As the pro-life movement eagerly awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that could lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned, U.S. bishops have joined with faith leaders from across the country to lead Christians in prayer for an end to abortion in the United States.
“We’re at this pivotal moment,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, stressed, regarding the imperative to pray and fast for a positive Supreme Court outcome. “It’s really important for we Catholics to pray more, to intercede more for the judges, but also for ourselves, that we can be this society that really reverences the human person.”
The “Pray for Dobbs” campaign, an ecumenical initiative the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops helped organize, features a monthly prayer call and resources for parishes and faith communities.
Archbishop Naumann, who participated in the launch of the campaign in the fall, said it’s important to remember that “prayer has to be the foundation of everything we do and that all of our efforts, important as they might be, are not going to be as fruitful if we’re not praying and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us.” He pointed to the example of Jesus in the Gospels “frequently going off to a place of solitude to be able to pray for his own fulfilling of the mission that the Father entrusted to him.”
In the case of praying for the overturning of Roe in the Dobbs case, he said that “our prayer is intercessory; we’re asking the Lord to help us in specific ways, but prayer is best described as a conversation between ourselves and God, so we’re also listening in our prayer to what the Lord is calling us to do, and we know that intercessory prayer is powerful….”
Archbishop Naumann also cited Jesus telling the disciples in the Gospels that some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. “Fasting is an important part of praying,” he said. “When we fast, part of what we’re doing is we’re giving up something that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we’re making this sacrifice, which in itself becomes an intercessory prayer. It also creates space in our life; and some of the things that we turn to for comfort instead of God, fasting opens up those spaces in our life to turn towards the Lord….”
Adam Greenway, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, told the Register that, as part of the campaign, he has spread awareness of the importance of praying for the outcome of the Dobbs case in his campus community and beyond. He said that coming together with Christians of other faith backgrounds to pray for the outcome of the case made sense because “whatever doctrinal differences there may be on various aspects of theology, upholding a strong conviction as to the sacredness of life, a sanctity of life, particularly that of the unborn, is something that really is fairly self-evident….”
The above comes from an April 4 story in the National Catholic Register.