I am a bit blurry-eyed this morning after celebrating Curly-haired Daughter's graduation last night, but a friend sent me this, and I thought it was not only worth quoting but pondering:
We do not seek to defend religious liberty for partisan or
political purposes, as some have suggested. No, we do this because
we are lovers of a human dignity that was fashioned and imparted not
by the government but by the Creator.
We defend religious liberty because we are lovers of every human
person, seeing in the face of every man and woman also the face of
Christ, who loved us to the very end and who calls on us to love and
serve our neighbor with the same love he has bestowed on us.
We uphold religious liberty because we seek to continue serving
those in need while contributing to the common good in accord with
the Church’s social teaching and to do so with compassion and
effectiveness through Catholic Charities, the largest private
provider of human services in the State of Maryland.
We do this because Archbishop John Carroll’s generation of
believers and patriots bequeathed to us a precious legacy that has
enabled the Church to worship in freedom, to bear witness to Christ
publicly, and to do massive and amazing works of pastoral love,
education, and charity in ways that are true to the faith that
inspired them in the first place.
We defend religious liberty in fidelity to the wisdom of James
Cardinal Gibbons who withstood in the breach those who said it
wasn’t possible to be a practicing Catholic and a loyal American.
“…I belong to a country,” he said, “where the civil government holds
over us the aegis of its protection, without interfering with us in
the legitimate exercise of our sublime mission as ministers of the
Gospel of Christ. Our country has liberty without license, and
authority without despotism.”
Now we must be loyal Americans by being bold and courageous
So, dear friends, let us be of good cheer.
Let us never imagine that the faith we profess with such personal
conviction is merely a private matter. By its nature, the profession
of faith is a public matter – for the faith is meant to be spread
far and wide and acted upon in and through Church institutions and
in the witness of individual believers.
Let us not shrink from entering the public square to proclaim the
Person of Christ, to teach the values that flow from reason and
faith, to uphold our right to go about our daily work in accord with
our teachings and values, to defend the sanctity of human life from
the moment of conception until natural death, to defend the
institution of marriage as between a man and a woman, and to serve
effectively those in great need with convictions borne of the moral
The entire homily here.
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