The U.S. bishops are asking the faithful to join them in a Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4, according to the bishops’ website. For two weeks, all are invited to join in prayer, education, and action to protect religious freedom in the country.
The Fortnight takes place during a time, the bishops note, “when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.”
This year’s specific theme is focusing on the “freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church's teaching.”
Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., recently wrote in a column for the Southern Nebraska Register that, “Our federal government increasingly serves a secular agenda, and is increasingly intolerant of human life, the human family, and human dignity. The federal HHS mandate represents the disregard with which the government treats religious people.”
Aquinas College, Ave Maria University, Belmont Abbey College, The Catholic University of America, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Thomas Aquinas College, and Wyoming Catholic College are among the Catholic institutions that have been involved in the legal struggle against the HHS mandate, which requires coverage of abortifacient drugs, contraception, and sterilization.
Later this month, the Supreme Court will reportedly announce its decision in the case brought against the administration by the for-profit Hobby Lobby company.
Another religious liberty concern listed on the bishops’ website is “campus discrimination.” In an exclusive interview earlier this year, The Cardinal Newman Society offered the example of Dr. Ken Howell, whose teaching career at a public university was cut short after he explained Catholic moral teachings in a class titled, “Introduction to Catholicism.”
The Newman Society offers the latest news on religious freedom and Catholic education on its website here.
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