Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Serious about our religious liberty

I am sure all of you have been reading or hearing on the news about the US Department of Human Services mandate (HHS mandate) that would require all Catholic entities including universities, hospitals, schools, and agencies to provide insurance coverage for contraception, abortion, sterilization and abortifacient drugs for their employees.  As you know, the teaching of the Catholic Church says that all human life is sacred and the Church CANNOT in conscience pay for drugs and medical procedures that would destroy human life.  The Obama Administration has refused to rescind the mandate and says that employers who fail to provide this coverage will be fined large sums of money. 

The mandate seriously violates the consciences of Catholics and other Christians and is a great threat to our religious freedom.  More than 47 lawsuits have been filed in 12 jurisdictions asking that the Court order the repeal of this mandate and protect the freedom of conscience of this country's citizens.    This matter is very serious.  As a result the Bishops of our Country have called upon all Catholics to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom” – a two-week period of intense prayer and fasting asking God to intervene and secure the protections guaranteed by our Constitution.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a web-site with information and materials (e.g. prayers etc.)  regarding the Fortnight.  http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/index.cfm 
Also check out an excellent article about Cardinal Timothy Dolan's new e-book on Freedom at: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-dolan-freedom-is-rooted-in-human-dignity/  (Make sure to read related articles on the right on the same page.)
Catholic Dioceses and parishes across the country have special Masses, vigils, Eucharistic Adoration etc. during this special period of prayer. On Thursday evening, June 21,  at 7 p.m. EWTN will telecast the Fortnight's opening Mass being held at the Cathedral in Baltimore, MD.   Let us join together and beg God for His deliverance.  This issue is not about contraception but about religious liberty as guaranteed by our country's founding fathers. 

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