Fortnight for Freedom Mass makes note of critical need for religious freedom

****Our Archbishop Carslon gave this AWESOME homily on 7/3/13. He got a standing ovation from the 1,500 person crowd.

Truly blessed to have such a strong and faithful leader.

The homily is worth a read.

On the eve of Independence Day, Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis put aside their holiday planning to pray for the protection of the thing the Fourth of July celebrates — freedom.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated a noon Mass July 3 before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,500 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in the Central West End. Bishops across the United States held similar events for the past two weeks as part of the June 21-July 4 Fortnight for Freedom, which was designated as a period of prayer and action to address current cultural and government challenges to the issues of life, marriage and religious liberty.

But the HHS mandate “violates our moral and religious convictions with its focus on contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization,” said the archbishop, who **received several rounds of thunderous applause and a standing ovation at the end of his homily. **“We are defined by our faith, which has to do with an understanding of God, human dignity and the world in which we live. The most important thing we can do now is pray, and in the public square present, argue for and act on the Catholic understanding of the sacredness of life from conception to natural death.”

“We need to ask the question of our culture — does your thinking work in the shadow of heaven? And we say no,” said the archbishop at the conclusion of his homily.

So awesome, but when do we get to hear from the Holy Father on the matter ?

Well, this is an American issue at the present. Our Holy Father spoke up when Argentina faced these issues.

Give him time!

well I disagree that this is an American issue considering it is being called a fight for "Religious Freedom " .

Granted the Holy Father, or any Pope is always busy, but heck so is the president of the United States ( any president ) an the presidency some how manages to chew gum and walk at the same time and make people mad all at the same time not just in America but across the Globe.

So if now is not the time for the Holy Father to directly address what America is facing, then when is ?

I think the Holy Father addresses what we are facing here in America quite nicely in his first encyclical Lumen Fidei, which just came out today, as a matter of fact, and seems very timely. It seems to me that he’s telling us to stay the course, to stay true to our Catholic Faith and beliefs, to keep the faith and pass it along to our children. Below is a quote from the encyclical:

Faith and the family

"52. In Abraham’s journey towards the future city, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the blessing which was passed on from fathers to sons (cf. Heb 11:20-21). The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise (cf. Heb 11:11).

“53. In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the love of their parents. This is why it is so important that within their families parents encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith.”

Above quote taken directly from the Vatican website link below:


The Pope has…then Cardinal Ratzinger coined the phrase…**dictatorship of relativism **back in the late 1980’s (if memory serves me right)…he wrote a book about it 2004

“In recent years I find myself noting,” Cardinal Ratzinger said in his [book] Without Roots, “how** the more relativism becomes the generally accepted way of thinking, the more it tends toward intolerance**. Political correctness … seeks to establish the domain of a single way of thinking and speaking. Its relativism creates the illusion that it has reached greater heights than the loftiest philosophical achievements of the past. It presents itself as the only way to think and speak — if, that is, one wishes to stay in fashion. … I think it is** vital that we oppose this imposition of a new pseudo-enlightenment, which threatens freedom of thought as well as freedom of religion.”**

Read more:

here is what Pope Benedict XVI said in January 2013…to US Bishops…

In the light of these considerations, it is **imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. **Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

Whether of not Pope Francis has made remarks specific to Freedom of Religion in the USA…not sure…but you are still missing the critical point. The imperative point is made by Cardinal Weurl yesterday…quoting the Pope:

Recalling Pope Benedict’s concern about radical secularism in the United States, Cardinal Wuerl added that

The Holy Father’s answer to this “radical secularism” and “denial of rights” is, as he explained, “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism.” And here you are!

Your faith is a remedy for what ails our society. The mission of all of us, but particularly of the laity is to engage the culture with the Good News that only comes from Jesus Christ.

So…its not the Pope or bishops issue…its the laity…you and me…we are the ones who are “asleep at the wheel” so to speak. Just remember in the last two elections…we the Catholic laity voted twice for what we are experiencing now…2008: Obama (54%) vs McCain (45%)…and …2012 Obama (50%) vs Romney (48&). We all…all Catholics knew without a doubt…and heard through many bishops, pastors and laity apostolates…almost ad nausea… what the 5 non-negotiable issues were in forming our conscience before going into the voting booth…in the last two elections…and we said…I’ll vote as I “feel” and with my “party”…on my issues.

If I were the Pope Francis answering this question about when is he going to speak out about religious Freedom in America…I would say…huh? gotta be kidding me? Get off your laity-arse and get to work! (and my feeling is…Pope Francis is just the kind of pope who might express this sentiment…bluntly…but with Fatherly dignity).

I personally think that the USCCB has been to vocal on too many issues…and we laity sit in the “stands”…eating popcorn and either applaud or critique them. They are not politicians…giving campaign speeches or running for office…but that’s the way we laity in the pews treat them. So now all we can say to each other is…is what Oliver Hardy always said to Stan Laurel…

Pax Christi

I forgot to provide a link!

Why do bishops et al. keep saying that the HHS mandate is evil because it “violates our moral and religious convictions”? I mean it’s true, but the emphasis is wrong. The mandate is evil not because the convictions it violates are ours but because the convictions it violates are true. If they’re true then we should be talking about and defending and explaining those convictions, rather than complaining about narrow and functionally meaningless Constitutional safeguards being transgressed.

One of the things that excited me about this Mass is that it was standing room only. There are many many people ready to go out and defend marriage.

I wish I had a transcript of the homily. At one point he says “I regret that Washington ,DC cannot get it straight…In case anybody wants to know, we don’t serve our brother and sister because they are Catholic. We serve those in need because WE are Catholic. We don not intend to stop even if they can’t get it straight. **And we’re big enough to do it.” **

I love that last challenge. JUST TRY TO FORCE US.

They do and they are.

The problem I have is those in power with in the RCC do not directly name individuals, or administrations , it always a generalization, So when someone with in the RCC directly says the U.S.A and then some where says President ( whom ever ) is now overstepping into the world of the faithful, then I will stop nit picking on this issue, of course pontiffs and clergy address problems the world is facing, but is always in general, why not take aim at North Korea and that lil tyrant king running that place. ? why not instead of speaking in generalizations pin point ones words directly .

as to what this one lay catholic is doing, I voted for the last time in 2012 and it wasn’t for his majesty Obama, I am not going to pay for Obama care in any way shape or form and am prepared to go to court and or prison over it, an I will never pay the fees or taxes for it in any shape or form ( which is only a matter of when not if these scenerios play out )

I have no more trust in the two party powerhouse machine any more that runs this country, and only plan on working in any way shape or form to undermine both parties when ever and where ever possible.

Religious freedom is not the only problem the Americans are facing. For those who voted for Obama, they will soon know the disaster they put themselves in but it will be too late. Many doctors I talked to said Obamacare is a **huge disaster **for everyone. There are numerous code and regulations to go through. The doctors will waste lot of time to meet the government requirements instead of taking care of the patients. The patients will have to call 800 toll free number (even making appointment will be free of phone bill, ha!) to make appointment. We cannot choose our own doctors any more… the problems go on and on for anyone even to imagine. Wait when 2014 comes. I hate to tell those Obama voters “I told you so”. Based on many conversations I have with different doctors, some are friends, some are my doctors, it is a much bigger chaos than anyone could even imagine.

Even communist China is not as bad as Obamacare when it kicks in!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit