June 21st will be the start of another run on freedom. It will be the start of the Fortnight For Freedom, 2013 edition.
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 the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More. Through prayer, study, and peaceful public action during the Fortnight for Freedom, we hope to remind ourselves and others all throughout the United States about the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom.
Religious freedom is indeed endangered in many places on the planet, though probably not the United States so much. The USCCB seems to believe that financial entitlements are part of a so-called freedom. I’m a skeptic on much, but not all of this. The institutional church itself has not had a lily white record on religious freedom. Women, including women religious, have been targets of bishops and clergy and even the laity who misunderstood or just simply opposed their service to the Church and the world.
I was heartened to learn that the “Nuns” are gassing up the “Bus” again. And this year, they’re inviting the bishops to hang with them, at least at the bus stops.
Many U.S. bishops also opposed Network’s lobbying on behalf of Obama’s health care reform plan, while others did not look kindly on Campbell’s social justice views and her activism during the presidential campaign.
But Campbell said Wednesday that she and the American bishops are on the same page on immigration reform, and she has invited them to join her group at stops along the way later this month and in June. “They don’t have to ride on the bus,” she said. “They can come stand with us at the events.”
I like that.
Starting June 21st, we’ll join in the chorus for both freedom and our sisters in faith. I’ll do another Two Weeks of Worthy Women, and I’d like to invite interested readers to write up some favorites from history. Last year, we walked with these worthies: Maude Petre, Teresa of Avila, Mary MacKillop, Marie-Anne Blondin, Thea Bowman, Jeanne d’Arc, Juana Inés de la Cruz, Hildegard of Bingen, Mother Théodore Guérin, Anne-Marie Javouhey, Louise (Mother St Andrew) Feltin, Gertrude of Helfta, Mary Ward, and Marguerite Porete. I’d like to go with fourteen different women. I’d like to find women who have experienced harassment from religious institutions, not necessarily Catholic. Nobody living. Guest writers welcome. And your suggestions to give us fourteen worthy reads starting fifty-one days from today.