Senior editor at the American Conservative Rod Dreher wrote Friday that a “trusted source” informed him the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has notified Catholic bishops there are credible threats to the safety of Catholic clergy and churches should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and return issues about abortion to the states.
“Violence has been called for beginning the night such a decision is handed down,” the source reportedly told Dreher, who commented:
This does not surprise me. Catholics and their allies should prepare to stand guard around their churches on that night and the nights to follow. It won’t only be Catholic churches at threat, I’m sure — conservative Evangelical churches will be too — but to their great honor, the Catholic parishes will be the most obvious targets.
“They were in Poland a year or so ago, when the country’s highest court approved a near-total ban on abortion,” he noted.
DHS released a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin Tuesday regarding the continued ”heightened threat environment” across the United States.
The bulletin addresses the issue of the case before the Supreme Court that could ultimately allow individual states to decide on abortion access, but does not specifically mention the acts of aggression by pro-abortion activists against Catholic and conservative evangelical churches:
Given a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case about abortion rights, individuals who advocate both for and against abortion have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies.
“As recent acts of violence in communities across the country have so tragically demonstrated, the nation remains in a heightened threat environment, and we expect that environment will become more dynamic in the coming months,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a press statement.
DHS states that, “in the coming months” it “expects the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets.”
”These targets could include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, schools, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents,” the agency continued, adding:
Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence due to factors such as personal grievances, reactions to current events, and adherence to violent extremist ideologies, including racially or ethnically motivated or anti-government/anti-authority violent extremism. Foreign adversaries—including terrorist organizations and nation state adversaries—also remain intent on exploiting the threat environment to promote or inspire violence, sow discord, or undermine U.S. democratic institutions. DHS continues to assess that the primary threat of mass casualty violence in the United States stems from lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances.
The department guides visitors to its website of “faith-based community resources” to help develop a safety plan for houses of worship.
Pro-Abortion Protesters Mob Catholic Pro-Life Procession https://t.co/NoNYguowKR
— National Review (@NRO) June 5, 2022
In New York over the weekend, Catholic parishioners participating in an archdiocesan-sponsored “Witness for Life” procession were physically accosted by pro-abortion activists at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on Mott Street, National Review reported.
About 100 pro-abortion activists organized by “New York City for Abortions Rights” and “Democratic Socialists of America” surrounded the doors of the church, attempting to block the pro-life procession from exiting the church to begin its procession, during which participants pray the rosary and sing hymns as they walk.
BREAKING @lakewoodchurch service disrupted by @tx4abortion activists determined to STOP SCOTUS from taking away abortion rights declared ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!
As they were removed they chanted MY BODY MY CHOICE!
Overturn Roe? Hell No! https://t.co/Y0oCPlHcsr pic.twitter.com/aTvGfwthlB
— Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (@riseup4abortion) June 5, 2022
The New York Post reported Tuesday three pro-abortion activists created a disturbance at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s Sunday service in Texas by stripping down to their underwear and shouting statements such as, “It’s my body, my f***ing choice,” and “Overturn Roe, hell no.”
Equating the actions of pro-life Christians who pray in front of abortion clinics to abortion activists creating disturbances at private homes and churches, one protester said, “Christians are not afraid to bother us at healthcare clinics, at doctors’ offices [where we’re] trying to get essential health care, so why the f**k wouldn’t we bother you in your own home where the laws are coming from?”
— TX4ABORTION (@tx4abortion) June 5, 2022
In the days since the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in the case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, many prominent Catholic Democrats have been silent on the threats and aggressive campaigns against Catholic churches.
Fox News reported the offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Kelly, Joe Manchin, Ed Markey, Dick Durbin, Representatives Tim Ryan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rosa DeLauro, Kathleen Rice, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not respond to requests for comments about the threats.
Pelosi, however, actually released a statement that praised the pro-abortion activists for expressing “righteous anger” toward the Supreme Court regarding the leaked draft opinion.
“While we have seen and heard extraordinary anguish in our communities,” Pelosi said, “we have been moved by how so many have channeled their righteous anger into meaningful action: planning to march and mobilize to make their voices heard.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), however, condemned the threats against Catholic churches.
“The far-left’s continued, unhinged actions vandalizing places of worship and terrorizing the homes of Supreme Court justices and their families in an attempt to obstruct justice should be fully condemned,” Stefanik told Fox News. “I have faith that, even in the face of such reckless intimidation and obstruction, justice will prevail and uphold the rights of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]