Return Home

Category Archives: Featured Articles

Pope Francis & Religious Freedom

PopeFrancis_CherishFreedom_2015_ver2

While in the United States…

Pope Francis & Religious Freedom
Welcoming Ceremony
South Lawn of the White House
Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

“American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”

Pope Francis Visit to the Joint Session of the United States Congress
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
Thursday, September 24, 2015

  • “Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.”
  • “In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society.”
  • “In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom.”

Pope Francis Meeting with the Members of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization
United Nations Headquarters
New York
Friday, September 25, 2015

  • “[G]overnment leaders must do everything possible to ensure that all can have the minimum spiritual and material means needed to live in dignity and to create and support a family, which is the primary cell of any social development. In practical terms, this absolute minimum has three names: lodging, labour, and land; and one spiritual name: spiritual freedom, which includes religious freedom, the right to education and all other civil rights.”
  • “[T]he simplest and best measure and indicator of the implementation of the new Agenda for development will be effective, practical and immediate access, on the part of all, to essential material and spiritual goods: housing, dignified and properly remunerated employment, adequate food and drinking water; religious freedom and, more generally, spiritual freedom and education.”
  • “[T]he most basic understanding of human dignity compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities’ and to protect innocent peoples.”
  • “I must renew my repeated appeals regarding […] the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement.”

Meeting for Religious Liberty with the Hispanic Community and Other Immigrants Independence Hall
Philadelphia
Saturday, September 26, 2015

  • “The Declaration of Independence stated that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that governments exist to protect and defend those rights.”
  • “When individuals and communities are guaranteed the effective exercise of their rights, they are not only free to realize their potential, they also, through their talents and their hard work, contribute to the welfare and enrichment of society as a whole.”
  • “It [religious freedom] is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own.”
  • “The ideal of interreligious dialogue, where all men and women, from different religious traditions, can speak to one another without arguing. This is what religious freedom allows.”
  • “In a world where various forms of modern tyranny seek to suppress religious freedom, or […] try to reduce it to a subculture without right to a voice in the public square, or to use religion as a pretext for hatred and brutality, it is imperative that the followers of the various religious traditions join their voices in calling for peace, tolerance and respect for the dignity and the rights of others.”
  • “Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families. Because religion itself, the religious dimension, is not a subculture; it is part of the culture of every people and every nation.”
  • “Let us preserve freedom. Let us cherish freedom. Freedom of conscience, religious freedom, the freedom of each person, each family, each people, which is what gives rise to rights.”
  • “[May] you defend these rights, especially your religious freedom, for it has been given to you by God himself.”

In-Flight Press Conference Return to Rome from Philadelphia
Monday, September 28, 2015

  • “I can say the conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right. It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”
  • “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right.”
  • “It (conscientious objection) is a human right. […] It is a right and if we want to make peace we have to respect all rights.”

Other Quotes

“[A] healthy pluralism…does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques.” – Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), no. 255

“Religious freedom is not only that of private thought or worship. It is the liberty to live, both privately and publicly, according to the ethical principles resulting from found truth.” – June 20, 2014

“They experience the limit, the very limit between life and death. And there are consequences for us: this experience must spur us to promote religious freedom for everyone, everyone! Every man and every woman must be free in his or her profession of religion, whatever it may be. Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God.” – May 18, 2013

“I cannot fail to recall the many instances of injustice and persecution which daily afflict religious minorities, and Christians in particular, in various parts of our world. Communities and individuals today find themselves subjected to barbaric acts of violence: they are evicted from their homes and native lands, sold as slaves, killed, beheaded, crucified or burned alive, under the shameful and complicit silence of so many.” – November 25, 2014

“Dear brothers and sisters who courageously bear witness to Jesus in the land blessed by the Lord, our consolation and our hope is Christ himself. I encourage you, then, to remain close to him, like branches on the vine, in the certainty that no tribulation, distress or persecution can separate us from him (cf. Rom 8:35). May the trials which you are presently enduring strengthen the faith and the fidelity of each and all of you!” – December 21, 2014

“When, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from society, it ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights violated.” – September 21, 2014

“We cannot deny that intolerance towards those with different religious convictions is a particularly insidious enemy, one which today is being witnessed in various areas around the world. All believers must be particularly vigilant so that, in living out with conviction our religious and ethical code, we may always express the mystery we intend to honour.” – September 21, 2014

“Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence! No one must use the name of God to commit violence! To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.” – September 21, 2014

“Whenever adherence to a specific religious tradition gives birth to service that shows conviction, generosity and concern for the whole of society without making distinctions, then there too exists an authentic and mature living 4 out of religious freedom… The more men and women are at the service of others, the greater their freedom!” – September 21, 2014

“We must not be afraid of being Christian and living as Christians! We must have this courage to go and proclaim the Risen Christ, for he is our peace; he made peace with his love, with his forgiveness, with his blood and with his mercy.” – April 7, 2013

“What does freedom mean? It is certainly not doing whatever you want, allowing yourself to be dominated by the passions, to pass from one experience to another without discernment, to follow the fashions of the day; freedom does not mean, so to speak, throwing everything that you don’t like out the window… Let us not be afraid of life commitments, commitments that take up and concern our entire life! In this way our life will be fruitful! And this is freedom: to have the courage to make these decisions with generosity.” – May 4, 2013

“In today’s world, religious freedom is more often affirmed than put into practice.” Defending religious liberty “guarantees the growth and development of the entire community.” – June 8, 2013

“In the end, what kind of dignity is there without the possibility of freely expressing one’s thought or professing one’s religious faith? What dignity can there be without a clear juridical framework which limits the rule of force and enables the rule of law to prevail over the power of tyranny? What dignity can men and women ever enjoy if they are subjected to all types of discrimination?” – November 25, 2014

“Nor, in writing to you, can I remain silent about the members of other religious and ethnic groups who are also experiencing persecution and the effects of these conflicts. Every day I follow the new reports of the enormous suffering endured by many people in the Middle East. I think in particular of the children, the young mothers, the elderly, the homeless and all refugees, the starving and those facing the prospect of a hard winter without an adequate shelter. This suffering cries out to God and it calls for our commitment to prayer and concrete efforts to help in any way possible. I want to express to all of you my personal closeness and solidarity, as well as that of the whole Church, and to offer you a word of consolation and hope.” – Dececember 21, 2014

“The tragic situation faced by our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, as well as by the Yazidi and members of other religious and ethnic communities, demands that all religious leaders clearly speak out to condemn these crimes unanimously and unambiguously, and to denounce the practice of invoking religion in order to justify them.” – Dececember 21, 2014

“Today the Churches and ecclesial communities in Europe find themselves facing new and decisive challenges, which can only be answered effectively by speaking with one voice. I am thinking, for example, of the challenge posed by legislators who, in the name of some badly interpreted principle of tolerance, end up preventing citizens from freely expressing and practicing their own religious convictions in a peaceful and legitimate way.” – May 7, 2015

The New Introductory Note to ‘Faithful Citizenship’ Should Inspire Catholics in 2012

Faithful Citizenship

There has been a flurry of commentary on the Introductory Note added to the new version of “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” Some have commented that the version just published by the bishops’ conference is the 2007 version, without revisions, and, as such, has been scored a victory by the Catholics who supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Naturally, those who abused the 2007 document in telling Catholic voters that Obama was a “pro-life” candidate — no, we are not kidding — would be pleased to receive what they consider a green light to do more of the same in 2012. (more…)

Medicare must be changed to survive

5-27-11 Posted by Admin in Featured Articles, Medicare 2 Comments
nurse checking elderly mans pulse isolated on white

Medicare must be changed if the program is to survive. Leaving the program on its current trajectory would expose seniors to rationed and restricted care while the reforms that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is proposing would actually save and preserve Medicare.

Nonetheless, those who are demagoguing the issue for political gain are pretending that they are going to protect Medicare from any change. But this denies that under the president’s policies; 1) $575 billion will be taken out of Medicare to pay for two new ObamaCare entitlement programs; 2) President Obama gives unprecedented power to an unelected, unaccountable panel of bureaucrats whose sole job is to cut payments for medical care. (more…)

The Catholicity of Paul Ryan’s Budget

5-5-11 Posted by admin in Congress, Featured Articles 3 Comments
Paul-Ryan-BUDGET

The Kingdom of God is neither a program of social reform nor a political platform. When rendering to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, we do a disservice to God if we reduce God to the level of a political agitator. Yet while highly specific, programmatic prescriptions for government are inherently suspect if based on claims of divine inspiration, it is certainly meet and right, in assessing policy choices, to apply broad principles derived from faith – in order to ensure they are indeed consonant with the most profound truths we will ever know. Catholics wrestling with American federal budgetary issues, therefore, would do well to inform themselves of some of the themes stressed by their most recently beatified servant, Pope John Paul II. Quite reasonably called by one scholar “the Pope of Subsidiarity,” PJPII distrusted overly centralized bureaucracies for excellent, faith-based reasons. (more…)

Issues for Catholic Voters (2012 edition) – Economic Issues

economics

Economic Issues

The well-being of our families, communities, and nation depends on the success of business and industry to create wealth. The greater the growth of industry, the more stable our society becomes: “Another name for peace is development. Just as there is a collective responsibility for avoiding war, so too there is a collective responsibility for promoting development” (Centesimus Annus, 52).

Business and industry create the wealth that provides financial support for their workers, both blue and white collar, and their families through earned wages, medical benefits, life insurance, disability, and pension plans. Without these wages and benefits, most workers would be unable to obtain the goods necessary to living life without relying on the government for direct assistance. (more…)

The Tea Party and the Religious Conservative Movement

10-8-10 Posted by admin in Featured Articles, Gallery, Taxation 0 Comments
tea_party_protest

By Deal Hudson

A host of commentators on the Tea Party phenomena have mindlessly described the participants as exclusively concerned with fiscal issues.  Anyone who has attended one of these events knows better.

Those who attend Tea Parties across the country are solid, middle Americans, from blue collar to white collar, all united not only by a concern for the profligate spending of the federal government, but also by the equally irresponsible social agenda of the Obama administration. (more…)

Talking Social Justice

10-7-10 Posted by admin in Economic Issues, Featured Articles, Gallery 0 Comments
justice

By Stephen Phelan

It’s a good thing that the conversation about “Social Justice” is heating up again. The exchange between Deacon Keith Fournier and Deal Hudson is the latest between faithful Catholics who are serious about helping the Church communicate its teaching on the proper ordering of society with regard to politics and economics, and how those who have some degree of wealth can best enter into solidarity those who don’t. (more…)

See Who is Cheering for a Congressional Lame-Duck Session…

9-14-10 Posted by admin in Abortion, Blog, Featured Articles, Gallery 0 Comments
lame_duck

By Matt Smith

Congress comes back to Washington D.C. this week. They have a lot of unfinished business most importantly being the fact they have not passed appropriations bills for the next fiscal year which begins October 1st and it does not look like they will get them done before running home to campaign. This will force a lame duck session and the pro-abortion lobby led by Planned Parenthood is cheering for Congress to do just that this year. (more…)

50 Days of Prayer & Action

9-12-10 Posted by admin in Blog, Elections, Featured Articles, Gallery 0 Comments
prayer_nation

Monday, September 13, 2010 marks 50 days until Americans will go to the polls to vote in the mid-term Congressional elections.

Our friends at Priests for Life recently started a “Prayer for our Nation as we Prepare to Elect our Leaders.” They are calling upon each of us to join in the following prayer each day leading up to the important decisions we will make on November 2, 2010 about the future direction of our country. (more…)

A Catholic Speaks at the Glenn Beck Rally

By Patrick Lee

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the life of good deeds that God has prepared in advance . . .”

(more…)