Religious Freedom

The line in the sand has been drawn, and here we stand, both as members of a nation conceived in liberty, and as members of the Church Militant. Below are information on the lawsuits against the HHS mandate's "fine on faith," resources for the just-concluded Fortnight for Freedom, the statement from the US bishops on religious liberty, and resources regarding the HHS mandate.

Catholics Called to Witness summarizes the situation pretty well and puts things in proper perspective for the November elections:

HHS Mandate Lawsuits

Link to video.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has led the charge to legally challenge the Administration’s HHS mandate.  This controversial rule requires religious institutions, in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs, to pay for drugs and services contrary to their teachings, or pay a severe fine

Fortnight for Freedom Concludes

Link to message from Pope Benedict XVI.
Link to Archbishop Chaput's closing Mass homily.

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

 We ask this through Christ our Lord.

V/. Amen.

V/. Mary Immaculate, patroness of the United Sates...    R/. Pray for us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas...    Pray for us.
St. Thomas More, patron of religious freedom...    Pray for us.
St. John the Baptist...    Pray for us.

Litany for Liberty

Christ the Lord has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Let us turn to him in humble but fervent petition, 
seeking the grace to root out from our hearts all trace of darkness,
and all that holds us back 
from walking in the full freedom of the children of God.
As Christ is our great model for that inner freedom, 
which enables us to do the right,
let us turn to him with confidence 
that we, too, may follow him to the fullness of spiritual freedom.

V/. Lord, have mercy; R/. Lord, have mercy. 
Christ, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

V/. Jesus, victor over sin and death…    R/. Free our hearts. 
Jesus, source of light and hope…    Free our hearts.
Jesus, fullness of truth and mystery…   Free our hearts.
Jesus, teacher of seeking hearts…    Free our hearts.
Jesus, healer of body and soul…    Free our hearts.
Jesus, bringer of mercy and justice…    Free our hearts.
Jesus, who humble the heart and mind…   Free our hearts.
Jesus, release of captives…     Free our hearts.
Jesus, voice against violence…      Free our hearts.
Jesus, courage for the lowly/downtrodden…   Free our hearts.
Jesus, origin of all authority and power…   Free our hearts.
Jesus, true lawgiver…      Free our hearts.
Jesus, unity of order and passion…   Free our hearts.
Jesus, freedom of the Spirit…     Free our hearts.
Jesus, obedient Son of the Father…    Free our hearts.
For the freedom to love…     Give us your grace. 
For the freedom to believe…     Give us your grace.
For the freedom to hope…     Give us your grace.  
For the freedom to worship…     Give us your grace.
For the freedom to serve in charity…    Give us your grace.
For the freedom to care for the suffering…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to comfort the sick…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to feed the hungry…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to shelter the homeless…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to proclaim the Gospel…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to walk in chastity…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to live in peace…    Give us your grace.
For the freedom to work in good conscience…  Give us your grace.
For the freedom to stand in solidarity…   Give us your grace.  
For the freedom to seek justice…    Give us your grace.

V/. For the freedom to reject sin…    R/. Give us your grace.   
For the freedom to reject coercion…    Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject falsehood…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject evil temptations…   Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject injustice…    Give us your grace.

O God, who gave one origin to all peoples
and willed to gather from them one family for yourself,
fill all hearts, we pray, with the fire of your love
and kindle in them a desire
for the just advancement of their neighbor,
that, through the good things which you richly bestow upon all,
each human person may be brought to perfection,
every division may be removed,
and equity and justice may be established in human society.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.  

R/. Amen.

[Collect for the Mass “For the Progress of the Peoples,” 
Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, No. 29,
Roman Missal, Third Edition]

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty
USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together.

Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free. Catholics in America have discharged this duty of guarding freedom admirably for many generations. (continue reading)

Video - Interference

Link to video.

Some More Useful Links

The Church and the HHS Mandate Relevant Radio Background for HHS Mandate RealCatholicTV Background for HHS Mandate
Relevant Radio Background for HHS Mandate
Stream of Fr. Rocky on a special edition of On the Journey

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