President Biden is facing calls from Catholic organizations to stand up for churches as they gird for pro-choice protests at Sunday Mass on Mother’s Day.
Mr. Biden, who is Catholic, so far has remained mum.
Several liberal groups planned to descend on Catholic churches to demonstrate against the anticipated Supreme Court ruling striking down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a constitutionally protected right.
“It is religious bigotry of the worst kind. It is also against the law,” Mr. Burchsaid in a statement. “Yet these threats to the safety of Catholic pastors and parishioners have been met with a stunning silence from our Catholic President. Silence is not an option. President Biden must make clear that the targeting of Catholic churches is indefensible and against the law.”
In addition, Mr. Burch urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring the authority of the Justice Department to bear by alerting U.S. attorneys and reminding them of “the law and their duty to enforce it.”
“Further, Attorney General Merrick Garland must make clear that acting on these plans would constitute a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and will be punished to the full extent of the law,” Mr. Burch said.
The American Life League, a Catholic pro-life group, tweeted Friday, “Joe Biden claims to be a practicing Catholic. Therefore he ought to explicitly condemn any threats, intimidation, or disruption of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
Catholic League President Bill Donohue warned that a “left-wing fascist group, Ruth Sent Us, is asking its followers to crash Catholic churches on Mother’s Day.”
“We will press the authorities to prosecute any attack on a Catholic Church as a hate crime,” Mr. Donohue said in a statement. “These thugs need to be stopped in their tracks. If President Biden does not address this issue, he is aiding and abetting anti-Catholicism.”
The Washington Times reached out to the White House for comment.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday declined to denounce plans to hold demonstrations at the justices’ homes and church services.
“Our view here is that peaceful protest — there is a long history in the United States of that — and we certainly encourage people to keep it peaceful and not result in any level of violence,” she said.
The pro-choice group Ruth Sent Us posted a video on TikTok showing activists in red costumes from “The Handmaid’s Tale” interrupting a Catholic Mass, and urged followers to show up at churches starting Sunday.
“Who’s up for a church protest May 8-14?” says the video message.
The group Rise Up for Abortion Rights posted a protest schedule for the May 8-14 “Week of Action” that listed Sunday’s activity as “Rally outside of churches.”
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth urged its parishioners to be “intentionally aware” in light of the “numerous and public calls recently by abortion activist groups to organize disruptions at Catholic Masses across the nation in response to the leaked decision from the Supreme Court regarding Roe v. Wade.”
“These groups are calling for people to dress in costume, carry signs and record their protests while attempting to enter churches in order to cause disruption and provocation,” said the statement. “All of us must remain peaceful, prayerful, and recollected.”
At least one church has already been hit. The Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder, Colorado, was defaced Tuesday night with spray-painted pro-abortion messages such as “my body, my choice.”
Ruth Sent Us also posted the addresses of the six conservative Supreme Court justices, prompting a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, and Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, to provide around-the-clock security for the jurists.
“Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice,’ ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe,” Ruth Sent Us tweeted on Tuesday. “Stand at or in a local Catholic Church on Sun May 8. #WarOnWomen #MothersDayStrike.”
Ruth Sent Us is named after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a supporter of legal abortion, although commentators have pointed out that the justice was openly critical of the legal reasoning used in Roe v. Wade.
CatholicVote tweeted Friday that some dioceses across the nation were being contacted by police to offer unmarked cars at Sunday Mass.
“No religious believer in America should fear for their safety while attending church this Sunday, or any day,” Mr. Burch said. “We once again call on all responsible leaders in Washington to condemn and stop these dangerous threats before they result in violence.”
“If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Mr. Biden said in a Tuesday statement. “And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”
Reporting by The Washington Times.