14 November 2011

Pray for religious liberty

On Sept. 29, 2011, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, current president of the USCCB, sent his fellow bishops a letter announcing the establishment of a committee to address B.O.'s attack on religious liberty in the U.S.

His letter reads in part:

As we returned to our dioceses from the June plenary session of our Episcopal Conference, we left with a palpable sense of unity and commitment among us regarding the urgent need we face to safeguard religious liberty inherent in the dignity of the human person. We recognized our need to protect this foundational principle of our country, one that has been enshrined in the United States Constitution, further enumerated in the First Amendment, and explicitly extended to all U.S. citizens. The Framers of the Constitution themselves understood this ―First Freedom‖ to be based on the norms inherent in Natural Law – namely, ―that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

This basic right, in its many and varied applications for Christians and people of faith, is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America. This is most particularly so in an increasing number of federal government programs or policies that would infringe upon the right of conscience of people of faith or otherwise harm the foundational principle of religious liberty. As shepherds of over 70 million U.S. citizens we share a common and compelling responsibility to proclaim the truth of religious freedom for all, and so to protect our people from this assault which now appears to grow at an ever accelerating pace in ways most of us could never have imagined.

[. . .]

Please pray for the members of this committee as they begin the arduous task of defending our liberties as Americans and Catholics.

Episcopal members:

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Chair
Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. of Philadelphia
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta
Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.

Lay Consultants include:

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus
Kevin Baine, attorney, Williams & Connolly
Father Raymond J. de Souza, a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario (Canada)
Richard Garnett, assoc. dean/prof of law and poli-science, University of Notre Dame Law School John Garvey, President, The Catholic University of America
Mary Ann Glendon, professor, Harvard Law School
Philip Lacovara, attorney
Judge Michael McConnell, professor, Stanford University Law School
L. Martin Nussbaum, attorney, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons
Mary Ellen Russell, executive director, Maryland Catholic Conference.

Bishop Lori's testimony before Congress on the assault on religious liberty can be found here.

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  1. I just read where Archbishop Dolan met with the President on Nov. 8th. Haven't heard anything about it though.

  2. It's hard to take such rhetoric seriously when the bishops don't themselves take it seriously enough to excommunicate the faux catholics who are leading the charge. If the bishops believe that DHHS is besieging religious liberties, why hasn't the faux catholic DHHS Secretary been excommunicated? Why hasn't Kathleen Sebelius been publicly called to account?