Friday, March 23, 2012

Opening Remarks at "National Stand Up for Religious Freedom" Rally

“…it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness...”  Benedict XVI (January 19, 2012)

Any person of faith has to be concerned with the direction this country is headed.  If we are truly free to worship and to practice our religion, then we cannot be forced to do something that goes against our faith and our morals.  We cannot be told by our government how we should practice our faith.  That is why the framers of our Constitution and most recently our Supreme Court in a unanimous decision wrote that government has no business telling us how to exercise this freedom.  This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue or a Catholic issue.  This is an American issue because it strikes at the first freedom that the Framers enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

We gather here to pray for our country because if this mandate stands then the way we serve the most vulnerable around us through our Catholic hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, and charities will be severely threatened.  And if this mandate stands, what’s to stop them from telling us what we can or cannot preach from our pulpits.  Priests around the world are being persecuted for preaching the fundamental Gospel truths that may no fall in line with what society thinks is right.  The truths that Christ gave us 2000 years still apply today, and as a priest I will continue to teach and proclaim these truths.  Pray for your leaders both government and religious, and pray for our nation, so that the Good Lord may give us all the wisdom to respect each other’s religious freedom and that we may always be one nation, under God!