- Wednesday, 26 October 2011 17:06
A timely piece to think seriously about daily is the notion of religious freedom not only around the globe, but also and significantly here in the USA. Today, the Most Reverend William E. Lori addressed the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on the Constitution. Here are a few paragraphs (the link to the full text is noted below):
liberty is not merely one right among others, but enjoys a certain primacy. As
the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI recently explained: “It is indeed the first
of human rights, not only because it was historically the first to be
recognized but also because it touches the constitutive dimension of man, his
relation with his Creator.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Diplomatic Corps,
10 Jan. 2011.) The late
Pope John Paul II taught that “the most fundamental human freedom [is] that of
practicing one’s faith openly, which for human beings is their reason for
living.” (Pope John Paul II, Address to Diplomatic Corps, 13 Jan. 1996, No. 9.) Not coincidentally, religious
liberty is first on the list in the Bill of Rights, the charter of our Nation’s
most cherished and fundamental freedoms. The First Amendment begins: “Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof….” It is commonly, and with justice, called our “First
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- Monday, 24 October 2011 09:10
US Congressman Frank R. Wolf, 72, (Virginia 10th District) proposed the bill in 1998 which created The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is a bi-partisan US Federal commission, appointed by the US President to advise him and Congress on matters pertaining to the freedom of religion. The CIRF reports to Congress and the State Department, is now in jeopardy.
It’s work is research and advocacy for freedom and human rights. It looks at the practice of religion and it’s freedom to exist.
HOWEVER, there is one senator who is blocking funding, anonymously. We need to write to our senators. We need to speak out!!!
After November 18 the Commission may go out of business.
Congressman Wolf thinks that if the bill is passed, Obama will sign the bill. But truth be told, the President is not really in favor the Commission’s work.
- Friday, 07 October 2011 06:22
Amy Sullivan of Time magazine wrote a piece today, “Why Catholic Bishops are Targeting Obama on Religious Freedom.” I don’t particularly think Sullivan’s article is not all that informative, in fact, I think she needs to review it again and republish it. She does, however, indirectly say that Catholics –indeed all people of faith– better wake up today and get with the program: the current presidential administration of the US government is narrowing an understanding and practice of religious freedom. Catholics, unlike the Jews or the Muslims are too often slow to know the horizons of the debate. Catholics don’t often go up to Mount Nebo to survey the geography or their own history. Whether recent events are the most egregious in 30 years is a matter of opinion, but the trampling (or reduction) of religious freedom harms everybody, atheist and the Legion of Mary member alike.
It’s time to get fluent in the terms of religious freedom, pun intended.
This is not a Catholic issue. This is an issue for all people who live a life of faith.
- Monday, 10 January 2011 13:41
We have the
state of the school address, the state of the state address, the state of the
nation address, and even have the state of the world. Today, Pope Benedict XVI
delivered his ‘state of the world’ speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to
the Holy See. Depending on how you count, there are between 178 to 181 diplomats
at the Holy See. Please note the Pontiff’s concentration on religious freedom; he is, head and shoulders above all world leaders, the voice for religious freedom as the path to true, lasting peace. The
Pope’s address, the original was delivered in French:
Your Excellencies, Ladies
I am pleased to welcome you, the distinguished representatives
of so many countries, to this meeting which each year assembles you around the
Successor of Peter. It is a deeply significant meeting, since it is a sign and
illustration of the place of the Church and of the Holy See in the
international community. I offer my greetings and cordial good wishes to each
of you, and particularly to those who have come for the first time. I am
grateful to you for the commitment and interest with which, in the exercise of
your demanding responsibilities, you follow my activities, those of the Roman
Curia and thus, in some sense, the life of the Catholic Church throughout the
world. Your Dean, Ambassador Alejandro Valladares Lanza, has interpreted your
sentiments and I thank him for the good wishes which he has expressed to me in
the name of all. Knowing how close-knit your community is, I am certain that
today you are also thinking of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, Baroness van Lynden-Leijten, who several weeks ago returned to the
house of the Father. I prayerfully share your sentiments.
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