Catholic World News

Archbishop Lori: Fortnight for Freedom opening homily

June 25, 2012

At a Mass that opened the US bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom religious liberty campaign, Archbishop William Lori said that St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher are models for the individual Catholic and Catholic institutions.

The Mass took place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption in Baltimore.

“St. Thomas More could be said to represent that conscientious private employer or employee who, seeks to avoid doing or facilitating moral evil in course of daily work while striving to live and work in accord with the demands of social justice,” Archbishop Lori preached. “Until now, it has been entirely possible under federal law for conscientious owners to conduct private businesses in accord with one’s conscience and the teachings of one’s faith. Until now, federal law has also accommodated businesses which are not Church organizations but which are related to the mission of the Church.”

“On August 1st, less than six weeks from now, the Health and Human Services mandate will go into effect,” he continued. “This will force conscientious private employers to violate their consciences by funding and facilitating through their employee health insurance plans reproductive ‘services’ that are morally objectionable.”

Turning to the example of St. John Fisher, Archbishop Lori preached:

In the wake of St. John Fisher’s martyrdom, churches, monasteries, and centers of learning were seized by royal power and were either destroyed or made to break their ties with the Roman Catholic Church. The government interfered in the internal life of the Church with a cruel thoroughness John Fisher could not have imagined even a few years earlier. He symbolizes for us our struggle to maintain religious freedom for Church institutions and ministries such as our schools and charities.

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  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jun. 25, 2012 6:30 PM ET USA

    Nice homily but he only told half the ball score. In st John Fisher's time, he alone among the bishops in England refused to sign the Oath of obedience. 12 others caved. When the real heat comes from the government, we will see how many John Fishers we have. Talk is cheap.