Religious Liberty

The U.S. bishops are urging all people of good will to unite to protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. They outlined their position in “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate is requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching, and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. It is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. It is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, even when it violates our religious beliefs.

To better understand the issue of religious lilberty and why so many people are uniting to protect religious liberty, we have provided many resources for you on this webpage. The information is divided into four categories: PRAYER, EDUCATION -activities, EDUCATION-literature, and ADVOCACY .

PRAYER

Your prayers are needed to ensure the future of our nation will allow for religious freedom, as guaranteed by our constitution.

The following prayer cards are available to download from the USCCB in English and Spanish:
Mary Immaculate; María Inmaculada  
Our Lady of Guadalupe; Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
St. Thomas More; Santo Tomás Moro

Parishes please read the Suggested USCCB Prayer Resources for Conscience Rights and Religious Freedom Also available in Spanish.

Include the St. Michael Prayer and/or the Prayer for Religious Liberty at Masses.

Pray for the courage of our Priests and Bishops.

Include Faithful Citizenship Intercessory Prayers in the Prayers of the Faithful.

Participate in Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction.

Participate in the celebration of Mass for Religious Liberty on July 4.

EDUCATION – Activities

Host a Faithful Citizenship workshop; contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice to schedule a presentation: 407-658-1818 x 2086 or advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org.

Form a group to read the Bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Set up information table in the narthex of Church with educational materials.

Conduct a workshop on Founding Fathers and the Constitution, Life of St. John Fisher, WhatYou Need to Know About the HHS Mandate.

Invite a Catholic judge or lawyer to give a talk on the history of the First Amendment and host  a Q&AWeekly Rosary Group dedicated to Religious Liberty.

EDUCATION – Literature

The new federal mandate for contraception/strilization coverage

Faithful Citizenship Bulletin Inserts

A series of Fact Sheets are available from the USCCB, including:

Federal Laws Protecting Conscience Rights

Order the Religious Liberty pamphlet from Our Sunday Visitor and make available to
parishioners

Twelve Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate – Also available in Spanish

Read: USCCB Testimony, Letters, and Statements and stay up to date with current  News Releases

Backgrounder on Coerced Abortion Payments                 

Is Respect for the Rights of Conscience Act Overbroad? 

Fortnight for Freedom Reflections from Dignitatis Humanae

ADVOCACY

Send an electronic message to Congress to Oppose the HHS Mandate and Support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act

Join the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops Advocacy Network or sign up for USCCB Action Alerts to receive the most current information

Write Letters to Editor in your local news publications