Praying for religious freedom

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann drives home the importance of religious liberty and conscience rights during a Mass July 4 at Church of the Nativity in Leawood during this year’s Fortnight for Freedom.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann drives home the importance of religious liberty and conscience rights during a Mass July 4 at Church of the Nativity in Leawood during this year’s Fortnight for Freedom.

Archbishop leads celebration of fortnight for freedom.


by Jessica Langdon
jessica.langdon@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Fireworks celebrating America’s freedom weren’t the only events that drew crowds this summer.
Catholics filled Kansas churches to pray for religious liberty from June 21-July 4 during the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week celebration of religious freedom that began June 21, the vigil of the feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, and ended on Independence Day.

“Historically, the United States has been the world’s beacon of hope for liberty,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in his homily July 2 at a Holy Hour for religious freedom at St. Francis Xavier Church in Burlington. “Today, however, Catholics and others are experiencing unprecedented threats to religious freedom and conscience rights.”

Health and Human Services mandates requiring Catholic employers to include contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacient drugs in their health plans as part of the Affordable Care Act remain a pressing concern, he said.

The archbishop also celebrated Holy Hours at Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park and St. Matthew Parish in Topeka, as well as a Mass on July 4 at Church of the Nativity in Leawood.

He also blessed motorcycles at Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence.

“We need to beg the Lord to give us wisdom, strength, courage, prudence, energy, compassion and love,” he said. “We need to be on our knees petitioning God to open the hearts and minds of the president, legislators, judges and justices, but, even more, of the common ordinary American.”

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