Whither the Fortnight?
For the last five years, U.S. Catholics, led by the U.S.C.C.B., have marked the two weeks leading up to the American celebration of Independence Day as a period of prayerful reflection on our cherished Freedom of Religion as enshrined in Article 1 of the Bill of Rights. Members of the hierarchy have sought to lead the faithful to become educated on threats to religious liberty and take necessary steps to preserve and defend it in our land, knowing the quick progression that can happen from small restrictions to eventual all out persecution. It has happened around the world. There is no country we could flee to that would offer a better environment enabling the practice of our Faith…yet. If we slip further into the dictatorship of relativism that tolerates anything but Truth, we could expect inevitable persecution for being adherents of it.
While some critics posit that the Fortnight lacks concrete accomplishments as an agent of change, it would be best to cite two wise priests, both masters of concise, pithy statements worthy of serious meditation, for the current state of affairs:
Archbishop Charles Chaput in a National Catholic Register Interview from 2013: ‘If laypeople don’t love their Catholic faith enough to struggle for it in the public square, nothing the bishops do will finally matter’.
Servant of God Father John A. Hardon, S.J.: ‘Unless we recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians—unless we are willing to do what they did and to pay the price that they paid, the future of our country, the days of America are numbered’.
If you love God and Country, cherish the right kind of freedom. Happy Independence Day!!