Statement of the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera,
Bishop of Scranton, on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

June 24, 2022

“One of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church is that all human life is sacred – from the moment of conception until natural death – and it must be respected and protected. In its opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, issued on Friday, June 24, 2022, I am thankful that the majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have recognized and upheld the sanctity of human life.

“For Catholics, respecting life, especially the unborn, is intrinsic to our identity as people of faith. While political and ideological divisions often drive us apart, we must remember that the Sacred Scriptures call us to be one, reverencing every life that comes into our world. It is critical to note, however, that valuing human life is not simply confined to life in the womb. We must never dismiss or ignore our responsibility to care for, protect and defend our brothers and sisters from other serious threats to human life, including poverty, racism and oppression.

“While already the largest private provider of social services in the United States, the Catholic Church must redouble its efforts and always stand ready to assist young women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies. Everyone in our Diocese and parishes should be familiar with ways to help mothers in difficult circumstances. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently launched its “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative to continue building relationships with community resources and make sure people in all parish communities know where to refer a pregnant woman in need.

“Our diocese is blessed to have many parishes filled with faithful people who regularly donate diapers, clothing, money and other resources to help expectant mothers each year. On the diocesan level, Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton provides educational, emotional and material support to expectant parents and operates Shepherd’s Maternity House in East Stroudsburg which provides housing, care and assistance for pregnant women and their newborn babies. Along with so many other community agencies and programs, including, but not limited to, Saint Joseph’s Center, Rachel’s Vineyard and the Pennsylvanians for Human Life, any mother needing assistance can receive life-affirming support.

“As we strive to build a true culture of life in our nation, the Gospel of Matthew reminds us that our welcome into God’s eternity will be determined by our willingness to reverence, respect and serve the most vulnerable among us in whom Christ is present: ‘Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me’” (Matthew 18:5).