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Religious liberty defense must be long-term, Archbishop Lori declares


MICHELLE BAUMAN

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
11/13/2012

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ABSTRACTReligious liberty defense must be long-term, Archbishop Lori declares :: 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 Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments 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 Religious liberty defense must be long-term, Archbishop Lori declares By Michelle Bauman Archbishop William Lori at a Nov. 12, 2012 press conference for the USCCB Fall General Assembly. Credit: Michelle Bauman-EWTN News. Baltimore, Md., Nov 13, 2012 / 04:26 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- The strong protection of Americans’ religious freedom requires a long-term commitment to formation and education, particularly of young people, the U.S. bishops' leader on religious liberty issues said. "We are prayerfully resolute in pursuing the project of defending and fostering religious liberty, in the short and mid-term and in the long-term," said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who chairs the ad hoc committee on religious liberty. Protecting religious freedom, he said Nov. 12, "requires long-term foundational and formational work." The archbishop made his remarks in a report on the activity of his committee to his fellow bishops, who are meeting for their annual fall assembly in Baltimore. He urged them to pursue efforts in this area "as pastors who are engaged in the process of the New Evangelization." He highlighted the conference's recent efforts to support religious liberty, including the Fortnight for Freedom event over the summer and a Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty that included both a Mass and the launch of a novena. The bishops' conference has also reached out through media and public relations efforts aimed at Catholics beyond the pews and at the general public. These educational overtures include brochures, a text messaging campaign and a new website to collect various resources, which were produced in both English and Spanish. In addition, the bishops have identified the upcoming Solemnity of Christ the King as an appropriate opportunity to reflect on religious freedom and encourage its defense. Looking at the immediate future, Archbishop Lori observed that the "political landscape is the same, but so also is our resolve to eliminate the HHS mandate and most especially the four-part definition that it contains of what constitutes religious activity." He noted that lawsuits and legislative efforts to counteract the mandate continue, and the bishops' conference is also monitoring and participating in the ongoing rule-making process regarding the treatment of religious groups under the mandate. At a broader level, Archbishop Lori said the bishops need to focus on the long-term goals of providing "education and formation as part of the New Evangelization."   He noted a need for "greater formation, especially to reach young people, to open their hearts to their heritage as Americans and to what the faith teaches about religious liberty." As part of an effort to educate the youth, a religious liberty curriculum has already been developed for schools and religious education programs, he reported, and there are possibilities for other initiatives such as essay contests. In these educational efforts, "we are stressing that this is not a Catholic issue, but an American issue," the archbishop explained. He also pointed out that there is "a reciprocal relationship between the New Evangelization and religious liberty," because religious freedom allows the Gospel to be proposed and is also part of its message. Archbishop Lori urged his fellow bishops not to be discouraged as the process of defending religious liberty continues to unfold. Recent days have shown more clearly than ever that ".......