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24 Oct

Religious Liberty in Doubt

If a candidate is right on lesser issues but votes wrongly on key moral issues, Pope St. John Paul II said, “The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights – is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.”

Religious Liberty in Doubt:

Pope Benedict XVI stated, “It is imperative that the entire Catholic (Christian) community in the U.S. come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s moral witness … of particular concern are attempts to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. … concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices (Jan. 19, 2012)

“In the United States, religious freedom generally enjoys strong protection in our law and culture, but those protections are now in doubt.  For example, the longstanding tax exemption of the Church (and by implication, all religions) has been explicitly called into question at the highest levels of government, precisely because of her teachings … (believers) have a particular duty to make sure that protections like these do not weaken but instead grow in strength.  This is not only to secure the just freedom of the Church and the faithful here but also to offer hope and an encouraging witness to those who suffer direct and even violent religious persecution in countries where the protection is far weaker.”  (USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship)

“As a nation, we share many blessings and strengths including a tradition of religious freedom and political participation  … we face serious challenges that are both political and moral.”   USCCB  (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)
Almighty God, may we elect candidates who will always uphold the common good, avoid intrinsic evil and protect our God-given rights to life and to freedom of conscience.  In concert with the great founders of our nation, may we confidently proclaim, “In God we Trust.”    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.