Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018

Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018

Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, speaks during a media briefing after the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 9. (Credit: CNS/Paul Haring.)

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People of faith are committed to serving others in God’s love in healthcarechild welfaremigration and refugee resettlementeducation, and more.  Catholics have built schools, hospitals, and networks of care for the vulnerable, not simply for the sake of building institutions, but to answer the call of Jesus Christ to serve others.

As the Church seeks to serve under intense pressure to conform to secularist ideology, religious freedom protects the space in which we can continue to answer the call of Jesus Christ with integrity.  So, our work for religious freedom is really meant to support the work of all these other great ministries.

Religious Freedom Week will take place from June 22 – 29, 2018.  It begins with the feast day of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, includes the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and ends with the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The Committee for Religious Liberty has produced resources for prayer, reflection, and action on a different area of concern for each day of the week.  We encourage Christians to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that the Church might have room to carry out her mission of service and mercy.  We also invite Christians to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.

A major area of concern this year is freedom for child welfare service providers.  The opioid crisis is putting a strain on the foster care system.  The number of children in need is going up.  The number of families willing to take the children into their homes is going down.  And in places like Illinois, Massachusetts, California, and D.C., service providers like Catholic Charities agencies who had an excellent track record of recruiting and assisting foster families have been shut down.

The federal Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 1881 / S. 811) would protect the religious liberty of child welfare service providers, including adoption and foster care agencies.  Similar legislation has been introduced and passed in several states.  All are encouraged to check out the USCCB Action Alert Center and state Catholic conference websites for legislative updates on this and other important policy issues!

Join Catholics across the country to pray and act for the freedom to serve faithfully and with integrity.  Through prayer, education, and public action during Religious Freedom Week, we will promote the importance of preserving the essential right of religious freedom, for now and the future, for Catholics and for those of all faiths.

Learn more at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek!

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