GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS
‘UNITED FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM’ STATEMENT - Click here for details
MESSAGE FROM BISHOP LENNON
One of the precious liberties we enjoy in this country is Freedom of Religion. The bishops of the United States believe our religious liberties are threatened by the Federal Health and Human Services mandate requiring religious institutions to offer and pay for health services which are contrary to our teachings. It is my hope that you will support efforts to educate and encourage each other to advocate for change.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking that we pray and advocate for reversal of this policy. The “Fortnight for Freedom” will run from June 21 (the vigil of the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher) through Independence Day, the 4th of July. I will offer Mass at 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, 21 June at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist to open the Diocesan “Fortnight for Freedom.” All are invited to attend.
I also am asking pastors to consider holding a prayer service sometime during the “Fortnight” time period giving parishioners the opportunity to join together and pray for preservation of our religious freedom. A candlelight service has been suggested as one possibility (located to download from the left-hand column of this page).
As a culmination of our “Fortnight” efforts, I would invite everyone to join me for a special Mass at St. John Cathedral at 12:00 noon on the holiday, Wednesday the 4th of July. At the same time, I would ask all of our parishes to join with parishes across the nation to ring their church bells at noon on the 4th in support of religious freedom.
In my column in the latest edition of the Universe Bulletin, I encourage letters to the Congress and President Barack Obama advocating change. I also believe our prayers and actions are not only about the faith we cherish so deeply, but all those who cherish their own faith traditions as well. Let our voices be heard!
Yours in Christ,
+ Richard G. Lennon
Bishop of Cleveland
Homily from Opening Mass for the Fortnight4Freedom