The Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,â€ť outlining the bishopsâ€™ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a â€śFortnight for Freedom,â€ť a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.
Parishes are encouraged to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to defend our most cherished freedom.
The fourteen days from June 21â€”the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas Moreâ€”to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this â€śfortnight for freedomâ€ťâ€”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 powerâ€”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 would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.
See links to the left for suggested activities and resources.
A Homily by Bishop Frank Dewane on Religious Freedom