Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

American Catholics rallied to protect religious freedom, life, and marriage!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 7th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Catholic bishops across the U.S. are calling upon the faithful to fast and pray as part of a renewed campaign to protect religious freedom in the U.S. Since last year's unconstitutional edict was issued from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal government has for the first time in American history, jeopardized the religious freedom of all Americans.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Catholic Online) - The HHS edict requires that employers, regardless of religious conscience, fully fund abhorrent practices that offend their conscience. Those practices include the use of contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients.

Being compelled under the law to finance these activities, religious employers of all stripes are forced to choose between the law of the land, and severe punishment. Those who subsequently comply with the law, may be in grave danger of participating in mortal sin.

A statement from the Bishops calls upon Catholics to pray and fast, abstaining from meat on Fridays. The campaign is also intended to elicit prayers and awareness of other issues including the fundamental right to life and the preservation of marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman.

This comes as more states add themselves to the list of those that artificially redefine marriage to include pairings of same-sex individuals.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone further explained the position of the Church in his statement to the press. "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." Archbishop Cordileone is the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

"We also hope that it will encourage solidarity with all people who are standing for the precious gifts of life, marriage, and religious liberty," he added.

The nation needs a time of prayer and fasting possibly more now than ever before. A series of profound setbacks have been dealt to the Church over the past few years. Those setbacks include the election and reelection of a president who some feel is marginally hostile to the Catholic church, the passage of the HHS edict which compels Catholics and others to violate their conscience under threat of law, and the erosion of legal marriage with the notion that any two individuals of the same sex can be married.

Unfortunately for the government, sacraments and rights cannot be redefined, nor be dismissed by edict.

Catholics are therefore called to participate in five specific actions to serve as reminders of this fact and galvanize them to action.

-    Pray the Rosary daily
-    Attend a special Holy Hour on the last Sunday of each month
-    Participate in the upcoming 2013 Fortnight for Freedom
-    Include special prayers for the faithful at every Mass
-    Fast and abstain from meat on Fridays

By participating in these activities it is hoped that Catholics recall just how fundamental religious freedom is to American society and that more become active in protecting it for all.

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