Obama declared war on religious freedom.
The Church is fighting back.
For the first time in history the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has declared a Fortnight for Freedom in direct response to the attack on the Catholic Church and religious freedom by the Obama administration. The US bishops are asking the faithful to pray, say the Rosary, fast, sacrifice, take action and attend rallies in support of religious freedom. The Fortnight began on the Feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More–July 22–and will continue through July 4th.
Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, fired the opening shots on Sunday. This homily was posted by the Baltimore Archbishop on the US Bishop’s website.
We surely are not facing the dire brutality that confronted St. John Fisher,but our Church and her institutions do find themselves today in perilous waters. For embedded in the HHS mandate is a very narrow governmental definition of what constitutes a church; and if it is not removed, it is likely to spread throughout federal law.
In the HHS mandate, the federal government now defines a church as a body which hires mostly its own members and serves mostly its own members, and which exists primarily to advance its own teachings. In a word, so long as a church confines itself to the sacristy, then it is exempt from having to fund and facilitate in its health insurance plans government mandated services which are contrary to its own teachings. But if a church steps beyond the narrow confines of this definition by hiring those of other faiths and by serving the common good – then the government is telling us that such institutions aren’t religious enough, that they don’t deserve an exemption from funding and facilitating those things which violate the very teachings which inspired churches to establish their institutions in the first place.
Friends, we must never allow the government, –any government, at any time, of any party–to impose such a constrictive definition on our beloved Church or any church! Our Church was sent forth by the Lord teach and baptize all the nations. It was commissioned by our Savior to announce that the Kingdom of God is at hand. It was sent into the world to do the corporal works of love and mercy. Don’t we see this all around us – in inner-city Catholic schools, in Catholic hospitals, in the work of Catholic Charities so critical for the well being of local communities? “The Word of God cannot be chained,” St. Paul wrote to Timothy, and now it is up to us to defend the Church’s freedom to fulfill her mission to freely manifest the love of God by organized works of education and charity. This is why the Church has engaged the Administration so earnestly, this is why we are working for legislative protection from the Congress, this is why, thankfully, so many have filed lawsuits in various parts of the country, and this is why there is a Fortnight for Freedom—so that the Church would be free of that government interference which St. John Fisher warned against in the British Parliament in the 16th century!…
…If freedom is a system based on courage and if the motive of democracy is love, then let us strive in God’s grace, throughout this Fortnight and beyond, to be men and women of courageous love for the glory of God, for the good of the Church and for love of country.
Never has the Catholic Church organized a campaign quite like the Fortnight for Freedom.
This is unprecedented for the Catholic Church.
Churches across the United States announced the offensive on Sunday.
Locally, at the the parish I belong to in St. Louis, they spoke about religious freedom for the homily. Then the entire congregation stood and read this prayer aloud for religious freedom.
(And this is by no means a conservative Catholic parish.)
The Diocese of St. Louis is asking the faithful to pray, say the Rosary, fast, sacrifice and attend rallies in support of religious freedom.
We’ve never seen anything like this.
Obama declared war. He never expected this.
In the words of Joe Biden, “This is a big f-cking deal.”
More… Joe Blow added:
It shouldn’t be just the Catholics taking the stand against Obama’s attempt to stop religious freedom, it should be all Christians as well as Jews. I am afraid the American people do not understand how many of their freedoms are being done away with.
More… Granny Kate added:
I will not comply. Today, I am a Catholic. I am a Morman. I am a Jew. I am Spartacus. If we don’t hang together, we will surely hang separately.