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Archbishop Lori highlights role of laity in Fortnight for Freedom


MICHELLE BAUMAN

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/12/2012

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ABSTRACTArchbishop Lori highlights role of laity in Fortnight for Freedom :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Sacred Arts Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Archbishop Lori highlights role of laity in Fortnight for Freedom By Michelle Bauman Archbishop William Lori speaks at the 2012 National Religious Freedom award dinner on May 24. Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2012 / 02:19 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore stressed the importance of laity involvement in efforts to defend religious freedom from the ongoing threats in the U.S. “It’s important, of course, for bishops to be teachers and leaders.” But “it is crucial for lay men and women, mothers and fathers of families, lay leaders in all walks of life to advocate for freedom and justice in our society,” Archbishop Lori told CNA on June 9. “Without those voices and without the involvement of the laity, we just won’t get very far,” he added. “In the Church’s understanding,” he explained, “it is the laity who are the ones that bring about the just and tranquil society. It is the laity who are the forefront of creating what Pope Paul VI called the ‘civilization of love.’” Archbishop Lori, who leads the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee, encouraged the laity to get involved in the June 21 to July 4 “Fortnight for Freedom” event through education, prayer and advocacy. The U.S. bishops have called for the fortnight in response to growing threats to religious liberty, most notably a federal mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences. The mandate includes a very narrow exemption, but it excludes the majority of religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals, schools and charitable agencies. Religious leaders and individuals around the country have spoken out against the mandate and the threat it poses to religious liberty. They have urged the Obama administration to broaden the exemption so that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their beliefs and shutting their doors. Despite widespread objection, the Obama administration finalized the mandate without change, while offering promises of a future “accommodation” for other organizations – a move that has already been criticized as inadequate. The mandate is currently being challenged by lawsuits filed by more than 50 plaintiffs, including colleges, U.S. states, dioceses, nonprofit organizations and private business owners. In addition, Archbishop Lori said, the laity can become involved in other key ways, including educational efforts regarding religious freedom. He noted that one of the main objectives of the Fortnight for Freedom is “to make sure that all of us, but especially our young, understand and accept what the Church teaches on religious liberty, and that we understand and accept gratefully our heritage as Americans.” This type of education is critical, and it is best done “in the home,” he said, explaining that families must work to educate the young on the importance of religious freedom. Prayer is also a significant way in which the laity can participate in the fortnight, the archbishop observed. “While we will have a lot of coverage of the large Masses, we’re also encouraging family prayer and private prayer by distributing prayer cards,” he explained. The bishops are urging Catholics to pray the Rosary and calling for “moments when both families and individuals would simply pray for the r.......