Fortnight for Freedom: An ‘opportunity to emphasize the many ways that we put our faith into practice’

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July, 2014

 

My brothers and sisters:

In a recent homily on the Beatitudes, Pope Francis said that being a Christian requires concrete actions and deeds. Christianity is “a hands-on religion; it isn’t for thinking about, it’s for putting into practice, to do it.” This teaching ties in very well with the 2014 Fortnight for Freedom theme: “Freedom to Serve.”

We must practice our “hands-on religion” as Christ requires; to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the ill and visit the prisoner. As Catholic Americans we enjoy the freedom to practice our faith not only in our churches, but in all our institutions – schools, hospital, charitable outreach ministries, etc. Recent attempts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are trying to curtail this guaranteed constitutional right.

Our ongoing battle to protect our religious liberties is not about espousing a liberal or conservative ideology. It is an issue that we as Church in the United States highlight during the Fortnight for Freedom from June 21 until July 4. This year’s theme, “Freedom to Serve,” gives us the opportunity to emphasize the many ways that we put our faith into practice in our communities through Catholic Charities, parishes, schools, hospitals and so many other ministries.

[See Bishop Malooly’s video message here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JXfN1plJFw]

Once again this year, I ask you to join me and Catholics across our great country as we stand up for our fundamental freedom. Let’s follow Pope Francis and practice our “hands-on religion.” Please become informed on religious freedom, the HHS mandate and other critical issues through our diocesan newspaper, The Dialog, or online at either cdow.org or fortnight4freedom.org.

Today I wear the crucifix given to me by the recently canonized Saint John Paul II in 2004, one year before he died. He did more than anyone to fight for religious freedom for his own Polish people against communism and set an example for all of us in our present struggle in a Country that was built on religious freedom. Saint John Paul II — pray for us.

May the lord bless you.

 

Sincerely in Our Lord,

 

Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of Wilmington