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Bulletin Blurbs – Fortnight for Freedom

Bulletin Blurb: June 17: The Most Cherished of American Freedoms

From June 21 to July 4, Catholics across our nation are observing a “Fortnight for Freedom.”

In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. boldly said: “The goal of America is freedom.” The Church does not ask for special treatment, simply the right of religious freedom for all citizens… This right is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day.

(Excerpt from “Protecting Consciences,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops June Nationwide Bulletin Insert)

Bulletin Blurb: June 24: Is Our Most Cherished Freedom Under Threat?

From June 21 to July 4, Catholics across our nation are observing a “Fortnight for Freedom.” What is the purpose of this time of prayer and education about religious liberty? Religious freedom is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue. Among several current threats is a still-unchanged, very narrow regulation of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching and attempt to define which institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. This is not a question of whether contraception may be prohibited or supported by the government. It is a question of whether religious institutions and individuals may be forced by the government to provide coverage for procedures and drugs that violate their religious beliefs.

(Excerpt from “The Most Cherished of American Freedoms: Past and Present” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops April-May Nationwide Bulletin Insert)

Bulletin Blurb: July 1: Religious Liberty Serves the Common Good

From June 21 to July 4, Catholics across our nation are observing a “Fortnight for Freedom.”

What is the purpose of this time of prayer and education about religious liberty? One goal is to renew our understanding of the importance of true religious liberty. Since religious belief is a good within culture and society, governments should foster and aid the good that religion brings to our commonwealth. This does not mean that government should favor one religion over another or that it should attempt to direct what religions should believe or do. Rather, governments are to create an environment in which religious life flourishes for the common good. In providing such an environment...governments contribute to the good of individuals as well as to the good of society as a whole.

(Excerpt from “Reflections for the Fortnight for Freedom, Day 5, June 25,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)