America’s Roman Catholic bishops are asking the faithful to fast and pray on Friday to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
The bishops issued their call Tuesday after a week of roiling protests, disruptions of church services and vandalism over the leak of a draft opinion in the high court’s current case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
That appeal from Mississippi could reverse Roe and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that further codified abortion rules across the country.
“In the midst of current tensions, we invite Catholics around the country to join us in fasting and praying the Rosary on Friday, May 13, the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima,” the bishops’ statement read.
The Catholic leaders said prayers should be offered, “For our nation, for the integrity of our judicial system, and that all branches of government be dedicated to seeking the common good and protecting the dignity and rights of the human person, from conception to natural death.”
The bishops also asked for prayer to convert “the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion,” as well as for “a new commitment to building an America where children are welcomed, cherished, and cared for” in a society where parents “are encouraged and strengthened.”
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Prayer is also sought for a culture “where marriage and the family are recognized and supported as the true foundations of a healthy and flourishing society,” the bishops’ statement said.
The leaders also asked Catholics to pray for “Our Blessed Mother’s intercession and guidance as the Church continues to walk with mothers and families in need, and continues to promote alternatives to abortion, and seeks to create a culture of life.”
In December 2021, the Pew Research Center said 21% of U.S. adults describe themselves as Catholic.
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