In Response of the SCOTUS Decision

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A Pastoral Letter of the Bishop and Prior General

June 24, 2022

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court marks the first time in its history that long
defined and protected rights and freedoms now have been removed and reversed.
Today’s ruling marks a dangerous precedent for other rights involving privacy
previously defined in the Fourteenth Amendment.
Today’s ruling also rails against the religious freedoms guaranteed in the First
Amendment of nongovernmental interference in the free exercise of religion. Our
church recognizes the preeminence of individual conscience in the deeply
complicated matters involving abortion. Today’s ruling takes away our church’s
right to exercise and practice that religious freedom.
We continue to hold that, on matters of abortion morality, life absolutely begins at
birth with the first breath of the new person. Before that, science, religious
traditions, and theology make it a matter of personal conscience. We will continue
to hold to this pastorally and as a matter of moral theology despite the court’s
attack on our church’s freedoms.
We hold an open invitation to other faith communities who hold a similar view to
find a way to defend together through collective witness or legal recourse our
rights under the constitution.
In God’s Name,

+Joseph Augustine Menna, AIHM
Bishop and Prior General
Order of Augustinians of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Diocese of St. Thomas of Villanova