There is 1 comment in this article 

Feature News

Religious liberty

Fight against HHS mandate, threats to marriage and life, continue in 2013

Thursday, December 06, 2012
Communications Department - Archdiocese of Miami
From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a pastoral strategy addressing critical life, marriage and religious liberty concerns. The five-part strategy or call to prayer was approved by the bishops in November and is set to begin after Christmas. The overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty.

Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.

The call to prayer is prompted by the rapid social movements and policy changes currently underway, such as the mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that coerces employers, including heads of religious agencies, to pay for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives, as well as increased efforts to redefine marriage.

“The pastoral strategy is essentially a call and encouragement to prayer and sacrifice—it’s meant to be simple,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. “It’s not meant to be another program but rather part of a movement for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, which engages the New Evangelization and can be incorporated into the Year of Faith. Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty are not only foundational to Catholic social teaching but also fundamental to the good of society,” he said.

Details of the strategy follow:
  1. Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.
  2. Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.
  3. At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad.
  4. Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.
  5. The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services. 
A website with resources from the USCCB is available at: www.usccb.org/life-marriage-liberty.  
     
“With the challenges this country is facing, it is hoped that this call to prayer and penance will help build awareness among the faithful as well as spiritual stamina and courage for effective witness. We also hope that it will encourage solidarity with all people who are standing for the precious gifts of life, marriage, and religious liberty,” Archbishop Cordileone said.

Because religious freedom has profound implications for the common good of our nation and world, the U.S. bishops have created a website - www.firstamericanfreedom.com - where people of all faiths can find ways to engage in prayer, education, and public action to turn back the threats against religious freedom in the U.S. 

The Archdiocese of Miami has joined a nationwide lawsuit arguing that this mandate violates religious freedom. 
 
Click here for the USCCB Response to HHS Issues in February 7, 2013
Click here for the USCCB Response to HHS Final Rule, issued July 3, 2013

Comments from readers

PEDRO - 10/17/2013 12:29 PM
la verdadera unión de los cristianos con dios es la oración y es por eso que cuando mas unidos estemos por medio de la oración se le hará difícil a nuestros enemigos vencernos, sin duda es una buena forma de protegernos y por una buena causa es que debemos practicar la oración diaria y mas aun en cadena puesto que el señor escuchará nuestras plegarias, sigamos adelante. dios nos bendiga y proteja
  News Archive  News Archive
Feature News
Catholic Hospice opens unit at St. Anne's
Worshiping in the Spirit
OBITUARY: Sister Jean Immaculate McNamara, 87
'Amazing ministry': catechesis
7 women, 1 team to be honored at Catechetical Conference
Archdiocesan news briefs
Kitchen appliances: free for the taking
Una madre que perdió a su hijo en la Ave. Krome lucha por salvar otras vidas
A healthy way to raise funds for the poor
Families of the incarcerated invited to archdiocesan Mass
School News
Renowned 13-year-old coder from Iceland speaks to Pace High students
St. Brendan students remember kids who have died of cancer
St. Thomas Aquinas forensics team wins big
Mary Help of Christians School is growing
Lourdes Academy inducts 2014 Bernadette Scholars
St. Agnes Academy celebrates International Dot Day
Remembering Sister Lucia Ceccotti
Sports
U.S. Tennis awards $5000 grant to Curley Notre Dame Prep
Columns
The Rosary: 'a weapon of mass conversion'
Homilies
At Mass with the Filipino community
At Mass with medical professionals
At Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary
Statements
'Each of us is a masterpiece of God's creation'

NEWS COLLABORATON