Catholics Called to Prayer, Education and Public Witness during upcoming Fortnight for Freedom
The Fortnight for Freedom will take place from June 21 — the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power — to July 4, Independence Day, when Americans remember those who have died defending freedom.
SAGINAW — Faithful from across the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw are being encouraged to participate in the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom, a fourteen day period of prayer, education and public witness.
In the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, there will be a rally for religious freedom at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at the Tuscola County Courthouse, 440 North State St., in Caro; an interreligious prayer service will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, July 2 at the Andersen Enrichment Center, 120 Ezra Rust, in Saginaw; and a Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4 at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt Ave., in Saginaw.
Through its recent mandate, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is forcing Catholic and other faith-based organizations to pay for medical services that would violate their religious beliefs. HHS also purports that it will define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption.
In the weeks ahead, Catholic parishes nationwide will provide in their bulletins a message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about the importance of conscience. The bulletin insert recalls the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in which Americans shone the light of the Gospel on a dark history of slavery, segregation and racial bigotry. It states, in part:
The civil rights movement was an essentially religious movement, a call to awaken consciences.
In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. rooted his legal and constitutional arguments about justice in the long Christian tradition: “I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’…A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that disobeying the laws may be justified. Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties.
To view the entire document, Why Conscience is Important, click here.