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US dioceses prepare for second Fortnight for Freedom


ADELAIDE MENA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/5/2013

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ABSTRACTUS dioceses prepare for second 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 Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis 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 Fr. Robert Barron 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 Russell Shaw 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 CNA Blog Home » News » US US dioceses prepare for second Fortnight for Freedom By Adelaide Mena Washington D.C., Jun 5, 2013 / 05:03 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Dioceses across the country are preparing for the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom – now in its second year – by organizing a variety of prayer and educational activities with a religious liberty theme. The purpose of the Fortnight for Freedom is “to educate people about the nature of religious freedom (and) to point out intrusions against religious liberty,” said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore in a video posted online by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition, the fortnight aims to show “how people exercising their religious freedom enriches society in terms of charity, education and really building what we would call a civilization of love,” he said. Archbishop Lori, who is the chair of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, explained that the Fortnight for Freedom will run from June 21 to July 4. The two-week initiative will highlight threats to religious liberty in various areas, such as immigration, health care, marriage and humanitarian services. Among these threats to religious freedom is a mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions. This mandate – which is being challenged in court by some 200 plaintiffs across the nation – will go into effect for many objecting religious employers on August 1, shortly after the conclusion of the fortnight. This is the second year that the bishops have sponsored the Fortnight for Freedom, as concerns over religious liberty continue to mount. In addition to the contraception mandate, worries have been expressed by religious individuals and organizations who object to recognizing a redefinition of marriage, health care providers that do not want to participate in abortion and similar procedures, and religious groups that provide services to all immigrants in need, regardless of their legal status. This year’s national fortnight events will include an opening Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Md., at 7 p.m. on June 21. The closing Mass will be celebrated at noon on July 4 in Washington D.C.’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The national activities will be supported by diocesan-level initiatives throughout the U.S., including rosaries and holy hours for religious freedom. Dozens of dioceses have announced plans to hold prayer events during the fortnight, including holy hours and rosaries for religious freedom. Some dioceses – including St. Louis and South Bend – will hold Masses celebrating the opening and closing of the Fortnight for Freedom. In Austin, Texas, church bells throughout the diocese will ring at noon on Independence Day to mark the end of the fortnight. Other dioceses and parishes are encouraging private devotion, fasting and contributions to spiritual bouquets during the two-week period. The prayer that makes up the core of the Fortnight for Freedom will be supplemented by efforts to educate people across the country on the topic of religious liberty. Priests in many areas are being asked to dedicate a Sunday homily to the topic, and informational pamphlets have been prepared for distribution. In addition, some .......