Bishops Kopacz and Kihneman issue joint statement on Dobbs ruling

Statement from Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz and Bishop Louis F. Kihneman on Supreme Court’s Ruling in Dobbs. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Today, Lady Justice has turned her attention to the cry of the unborn child hidden in the refuge of his or her mother’s womb. Today, justice has not abandoned that unborn child and his or her capacity to feel pain, but there is still more work to be done.

Together with many throughout our country, we join in prayer that states are now able to protect women and children from the injustice of abortion. The Catholic Church has had a vested interest in this matter – the dignity and sanctity of all human life.

The church has a long history of service to those who are most vulnerable and remains the largest private provider of social services in the United States. Through its charity agencies, and the independent efforts of its members, the Catholic Church is supporting all women in addition to the child in the womb.

The church will continue to accompany women and couples who are facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies and during the early years of parenthood, through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need.

With our brother bishops, we renew our commitment to preserving the dignity and sanctity of all human life by:

  • Ensuring our Catholic parishes are places of welcome for women facing challenging pregnancies or who find it difficult to care for their children after birth, so that any mother needing assistance will receive life-affirming support and be connected to appropriate programs and resources where she can get help.
  • Helping fellow Catholics recognize the needs of pregnant and parenting moms in their communities, enabling parishioners to know these mothers, to listen to them and to help them obtain the necessities of life for their families.
  • Being witnesses of love and life by expanding and improving the extensive network of comprehensive care including pregnancy help centers, and Catholic health care and social service agencies.
  • Increasing our advocacy for laws that ensure the right to life for the unborn and that no mother or family lacks the basic resources needed to care for their children, regardless of race, age, immigration status or any other factor.
  • Continuing to support and advocate for public policies and programs directed toward building up the common good and fostering integral human development, with a special concern for the needs of low-income families and immigrants.[1]

In all of these ways and more, the Catholic Church witnesses to the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death, and continues to work to build a culture of life in our nation.

Our respective dioceses continue to collaborate with organizations such as HerPlan, Pro-Life Mississippi and many others to bring vital services to support mothers and the unborn.

The community can immediately accompany women and couples who are facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies through the Walking with Moms in Need initiative in the Diocese of Jackson. For more information on how to get involved or offer support to women in need, please contact the Office of Family Ministry coordinator in the Diocese of Jackson at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org. In the Diocese of Biloxi, contact Deacon Jim Gunkel, director of the Office of Family Ministry and Family Life at jgunkel@biloxidiocese.org or Margaret Miller, coordinator of Walking with Moms at mrmiller@biloxidiocese.org.

Additionally, there are Catholic Charities Community Outreach Centers located in the Diocese of Biloxi in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Waveland and Pascagoula. These centers provide confidential pregnancy testing; Medicaid pregnancy confirmations; life-affirming options counseling; case management (including budgeting and goal setting); basic needs assistance; car seats and safe sleeping spaces for infants; diapers formula, clothing, blankets, socks, etc.; and representative payee services. The Diocese of Biloxi is also sharing the pro-life message through its Pro-Life Billboard initiative.

The Diocese of Biloxi will also be resuming adoptions and foster parenting services in the near future, complementing existing programs in the Diocese of Jackson that have provided those services through Catholic Charities, Inc. for over a half century.

Again, we are grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision but are also mindful that the battle to uphold the sanctity of life is an ongoing effort. Let us pray and continue to raise our voices both in our churches and in our communities in defense of human dignity and justice.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

For PDF of statement above CLICK HERE
[Click here for statement in Spanish]

For Supreme Court opinion CLICK HERE

1 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Statement of USCCB President and Bishop Chairmen in Advance of Supreme Court’s Ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization” March 21, 2022, https://www.usccb.org/news/2022/statement-usccb-president-and-bishop-chairman-advance-supreme-courts-ruling-dobbs-v

Birthright Baby Shower for Expectant Moms

Birthright Mom’s Day Baby Shower, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Holy Family parish in Jackson. Birthright is celebrating expectant mothers by giving away 100 baby gift bags. All are welcome to learn about the ways Birthright provides hope, friendship and support to women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant. Details: Email birthrightofjackson@gmail.com.

 

Biking for Babies

Biking for Babies will be coming through the state of Mississippi in July. Cheer them on in Natchez on July 11 and July 12 in Clinton.

This July, over 50 college students and young adults plan to cycle a combined 2,700 miles for the babies, women and families served by these pregnancy resource centers. Groups will leave from Green Bay, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio; Natchez, Miss.; and Holly, Colo., and converge in St. Louis, Mo., only five days later on July 17th.

“What’s noteworthy this year? This year brings much excitement as it promises to be our biggest year yet,” Executive Director Nikki Biese shares emphatically. “More missionaries than ever have signed up to ride for life, sporting a Biking for Babies jersey. This is the year we are looking to surpass $1,000,000 financially contributed to pregnancy resource centers in our twelve years of riding. Praise God!”

Biking for Babies is sending out the largest teams ever, and it is clear that young people are ready to answer the call for the least of us. They have tried this “throwaway culture” and found it wanting and dark. These young adults train for months, learning about their local pregnancy resource centers and sharing the details of the centers’ primary mission: to provide free support and resources to the women and families who are experiencing an unplanned, difficult, or at-risk pregnancy. Riding with Biking for Babies
means they will go the extra mile to love others and celebrate their dignity unconditionally.
Co-founder and Board Chairman Jimmy Becker once said, “God has gifted us with a vehicle, a voice and a place on the hill side to shine our light for all to see, to bring support to pregnancy resource centers and to remind those in crisis and living in fear that there is hope and they are loved. The life-saving stories heard from pregnancy resource centers will change the world. Biking for Babies provides an opportunity
to captivate, engage and inspire others to consider their role in renewing a culture of life.”

Our mission is vital, especially in this time when the dignity of life is challenged in our nation. In this time more than ever, women and men served by pregnancy resource centers need your support. Information on how you can get involved can be found on www.bikingforbabies.com, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also text “give” to (636) 303-1003.

We exist to bring light into the darkness of our culture; we exist to invite others into a life of action, to spread hope by our physical witness on the roads. If you see our teams on the road, be sure to say a prayer and cheer them on. Most of all, do not be afraid to be inspired into a life of action because renewing the culture is going to take all of us.

Mississippi Bishops praise abortion ban

March 25, 2019

Download statement HERE..
Statement in Espanol HERE..

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mississippi Bishops praise Abortion Ban
When the angel of the Lord declared unto Mary that she would conceive and bear a son, she did not hesitate to say ‘yes.’ What a wonderful world we would live in if every parent could feel free to echo that ‘yes’ when they learn of a new life in the womb.

We, the Catholic bishops of Mississippi, applaud the Legislature for passing and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant for signing into law the six-week abortion ban. This so-called heartbeat bill protects the tiniest and most vulnerable of our citizens.

We hope the courts will uphold this law and continue to pray for an end to abortion in our nation.

Knowing that many face pregnancy with fear; that many must overcome unbelievable obstacles and that the news of a new life can be overwhelming, we encourage women facing an unplanned pregnancy to seek support. There are organizations who can help you. Birthright statewide, ProLife Mississippi, the Center for Pregnancy Choices in the Jackson area; the Oxford Pregnancy Test Center; Life Choices Pregnancy Care Center in Columbus; Morning Star Pregnancy Care Centers in Harrison and Jackson Counties and St. Gerard Community Outreach in Waveland, just to name a few. The staff at these centers stands ready to accompany you from the fear of the unknown to the joy of new life.

Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Louis F. Kihneman, III                         Most Reverend Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop of Biloxi                                                             Bishop of Jackson