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Reflections on the Dobbs Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, overturning Roe vs. Wade

June 24, 2022

By Most Reverend Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although the decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade would have been welcome any day, it is significant that it occurred on this day on which we honor the ardent love of Jesus for all his people. For fifty years, we have been living with a legal decision based on a manufactured right that was never in the United States Constitution, and we thank God that the truth that the Constitution grants no such right has finally been affirmed. An Australian bishop recently remarked that for a country to admit it had made a wrong decision was largely the result of many people – especially the Catholic Church – insisting persistently on the truth that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being and is never justified. It was the Body of Christ, nourished by the Sacred Heart, that kept this message alive even when it seemed to be completely dead. I thank God for all the women and men who worked so hard and so patiently these past fifty years to bring the matter to the legal resolution announced today. I am particularly grateful to all the people in our own diocese and state who have never given up hope that this day would come. I invite all to praise God for bringing this landmark decision to fruition!

At the same time, the Supreme Court did not outlaw abortion, but only stated that the United States Constitution does not grant it as a right. It ruled that the states may now decide whether to enact laws that will restrict or prohibit – or allow – abortions in their own territories. Since Hawaii instituted permissive abortion laws before Roe vs. Wade, it is unlikely that today’s Supreme Court decision will have any immediate legal effect on the availability of abortions in our State. Nevertheless, we continue to put our trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who assured us that we can move mountains with a mustard seed of faith. So we continue our struggle against abortion, celebrating this victory, but staying the course toward full recognition of the right to life of all the unborn. We pledge to help women in crisis pregnancies so that they do not feel alone or afraid to bring their precious babies into the world. And we continue our prayers so that one day there will simply be no market for abortion, because all will recognize the precious infant in the womb as worthy of dignity and endowed by the Creator – not by any law -- with the right to life.

Finally, I want to thank Deacon Gary & Val Streff, our diocesan pro-life, for all the wonderful work they have done to create a culture of life in our diocese and for providing resources available to any woman who needs help to keep her baby or to allow her baby to be adopted by loving parents.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

View Bishop' Silva statement as PDF document HERE.