Marriage, Family and Respect Life: Religious Liberty
"Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.
For this reason, I implore all men and women of good will to renew their commitment to building a world where all are free to profess their religion or faith, and to express their love of God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind (cf. Mt 22:37)."
- Pope Benedict XVI
Religious liberty is an inherent right of the human person, a fundament aspect of our human dignity. Individuals and social institutions (including government entities) have a duty to respect the religious freedom of other individuals and institutions.
Sadly, this fundamental right, guaranteed by the US Constitution, is under attack. (See Current Threats to Religious Liberty on the US Bishops website.) In response to these attacks on religious freedom, the Bishops of the United States have called on all Catholics and citizens to join efforts to defend this fundamental right.
Fortnight for Freedom: June 21 to July 4
The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve will take place from June 21 to July 4 a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.
Fortnight for Freedom activities in the Diocese of Steubenville include the following: