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Fortnight for Freedom
May 13, 2013

The Fortnight for Freedom, which was celebrated for the first time last year, will take place from June 21 — the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More — to July 4, Independence Day.

Last year, the dioceses around the nation held numerous events promoting religious freedom. In 2013, the Church continues to face many challenges to religious liberty, including the Aug. 1 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate; potential Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage in June, causing serious religious liberty issues for Catholic adoption agencies and many others; and religious liberty concerns in other areas, such as immigration and humanitarian services.

During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power — St. John the Baptist, saints Peter and Paul, the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More.

Through prayer, study and peaceful public action during the Fortnight for Freedom, Catholics hope to remind themselves and others all throughout the United States about the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom.

Catholics are constantly called to live out their faith in their daily lives. In charities, the faithful comfort the sick, feed the hungry, care for the poor and protect life. In the marketplace, Catholics are guided by values and strive everywhere to practice what they preach.

Across America, the right for Catholics to live out their faith is being threatened — from Washington forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that contradict Catholic belief, to state governments prohibiting charities from serving the most vulnerable. And around the world, it's even worse — Catholics face persecution and even death for their witness.

"With the challenges this country is facing, it is hoped that this call to prayer and penance will help build awareness among the faithful, as well as spiritual stamina and courage for effective witness. We also hope that it will encourage solidarity with all people who are standing for the precious gifts of life, marriage and religious liberty," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Source: usccb.org
By USCCB Communications Office
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Tags: Fortnight Freedom, Independence Day

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