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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The First Amendment of the US Constitution


Why Religious Freedom?

marchforlifeMarch for Life, Washington DC, 2013"... the exercise of freedom is intimately linked to the natural moral law, which is universal in character, expresses the dignity of every person and forms the basis of fundamental human rights and duties: consequently, in the final analysis, it forms the basis for just and peaceful coexistence." (Pope Benedict XVI)

Religious liberty has been the cornerstone of our country, it was so important that it was framed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The vision held by our Founding Father was for a separation of Church and State so that religious freedom could be ensured.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and that no one may be forced to act against his convictions, nor restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public. This right is based on the very nature of the human person. (cf. 2106)

In a message during the World Day of Peace, 2011, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had this to say:

"Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family."

Our roots, both civic and religious recall that we are a people guided by the loving providence of God. Yet, little by little our First Amendment rights have come into question by our civil authorities. The Constitution has been interpreted to mean God, religious conviction and morality have no place in public life or public policy. Does this build a society of goodwill among all people when the society admits of no spiritual principle of integrity or no moral bond of cohesion?

During this time when our Religious Liberty is threatened by new mandates from our government leaders, let us pray for the guidance and wisdom of God for our nation's governing body, and the courage to stand up for and defend the truths of our faith. In God We Trust!


Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

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"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern."
Pope Francis, 9/16/13

The Catholic bishops of the United States have offered to the Catholic Faithful a document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which covers Catholic Social Principles on the political responsibility of each one of us.  This document will help us to know the Catholic teaching regarding our rights and duties as a participant in our democracy.

The Bishops are urgeing all of us to use this statement to help form our consciences; to teach those entrusted to our care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. 

For more information on this document and to read it in it's entirety, check out the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

Prayer to Mary

mary

O GOD OUR CREATOR,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.