US bishops urge fasting and prayer in response to pro-abortion threats

In response to threats of violence from pro-abortion activists, the U.S. bishops' conference is inviting Catholics around the country to join in fasting and praying the rosary on Friday, May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the conference, urged Catholics to pray for the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion, as well as for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Lori and Gomez also encouraged prayer for "a new commitment to building an America where children are welcomed, cherished, and cared for; where mothers and fathers are encouraged and strengthened; and where marriage and the family are recognized and supported as the true foundations of a healthy and flourishing society."

The bishops also urged prayers for the United States, "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."

Finally, Lori and Gomez asked 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."

Those in favor of legal abortion have staged demonstrations following the May 2 revelation of a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court, suggesting that the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

If the court's final ruling does overturn Roe and Casey, the question of abortion legalization will return to the states, and more than a dozen states will largely curtail abortion, or outlaw it altogether.

There have been threats of violence from some online figures, including the group Ruth Sent Us, which threatened to disrupt Catholic Masses on Mother's Day and to "burn the Eucharist."

Large-scale Mass disruption and property damage has not materialized, though there have been several instances of vandalism and attempted arson reported throughout the country at parishes and at pro-life pregnancy centers, and protestors did disrupt at least two Masses last weekend at the cathedrals of New York City and Los Angeles.