Our government is taking what belongs to God!
Edited from the “Fortnight for Freedom” Homily By Most Reverend William Lori
Reprinted from Parish Visitor Magazine
Educating the young, healing the sick, serving the poor and vulnerable: ... these activities are part of our baptismal DNA as Catholic Christians. No wonder we shudder, no wonder we react so strongly, when governmental authority slices and dices our Church ... by separating in law and policy our houses of worship from our charitable, healthcare, and educational institutions ... on the score that the latter are somehow less religious than our churches.
And let’s be clear. The efforts of the government to divide the Church into a worship wing and a service wing do not spring from a theoretical interest in how churches are organized. It is part of a broader movement to limit religious freedom to free- dom of worship — to accord a fuller degree of religious liberty to houses of worship but a lesser degree of religious freedom to charities, hospitals, and universities.
Faith and worship inspire and sustain the service the Church of- fers, yet the government is insinuating a contrary Gospel in the Church’s daily life.
Not long ago, Pope Francis spoke out in defense of religious free- dom. Echoing today’s reading from the Book of Genesis which proclaims that each person is created in God’s image, Pope Fran- cis called upon the nations of the world to uphold “the intangible dignity of the human person against every attack.”
He spoke of how church and state should each do their part to promote “the interests of the people and society.”
Yet he also declared that, “religious freedom is more often talked about than achieved” and told us that “it’s the duty of everyone to defend religious freedom & to promote it for all people.”
If left unchecked, this tendency will continue to diminish the in- fluence of religion in helping to shape the character of our coun- try, not only by our words but above all by the way we conduct our ministries of service....