Fortnight for Freedom to finish this Friday

Fortnight for Freedom began June 21 and is to conclude Friday. It is a 14-day period of prayer, action and education to promote the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom for those of all faiths. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced the first Fortnight for Freedom in 2012 that has occurred annually on the same dates.

The observance was created in response to the U.S. Health and Human Services regulation that would force employers, including Catholic institutions to pay, directly or indirectly, for insurance for sterilization and contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs. The conference stated that is counter to Catholic religious beliefs. Violation could cause faith-based charities to incur fines, reducing their ability to serve to the poor, the sick and the vulnerable.

In recognition that many challenges to religious liberty still exist, the U.S. bishops announced a Fortnight for Freedom for 2014 with a theme drawn from Pope Francis, “Freedom to Serve.”

During the event, people are asked to:

Pray for the protection of religious liberty and increased respect for the role of faith in public life.

Educate themselves, family, friends, and neighbors by using the many resources found at the Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Support national and local diocesan events like opening and closing masses as well as efforts to serve the poor and vulnerable.

Stay up-to-date on current religious freedom issues and sign up for text messages from the conference by texting the word “FREEDOM” to 377377.

Encourage legislators to support H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.