Catholic bishops press cause against federal mandates
U.S. Catholic leaders, claiming religious liberty is under assault from the Obama administration, are launching two weeks of non-stop nationwide teaching, preaching and public events to press their cause.
The campaign kicks off Thursday. Government, they say, should not decide who is religious enough to be exempt from government mandates — particularly a requirement to provide free contraception insurance coverage — that would force the faithful to violate church doctrine.
Nearly half of the nation's 195 dioceses have announced events from prayer breakfasts to town-hall-style meetings to readings of the Constitution. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is providing resources including a dramatic special prayer for strength and courage.
They have dubbed this a "Fortnight for Freedom," set to stretch from the feast day of two saints, martyrs who were murdered for refusing to bend Roman Catholic doctrine to meet a king's demands, to Independence Day.
The kickoff is in Baltimore, the first American diocese, led by Archbishop William Lori, who heads the bishops' committee on religious liberty. Lori told his brethren last week, "It will not be easy, and we may well suffer, as we are called to do, but we will not fail."Continue reading at www.usatoday.com