OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
1150 Buffalo Road
Rochester, New York 14624
Statement from Bishop Matano regarding the Supreme Court Decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
June 24, 2022
By God’s Providence, as the United States Supreme Court today released their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I was with the Sisters of Life at their Motherhouse in New York preparing to celebrate Holy Mass for them for the Renewal of Vows of ten sisters; tomorrow I will celebrate Holy Mass for the First Profession of seven Sisters of Life. In addition to professing the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Sisters of this Community profess a fourth vow, to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. The Sisters pray and serve, counsel and support women in their decision for life and open their hearts to those who seek consolation and reconciliation for past serious decisions for which they now seek healing. The strong, visible, and prayerful witness of the Sisters of Life inspires all people to affirm the sacred dignity of all human life, from conception until natural death. I ask that all our parishes and diocesan charitable agencies renew and expand their services to women and children so that mothers can bring their children into this world with peace and tranquility and always knowing they are never abandoned. I join with my brother bishops of New York State in giving thanks to God for today’s decision as we continue to pray and work earnestly for a true culture of life to flourish not
only in our state but also all around the world, that the Divine Image in all human life is recognized, respected, and affirmed. (Cf. The following Statement by the Catholic Bishops of New York State). ‘We Give Thanks to God’ A statement on the Dobbs decision by the Catholic Bishops of New York State We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This just decision will save countless innocent children simply waiting to be born. On this historic day, our gratitude extends to the millions of heroic Americans who have worked tirelessly
toward this outcome for nearly a half-century. Women and men, children and adults, believers and nonbelievers, people of every culture and background have advocated for life. They have been a charitable and compelling voice for the voiceless, and today, their voice has been heard. As Catholics, we have prayed and fasted, held vigils, offered Masses, and peacefully witnessed in these last five decades. We have joined others in educating schoolchildren, opening pregnancy care centers, walking with mothers, offering post-abortion counseling, and marching, year after year, to the United States Supreme
Court to witness for life. Today, our voice has been heard.
With the entire pro-life community, we are overjoyed with this outcome of the Court. However, we acknowledge the wide range of emotions associated with this decision. We call on all Catholics and everyone who supports the right to life for unborn children to be charitable, even as we celebrate an important historical moment and an answer to a prayer.
We must remember that this is a judicial victory, not a cultural one. The culture remains deeply divided on the issue, which will be evidenced by the patchwork of state statutes pertaining to abortion across the country. To change the culture and build a culture of life, we need to enact family-friendly policies that welcome children, support mothers, cherish families and empower them to thrive. We outlined our vision for a prolife New York in our recent statement, available here, and we rededicate ourselves to helping every expectant mother to carry her baby to term. Building a culture of life is not solely the responsibility of the government or those heroic individuals working on the front lines, in crisis pregnancy centers and other ministries. All of us need to respect the dignity and sanctity of human life in everything we do: in how we treat our children, spouses and parents; in the way we behave in our place of work; in sum, how we live Jesus’ two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor. Love, charity and reverence for human life from the moment of conception through natural death – these will build and sustain a culture of life. Millions of Americans have worked tirelessly for almost 50 years towards this outcome. We thank them with every fiber of our being. Their vital work continues, and we commit ourselves to it.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger Bishop of Albany
Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan Bishop of Brooklyn Most Rev. Michael W. Fisher Bishop of Buffalo
Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley Bishop of Ogdensburg Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano Bishop of Rochester
Most Rev. John O. Barres Bishop of Rockville Centre Most Rev. Douglas J. Lucia Bishop of SyracuseJ