Friday, June 19, 2015

Forthnight for Freedom 2015 preparations

In preparation for the Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness, which will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ staff has once again prepared materials that you may use to celebrate the Fortnight. This year’s theme emphasizes the link between religious freedom and bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel, keeping in mind the sacrifice of so many martyrs for the faith, both past and present.

During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. In the secular calendar, we anticipate that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule at some point during the Fortnight (likely around June 29) on four cases concerning the legal definition of marriage in the United States.


The materials below are publicly available (in English and Spanish) through the website, so please feel free to distribute widely or provide website links:

1. 14-Day Study Guide on Dignitatis Humanae (note that this is the 50th anniversary of the “Declaration on Religious Freedom” from the Second Vatican Council)

2. Parish Guide to celebrating the Fortnight (including 14 suggestions)

4. A series of examples of International Religious Freedom issues

9Prayers of the Faithful (part of the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty)

10. Holy Hour Template (also part of the Call to Prayer)

Social media can also be an effective tool during the Fortnight; I would encourage you to use all  communications tools that you have access to in order to effectively spread the message in support of religious freedom.