Category Archives: Religious Freedom

Lori speaks on legitimate separation of church and state, Church’s voice

The battle for religious freedom is only now heating up. The 16th archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, is the spokesman for matters pertaining to religious freedom viz. the Catholic Church in the USA. However, one could claim with seriousness that he is not only speaking for the Catholics, but for people of faith. Gave a keynote address tonight in Washington that you ought to read. The full text is here: Lori on Religious Freedom May 24 2012.pdf

The Fortnight for freedom – a proposal of prayer for matters of freedom

Our Catholic bishops in American published “Our
First, Most Cherished Liberty
,” a12-page statement by the Ad Hoc Committee
on Religious Liberty that sets out to explain what religious freedom means to a
Catholic and it also calls for “a fortnight for freedom” from June 21,
the vigil of the feasts of Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More, to July 4,
US Independence Day. 

The matter of our freedom is not merely an activist mentality, but it is centrally located in our prayer life. AND that’s what we should do– pray. This is what the bishops propose:

Lady Liberty.jpg

We suggest that the
fourteen days from June 21–the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St.
Thomas More–to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to this “fortnight for
freedom”–a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates
a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by
political power–St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS.
Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on
Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public
action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.
Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for
special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and
witness for religious liberty.

In addition to this summer’s observance, we also
urge that the Solemnity of Christ the King–a feast born out of resistance to
totalitarian incursions against religious liberty–be a day specifically
employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here
and abroad.

And we pray….

Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us
free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of
religious liberty,
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; 
your grace may we have the courage to defend them, 
for ourselves and for all
those who live in this blessed land. 
We ask this through the intercession of Mary
Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen.

What we hold most dear — the Communion and Liberation response to the HSS mandate

The US leadership of the Catholic lay ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation issued a flyer on the recent events concerning the HSS mandate to curb religious freedom. The flyer is written in light of recent US bishops’ statement on religious liberty. As you might expect, what’s at the center of the controversy is our witness that Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

What is at stake in this moment of our history is not
just the possibility for religious groups to continue to give their own
original contribution to American society, but also the possibility for any man
or woman to gain access to the truth of life. For this reason, we will not give
up the right to publicly witness to the world, through our lives and our work,
what we hold most dear. With the words of the Russian writer Vladimir Soloviev,
we repeat today what Christians have been repeating for 2,000 years.

“In the
grieved voice the Emperor addressed them: ‘Tell me yourselves, you strange
people…you Christians, deserted by the majority of your brothers and leaders:
what do you hold most dear in Christianity?’ At this Elder John rose up and
said in a quiet voice: ‘Great sovereign! What we hold the most dear in
Christianity is Christ Himself – He in His person. All the rest comes from Him,
for we know that in Him dwells bodily the whole fullness of Divinity.'”

The entire statement can be read here: What we hold most dear – a CL flyer 2012.pdf

Our First, Most Cherished Freedom — the US Bishops speak up for religious liberty

We the People.jpg

Today, the US
bishops issued a call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to
protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. No doubt there is 
considerable consternation surrounding
the proposed usurpation of our legal freedom of religion: clearly the US
President has forgotten the first clause of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof….”

The statement,
“Our First, Most Cherished Freedom,” aims to inform and to encourage the entire
Christian Church in North America –and beyond–in understanding what the Church teaches on religious liberty. Moreover, the US bishops want to encourage a rightful role in
defending the first of our American liberties. Being Catholic 
or a person of faith does not mean that we give up a sense of reasonableness and citizenship. The bishops published this work in order
to reassert their voice in the public square, thus bridging the gap of faith and reason
for a coherent national debate on matters of concern. Religion cannot be
relegated to the closet. Like most documents of the Church, this one also hopes
not only to impart information but also to form Catholics (indeed, all
Christians) as faithful citizens. It is our Christian belief that religious liberty is God-given and is not
imparted by our elected officials. “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom” is a
document of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

Read more ...

Stand up for religious freedom: Connecticut takes a stand against HHS

Rallies will be
taking place all over the country this Friday, March 23rd, to voice concerns
over the HHS mandate. Visit online: Stand Up for Religious Freedom.

Thousands of Americans of all faiths will be
participating in these peaceful rallies, organized by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society to oppose
the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which
is requiring all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and
abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, even in violation of their

Locally, Connecticut as two notable rallies: New Haven and
Hartford beginning at noon and will last approximately one hour. 

Women are
invited to voice their concern and support for freedom at Women Speak for Themselves.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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