The site features specific intentions for each Friday which you can receive via e-mail or text message. Sign up for the intentions via text message by texting “FAST” to 99000 or via e-mail here. At that page you can also make a pledge to join this effort of prayer and fasting.
The day before the HHS Mandate was issued on January 20, Pope Benedict XVI warned U.S. Bishops that “radical secularism” poses grave threats to the “right of conscientious objection … to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices”.
Since then, the U.S. Bishops have been steadfastly outspoken against the HHS Mandate’s assault on religious freedom, and their leadership and messaging has been widely praised by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
As part of their response to the HHS Mandate, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a Fortnight for Freedom—a time of prayer, education and action on religious freedom starting today, June 21 to July 4.
We wholeheartedly support the Fortnight for Freedom, and we encourage you to take part.
You can find out more about the Fortnight and view the bishops’ educational resources on religious freedom here, and you can get more information on specific events in your diocese here.
Building on the momentum of a successful Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally on March 23rd, the June 8 rally did not disappoint. Featuring our own Bishop William Medley – Diocese of Owensboro, the rally maintained an enthusiastic level throughout the hour long program. At the sound of the noon siren, the crowd of at least 400 citizens was spread across the lush lawn at Moreland Park, taking advantage of shade trees to listen to an impressive array of speakers and singers.
Both Federal and State level representation was heard sharing their inspiring and informative messages: US Senator Rand Paul, US Congressman Brett Guthrie and KY Senator Joe Bowen each either spoke or sent officials of their administrations. We also heard a moving account from a representative of Silent No More, who explained her reason for publicly sharing her heart-wrenching experiences as a post-abortive woman. [Continue reading ...]
Yesterday, 43 Catholic institutions filed suit against the Obama Administration over the HHS Mandate.
News of these lawsuits shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since early March, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been all but guaranteeing that lawsuits would be filed.
A few weeks later, Dolan, appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, said, “We didn’t ask for this fight, but we won’t back away from it.”
Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon points out in the Wall Street Journal how it’s come to this in an op-ed appropriately titled, “Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government” that is accompanied by a picture of some of the 2,300 participants at the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in Philadelphia on March 23 (see above, right).
Professor Glendon writes:
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women’s health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions. [Continue reading ...]
Last week the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition highlighted a recent letter sent by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to his brother bishops.
Therein, Cardinal Dolan repeatedly underscored the fact that the HHS Mandate is first and foremost an assault on religious freedom, and that is how we need to frame this issue.
One of the the most striking passages in the letter reads as follows:
At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.
The very first freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment is that of freedom of religion — which is most emphatically not limited merely to freedom of worship — and explicitly states that “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is a no-no. [Continue reading ...]
The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, issued a letter [PDF] to his brother bishops on Friday in which he strongly hinted that the USCCB intends to file a legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate:
[O]ur bishops’ conference, many individual religious entities, and other people of good will are working with some top-notch law firms who feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro bono. In the upcoming days, you will hear much more about this encouraging and welcome development.
As with so many of the public statements issued by U.S. Bishops regarding the HHS Mandate, Cardinal Dolan did not mince words, calling the mandates, at various places, “choking,” “suffocating,” and “strait-jacketing.” [Continue reading ...]