The U.S. Catholic Bishops have called for the 14 days from June 21 to July 4 to be dedicated to a "Fortnight for Freedom" in support of religious liberty in our nation.
Concluding on Independence Day as our nation celebrates her many freedoms, this special period of prayer, study and action underscores both our Catholic and American heritage of liberty. In support of this great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will celebrate a Mass on Wednesday, June 20 in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, followed by a prayer breakfast.
The priests, religious and faithful of the diocese are invited to join this inaugural event for the Fortnight for Freedom as we gather to pray for the protection of religious liberty in our nation and learn more about our first, most cherished freedom.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in their statement on religious liberty state: "We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other."
We call upon the Catholic community in Rhode Island and indeed, across the nation, to rise up for religious liberty during this historic Fortnight for Freedom. Take up the call to pray for the protection of our rights as Catholics and join Bishop Tobin and hundreds of Catholics in celebrating this freedom on June 20. The Fortnight for Freedom calls us to work together in our support for religious liberty for Catholics and all people of faith. The current efforts by the Obama Administration to undermine religious liberty in our nation remind us of the wise words spoken by Benjamin Franklin in the face of a repressive regime, "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately." As Catholics and Americans let us follow Franklin's wisdom during this historic Fortnight for Freedom and all hang together for religious liberty.