- May 13, 2021
A group of religious leaders is condemning a Missouri bill to permit people to carry concealed firearms in church without permission from clergy, with St. Louis’s Catholic archbishop threatening to sue if the bill is signed into law.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said that while “acknowledging the hurt and anger, [the people of St. Louis] must not fuel the fires of hatred and division” in the wake of the acquittal of a white former police officer accused of murdering a black suspect. Carlson said, “We must work together for a better, stronger, safer community, one founded upon respect for each other, and one in which we see our neighbor as another self.”
A new ordinance in St. Louis, enacted in February, bars employers from hiring or firing people based on whether they have had an abortion, get pregnant outside of marriage, or use contraceptives or artificial insemination. Although the law doesn’t apply to religious organizations such as churches, experts say it would still prevent the Church from hiring only teachers who support Catholic teachings on abortion.
Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis issued a statement Tuesday urging aldermen to defeat a bill that would add “reproductive health decisions” to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which he warned could make it a “sanctuary city for abortion.”
As enrollment at St. Louis-area Catholic schools has dropped significantly in recent years, Archbishop Robert Carlson has decided to close John F. Kennedy Catholic High School five years after visiting it to launch a campaign to keep the city’s Catholic schools afloat.