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Cry Freedom

The American Catholic Bishops have expressed grave concern at President Obama’s plans to oblige Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities to participate in providing insurance for procedures which offend Catholic teaching. They have urged Catholics to pray and to act so as to protect the rights of Catholics and their right to religious freedom. The Bishops write:-

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.

To all our fellow Catholics, we urge an intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty.

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 good.

Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;

By 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.

The document may be read in the following link:-

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Our_First_Most_Cherished_Liberty.pdf

The Bishops referred to the great Saint Thomas Moore. We remember his fortitude and ask his prayers:-

O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers . . http://www.stthomasmoresociety.org/STMNOVENAPRAYERs.pdf