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27 Mar

Religious Freedom Under Attack

“Let the Torch of Faith we proudly carry continue to light the Torch of Lady Liberty.”
Bishop John O. Barres, Fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY

Religious Freedom Under Attack:

Warnings from Bishop John O. Barres, 2013, Allentown, PA: 

“Threats to religious liberty, zealous efforts to hermetically seal off the witness of Christians in the public square, radical atheism at fever pitch, hedonism and a pornographic culture, the dictatorship of relativism and the continuing scandal of abortion – it can all be quite daunting and jarring.”

“Religious liberty belongs to us.  It wasn’t provided to us by government; it was given to us by God.  No government agency has any right to restrict it much less take it from us.  And when we respectfully tell our government that we will not agree to confine our religious convictions and keep them out of public view, we are acting in the very best traditions of both our Christian faith and our shared American history.”

Warnings from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito:

“The U.S. is entering a period when its commitment to religious liberty is being tested,” warned Justice Alito in a speech sponsored by a Catholic lawyers association in March.

“A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral values.”  Organizations seeking to change traditional beliefs will “vilify those who disagree and treat them as bigots.”

” We are likely to see pitched battles in courts and Congress, in state legislatures and town halls.  But the most important fight is for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans.  It is up to all of us to evangelize our fellow Americans about the issue of religious freedom.”  (, 3/15/17;, 3/15/17)

God our Father, we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care.  You alone are the true source of our rights.  Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.  Amen



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Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom

Fortnight 2016 Diocese poster flyer

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Free to Speak:
Our public schools are not “God-Free Zones”

America’s children need not leave their faith at the school house door.

For students to be silenced or disciplined by an authority figure, for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…

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Religious Freedom Resources

Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.

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At World Meeting of Families: Defending Freedom of Religion

WorldMeetingofFamiliesBarbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

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Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right

Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witness to Freedom Rally held at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School

In Service to the Church

Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.

Pope blesses boy as he leaves audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanPope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion
Mission Statement


America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:

  • To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
  • To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
  • To invite and include other faith communities
  • To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
  • To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source

“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison

“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Phone 631-896-8331

National Religious Freedom Day

Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.