Photo credit: Catholic World Report
By Marjorie Jeffrey (@MarjorieJeffrey)
Friday marks the beginning of the second annual Fortnight for Freedom, called for by the U.S. Catholic Bishops as a time of prayer, study, and action for the cause of religious liberty.
The first Fortnight for Freedom was launched last year in the wake of the struggle between the Catholic Church and the Federal government over the HHS Mandate. The Fortnight begins on the vigil of the Feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, who were martyred rather than deny their conscience in the face of government oppression. Beginning on this date also allows the Fortnight to close on Independence Day.
Events highlighting the various issues facing Catholics with regard to threats to religious liberty will be held across the country, and will vary from diocese to diocese. The Fortnight for Freedom Opening Mass will be offered on June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland.
The closing Mass on July 4will be offered on July 4 at 12:00 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington.
The fight over the HHS Mandate is ongoing, with the Church seeking a last-minute reprieve from the government before the Mandate goes into effect. The Fortnight will also be taking place as the American public waits for the Supreme Court to rule on cases involving the preservation of the institution of marriage.