Religion plays irreplaceable role in society, Archbishop Lori says



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ABSTRACTReligion plays irreplaceable role in society, Archbishop Lori says :: 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 Religion plays irreplaceable role in society, Archbishop Lori says By Adelaide Mena Archbishop Lori delivers the opening homily of the 2012 Fortnight for Freedom. Credit: CNA/Michelle Bauman. Baltimore, Md., Jun 22, 2013 / 10:06 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Opening the 2013 Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore emphasized the unique contribution that religion brings to society, warning that it must be protected and allowed to flourish. “Faith enriches public life not only by the magnitude of its services but by the qualities of mind and heart, by the values and virtues, it brings to the task,” said Archbishop Lori. He warned that while religious organizations and individuals provide vital services for the common good, “our government is taking from what belongs to God by state-sponsored attempts to force the Church to compromise her own teachings as the price to be paid for serving the wider community.” Archbishop Lori, who chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, delivered the homily at a June 21 Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the nation’s oldest Cathedral, in downtown Baltimore, Md. The cathedral was packed with members of the faithful who had come from both Maryland and from other states across the country to attend the opening Mass of the Fortnight for Freedom. They welcomed the archbishop’s homily with a standing ovation. The Fortnight for Freedom – currently in its second year – is a two-week period of prayer, education and action for a greater respect for religious liberty both in the U.S. and abroad. Growing threats to religious freedom prompted the U.S. bishops to call for the first Fortnight for Freedom last year. Among these threats is the upcoming Aug. 1 deadline when religious organizations must comply with the controversial HHS mandate, which requires employers to facilitate insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions, even if such cooperation violates their firmly-held religious beliefs. Other religious liberty concerns raised in past months include attempts to redefine marriage and threats to freedom of religious activity in the realms of health care, humanitarian aid and immigration. Archbishop Lori explained that “the Church does not have two wings: a ‘faith and worship’ division on the one hand, and a ‘service’ division on the other.” Rather, he said, “what we believe and how we worship gives rise to public service.” Acts of service such as education, health care and aid to the poor are not a separate branch of the Catholic faith, he stressed, but “these activities are part of our baptismal DNA as Catholic Christians.” “No wonder we shudder, no wonder we react so strongly, when governmental authority tries to slice and dice our Church by separating in law and policy our houses of worship from our charitable, healthcare and educational institutions on the score that the latter are somehow less religious than our churches.” In the attempt to impose various restrictions on faith-based action and belief, “Caesar is taking from what belongs to God,” Archbishop Lori said. In its infringements on religious freedom, “our government is not only taking what belongs to God; it is also taking from what belongs to human dignity and the common good,” he continued.......