Kim Daniels '94 on American Catholic "Fortnight for Freedom"

Excerpted from

American Catholics will spend the next two weeks standing up for an American principle.

For months our Church has led opposition to the administration's mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilizations even when such coverage violates deeply-held religious beliefs.

After attempts at negotiation failed, forty-three diverse Catholic institutions -- from the University of Notre Dame to Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh to Resurrection Catholic School of Pascagoula, Mississippi -- filed lawsuits against the mandate to secure their religious freedom and to keep government out of the business of defining what counts as a religious ministry.

And for the next two weeks, Catholics across the country will stand together in a "Fortnight for Freedom" to demonstrate, through prayer and action, the importance of religious liberty.

These efforts demonstrate a solidarity that in-the-pews Catholics should welcome. Through their coordinated legal actions, large archdioceses, small retirement homes, prestigious universities and local social service organizations have witnessed to the unity of our Church. It's no surprise that this unity is often most evident precisely in these local institutions that so explicitly serve the common good. It's these groups -- the neighborhood parish school, the local Catholic nursing home, the soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities -- that will suffer most if the mandate and the stiff fines that it imposes remain in force.

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