and he will not accept this defeat. We must be ready for acts of violence and terrorism against our Catholic beliefs, institutions, and properties. We will not shrink from this danger, as we ask Saint Michael the Archangel to protect us.
Often, it said that the Church fights against abortion, but does nothing to help the mother and child after birth. This is completely inaccurate. Every day in the Diocese of Allentown, Catholic Charities, parishes, volunteers, and advocates help women who are facing the decision of keeping their child, and provide women and children in need with material assistance, counseling, and medical care. We also provide counseling and spiritual healing to women and men who are themselves wounded by the decision to abort their child. To all those who have chosen abortion, please know that the Church does not oppose you; it opposes the act of abortion. If you have had an abortion in the past which has not been addressed in Confession, please approach the Sacrament of Penance where you will find a compassionate priest who is empowered by me to forgive the sin of abortion. Please come and release your burden and be embraced by the love and forgiveness of Jesus through the ministry of the Church.
In these days, we ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and Saint Gianna Molla, Patron Saint of mothers, pediatricians, and unborn children, to guide us in the way of truth and charity to continue our work in the defense of life.
Invoking God’s blessing upon you and your families, I am
Devotedly yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert
Bishop of Allentown
(Bishop Schlert also issued a public statement on the Supreme Court decision, which can be read here.)