That’s the question asked in the beginning of the new movie “For Greater Glory.”
It’s about Mexico’s Cristero War of the 1920′s.
Persecuted by the Mexican government and robbed of all religious freedom, Catholics fought back to regain their right to live and worship as they saw fit.
While our government can not be compared to the Mexican government that persecuted the Cristeros (not by a long shot), there couldn’t be a more timely movie for what is taking place in our country today.
The Fortnight for Freedom is the (peaceful) response of American Catholics to the infringement of religious liberties contained in the government’s proposed HHS Mandate.
The Fortnight for Freedom
The HHS mandate would force Catholic institutions to provide coverage of sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs. This is a serious threat to our religious liberty.
This week marks the start of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Fortnight for Freedom. The Fortnight is a period of fourteen days, dedicated to prayer, catechesis, study, and public action to the freedom that our Christian and American heritage.
It begins today, Thursday, June 21, the vigil of the Feasts of Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More, and ends on July 4, Independence Day.
What is the Fortnight for Freedom?
The Fortnight for Freedom is a call to action for Catholics all over this nation to understand what’s at stake in the infringement of Catholic religious liberty.
The Fortnight is also a call for Catholics (and all American people who value freedom) to stand firm, not allowing the government to trample the First Amendment rights protecting freedom of religion since the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789.
This fight is about religious liberty
Our Lord calls us to follow him.
For Catholics, that means more than participation in Mass and the sacraments. It means seeing Christ in the poor, sick, and needy. It means caring for them just as we would care for Him.
Catholic hospitals, social service ministries, and schools provide this care that is an essential aspect of our faith.
However, the government’s HHS Mandate will limit the definition of religious activity to exclude these works of faith. Catholics will be prevented from fully responding to God’s call as our faith demands.
As Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington DC said recently:
Religious freedom is not a Republican or Democratic issue, nor is it just a Catholic issue. It is fundamentally an American issue. Indeed, religious liberty is the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights and one that Americans of all faiths, or no faith, should be committed to preserving. History has shown that infringement of the rights of one group eventually leads to the loss of others’ rights.
Prayer, education, and public witness
As Catholics and members of the Body of Christ, it’s time to stand up and defend our Faith and our right to practice it in freedom. Over the next few weeks, take some time to educate yourself on this important issue.
Perhaps you’re Catholic and don’t fully agree with the Church’s stance on contraceptives. Before you defend the HHS Mandate, you need to completely understand what’s at stake. If the government can define what institutions constitute religious entities and force citizens to violate their consciences, there’s no telling what they will target next. Our freedom as Americans is on the chopping block here.
Also, don’t be ashamed and hide your Catholic identity thinking everything will blow over. If you value any aspect of your Catholic Faith, now is the time to express that to your senators and representatives.
And, most importantly, pray that our freedoms will be preserved and protected for our children to enjoy.
Here are some articles from the USCCB website to get educated on the issue:
Here are some prayer resources including a litany and prayer cards in pdf format.
And finally, some links to take action by contacting government representatives.
Originally appeared at Holy Cross Catholic Church.