Bishops Declare ‘Fortnight For Freedom’

ExtWe are now two days deep in the "Fortnight for Freedom" — a two week exercise in "prayer, study, catechis, and public action" ordained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, devoted to ceasing the alleged erosion of religious freedom in the USA.

Already, the Archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, has delivered a special "Fortnight for Freedom" homily, a tearful lament of the terrible indignities suffered by the Church, which somehow never quite gets around to explaining what Catholic freedoms are most under threat. Joseph Amodeo, the gay Catholic researcher who resigned in protest from Executive Committee of the Junior Board of Catholic Charities in April, does a much better job at HuffPo:

… In an April 2012 statement the bishops outlined what they viewed as "concrete examples" of religious liberty being "placed in jeopardy," including the federal government's mandate regarding the coverage of contraception, and state-level adoption laws permitting same-sex couples to adopt children. In addition, Church leaders, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, have cited civil marriage equality for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples as being among these "infringements" on religious freedom. As a response to these issues, the bishops have asked parishes and dioceses throughout the country to use Fortnight for Freedom as a means for mobilizing Catholics to defend religious freedom. In light of this, some parishes and dioceses have launched a series of events associated with the effort, while others have quietly refused to participate.

Amid this call to action, sitting in the pew of my parish a few weeks ago, I listened to my pastor proclaim during a homily, "Uniformity is not unity, and conformity is not community." Sadly, with the Fortnight for Freedom and other recent actions, the bishops appear to be working toward a Church that is defined by unquestionable adherence to proclamations from Church leaders that lack moral and ethical clarity. In Dogma and Preaching, Pope Benedict XVI writes that the Church is called "to be in reality the milieu or 'living space' and not the 'dying space' of the Word." In order to truly be the living Church and honestly embrace the living God, the Church must witness the presence of the Spirit that is evident in our world today.

As bishops argue that their religious freedom is "at risk" because of a federal government working to be just, I'm left wondering why the religious principles of a single faith tradition's leaders should define public policy for an entire nation. If the Church argues that the word lives today through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that such inspiration is manifested through the spoken and written word of men and women, then why would such a Spirit stop at the doors of Congress and countless legislative halls throughout the country? In short, I don't think the Spirit has stopped; instead it seems rather evident that men and women who have been chosen to lead and govern America are discerning great questions of our time and are deliberating in a way that calls to mind the great debates of the Second Vatican Council.


  1. MarkG says

    In a nutshell the “church” argues for its own demise and disassociation from those that would follow it.

    Soon the priests will only have other priests in their congregations.

  2. johnny says

    So, let me make sure I have this right…

    Because gays want equal, civil rights, somehow that’s hurting your religious freedom, even though my civil rights have absolutely nothing to do with and/or never infringe on your religious freedoms?

    Yeah, that’s some logic you got working there.

    What a bunch of whiners.

  3. anthony says

    Fortnight for Prayers LOL…

    I wonder how many job openings are being prepared in the Vatican for US transfers- before more clergy go to jail.

    ….Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said.

    The judge ordered that Lynn’s bail be revoked and he was led to jail. The judge said she would at some point entertain a motion for house arrest……

  4. Tim says

    What a bunch of crap…..I think we should resume feeding Catholic Bishops to the lions! This is a vain attempt to re-affirm the so called power of Catholic Bishops and its not going to work.

  5. Sarm says

    Christians dare demand anything, after the crimes they have committed against humanity? They have tainted this world long enough. Bray all you like, Christians, for you and the other cults of Abraham will be crushed under the full might of justice very soon.

  6. FuryOfFirestorm says

    Those child fuckers must be sweating like Ke$ha during an STD test, now that one of their higher-ups was convicted of covering up all the cases of child molestation by Catholic priests.

    Those kiddie-diddlers can pray all they want, but as Sandusky’s guilty verdict has shown, America has gotten tired of assholes touching children and getting away with it. God isn’t going to help you fuckers now.

  7. simon says

    Of course they always blame other people instead of looking at what’s wrong with themselves. It is their misogyny and homophobia, their self-righteousness and stupidity that caused their own downfall. It is no surprise looking at their long history since the Middle ages and Reformation that they are still in denial and self deception.

  8. jamal49 says

    And all those “reasons” cited by the Catholic bishops as “infringements” on religious freedom are actually issues of civil equality that have nothing to do with religion but have everything to do with fulfilling the U.S. Constitution’s principles of equal and fair treatment for ALL U.S. citizens.

    There was not one mention–NOT ONE!–of the Catholic Church’s violations over decades (centuries?) of the civil rights of secular people and institutions and the Church’s brazen abuses of secular power to achieve the Church’s goals of temporal authority.

    And, where was the mention of the sexual abuse of children and adolescents?

    Time to revoke tax-exempt status for the Catholic Church. It’s also time for some enterprising civil liberties group or groups or even brave individuals to question why Catholic bishops and Catholic lay groups who advocate in legislatures at the local, state and federal levels for laws favoring Catholic theology as a pretext for civil legislation are not required to register as agents of a foreign government. After all, the U.S. has DIPLOMATIC relations with the Vatican and each government has an embassy and embassadors.

    THAT one always has me scratching my head.

  9. Dave says

    The Catholic Church is the biggest threat to religious freedom in the world. They have been destroying minority religions for thousands of years and even today they send Catholic soldiers to kill Muslims and other minorities around the world. The Catholic church wants to be the religious dictators of the world and that means many more will die as a result of their fanatical Christian beliefs being forced on others who do not want it.

  10. walter says

    how about a month without scandal from this ring of sex abuser cheats and liars. back to main question where’s the popes butler or did just disapear ?

  11. Contrarian says

    “Sarm” and “Dave”, are you texting from Mecca or is it Tahrir Square with your blanket bigotry and overbroad statements about all 2 billion Christians on earth? Because other faiths,(sarcasm alert) dare I say Muslims, are a shining example of dignified love of gays and women. Oh and those executions of young gay men in Iran, western propaganda no doubt. The CIA at work, right guys?

    Now if you want to have a real thoughtful discussion of the political motivations of Lori, Dolan, the K of C (and its big money behind this) and the anti-Obama frenzy motivating this, then have that discussion. Also, to the gay Catholic quoted in the article: See Bill Keller’s recent take on the Roman church in the NYT. The right has won. It’s past time for the progressives of any gender preference to leave and seek comfort elsewhere.

  12. Steveinde says

    Fortnight for freedom and Germany,
    Winter for women and gays,
    We’re praying now at a faster pace!
    Look out, here comes the master-race!

  13. Kevin thor says

    The Catholic Church has Zero credibility in today’s world. I for one, cannot understand why any educated person would believe in god to begin with. I cannot understand why women or man would send money to a hate group like the Unholy catholic church

  14. DannyEastVillage says

    I say let ’em talk as much as they can and want. the more they do the more they demonstrate their irrelevance and, frankly, their uselessness.

  15. Sarm says

    In case you didn’t get it when I said “cults of Abraham”, I included Islam in there. They are just as bad as you Christians, Contrarian, and they will be crushed under the full might of justice as well. I get that you are jealous of the Muslims because they have what you want, absolute power over nations, no pretenses of separation of church and state like here, nobody to answer to so they can kill and rape as they please.

  16. Devin says

    The Catholic Church has never had credibility – they convert by the sword. They tortured, burned, & raped during the inquisition. But that’s old news right?

    EVERY month, a new conspiracy arises (like the adoption scandal this year that affected nearly 300,000 lives and had been going on for over 50 years with hundreds/thousands of accomplices at a hospital, or child rape)

    Christians & Muslims = Crips & Bloods

    Like true psychopaths committing crimes and atrocities, they believe they are the victims

    The only way they can have their freedom is to take it away from others.

  17. Sarm says

    Furthermore, Contrarian, could you get any more juvenile with that pathetic defense? Just because Muslims are monstrous barbarians doesn’t give you lot the excuse to be monstrous barbarians.

  18. Mark says

    The RC church fails to understand that a civil society that respects religious freedom does NOT mean that they, the RC church, define the morals and laws of that society.

  19. IndieMusicBird says

    Religious people DO need to pray…RELIGION is the cause of ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL evil in this world.
    Wish all religious people would get a “calling” to end their own lives. In one mass cultish event. Off themselves.

  20. Steve-ATL says

    Do we expect anything more from a group of people who believe in man made fairy tales? Who can’t grasp science but only grasp fake, trite, silly fairy tale called the Bible. Stupid is all they know.

  21. NYNiceDude says

    Religion = Gangs

    Christian, Judiasm, Catholicism equals different gangs where the members (aka gang members) go around creating violence and killing innocent people, while pinning everyone against each other, with no purpose behind their insanity and ego.

  22. Bob says

    My first thought– RATZINGER: DIE YESTERDAY
    But then I decided that he should hang on, until that church looks so bad that catholics rise up and insist on not supporting hate and discrimination

  23. says

    the catholic church has no heart , no humility no compassion, no brain… All it has is the hunger to remain relevant in the 21st century .. The church is a parasite on humanity . It needs to be killed ,,, yet they are doing a fine job of it themselves

  24. Bill Michael says

    Catholic leadership wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to open a public business (ie: hospital, bank, just pick one) and run it according to their own religious beliefs. They chose to get into the hospital business, nobody forced them. However, being a public business, the hospital must be open to the public and it is to be run according to the law. Adhering to the law in no way interferes with their practice of religion or their religious beliefs and if they really disagree, then nothing is stopping them from getting out of the hospital business. They can do that. Catholics must decide if they want to practice religion or run a business. I thought a church didn’t need to run a business.

  25. rayy says

    Well, I’m going to “say a little prayer against them” :)

    Seriously, I don’t think they have a clue about what the term “religious freedom” means.

  26. ernstroehm's ghost says

    Some ridiculous comments against the Catholic Church:

    Monsignor Wm. Lynn is a pedophile –Anthony.
    (Has nothing to do with the story.)

    “There was not one mention–NOT ONE!–of the Catholic Church’s violations over decades (centuries?) of the civil rights of secular people and institutions and the Church’s brazen abuses of secular power to achieve the Church’s goals of temporal authority.

    And, where was the mention of the sexual abuse of children and adolescents?”

    Now WHY WOULD the Church mention these things in such a context? They wouldn’t mention it when discussing what people should give up for Lent, either.

    “The Church leaders send Catholic soldiers to kill Muslims and other minorities around the world.” –Dave

    After the Muslims armies conquered and killed the Christians while conquering the Holy Land, the Catholics struck back in the Crusades. They also liberated Spain from Muslim conquerors. Is that what you mean?

    “The Catholic Church has Zero credibility in today’s world. I for one, cannot understand why any educated person would believe in god to begin with.” –Kevin Thor

    If you’re an atheist, I guess the Church doesn’t have credibility: by definition. Several popular books about science–example “Stephen Hawkings’ Universe”–describe a running battle between atheist scientists and believing scientists. The father of the Big Bang was a Jesuit Priest, Fr. George LeMaitre. He defeated Einstein by proving to the Great Man that the theory of relativity predicted an expanding universe beginning in a moment of creation. Einstein admitted defeat. So, it is manifest that educated people can and do believe in God.

    “Religious people DO need to pray…RELIGION is the cause of ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL evil in this world.
    Wish all religious people would get a “calling” to end their own lives. In one mass cultish event. Off themselves.”

    I do hope you’re not serious. If you are, you need psychological help–big time.

Leave A Reply