Tinh thần công giáo: MN Catholic Conference Launches ‘First Freedom Project

(Bởi Jason Adkins)
Có thể 22, 2012

Most people are familiar with the Scripture verse that we are to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

But what belongs to God, and what is properly within the jurisdiction of the state?

For much of our country’s history, American Catholics have not had to choose between living out their faith and being faithful citizens. The church does not begrudge our government its rule of law. “Caesar” has and can continue to legitimately claim loyalty from U.S. Người công giáo.

Theo giáo lý của nhà thờ Công giáo, “It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, Tư pháp, đoàn kết, and freedom.”

“Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the life of the political community” (Nos. 2238-39).

Let us be clear, mặc dù. Loyalty to governing authority can never supersede the obedience due to God alone.

In the statement “Đầu tiên của chúng tôi, Hầu hết các ấp ủ Liberty,” the American bishops remind us that “the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own belief.”

Religious freedom applies to individuals both privately and publicly, and alone or in association with others.

Faced with challenges to our first freedom or any other important liberties, as we are today, it is the responsibility of Catholics and others to speak out and remind the public about what is and what is not properly Caesar’s.

Dự án tự do đầu tiên

The Minnesota Catholic Conference is launching the “Dự án tự do đầu tiên,” a long-term educational initiative aimed helping Catholics and the public understand the importance of protecting religious liberty for this and future generations.

The First Freedom Project’s initial program will be to support our bishops’ call for a “fortnight for freedom,” a special period of prayer, nghiên cứu, catechesis and public action from June 21 -Tháng bảy 4 that will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of religious liberty. (See U.S. Hội nghị giám mục công giáo, Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, “Đầu tiên của chúng tôi, Hầu hết các ấp ủ Liberty.”)

MCC has also launched an accompanying blog (first freedom.mncc.org) that seeks to help Catholics and others understand how emerging challenges to religious liberty have roots in deeper conflicts over constitutional law and political philosophy.

Nói cách khác, ideas do have consequences.

Urgent Catholic obligation

Urging Catholic participation in the two-week Fortnight for Freedom (fortnight4freedom.org), Archbishop John Nienstedt has said that he would like this time to be an opportunity for Catholics to “truly understand what is at stake.”

Our bishops continue to remind us that the clergy’s role is to bring the light of the Gospel to public life, while the work of establishing a just civil order is properly that of “committed and courageous” lay Catholics.

There is an urgent need for the lay faithful, in solidarity with people of other faiths, to remind our elected representatives of the importance of continued protection of religious liberty in a free society.

Working against the voice of the Catholic faithful and people of goodwill, Tuy nhiên, are those who wish to reduce the realm of religion to a mere private opinion or preference with no public role to play in shaping our politics or culture.

They often invoke the phrase “separation of church and state” to argue religion should have no role in public life.

This fundamental misunderstanding of the role of religion in the public square will end up hurting the most vulnerable in our society: those cared for, educated and assisted by people of faith, whose ministries will be marginalized or shuttered altogether.

Holy Father calls for vigilance

Pope Benedict XVI spoke earlier this year about his worry that religious liberty in the U.S. is being weakened.

“Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices,” he told the U.S. bishops on Jan. 19. “Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce the religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.”

Pope Benedict called upon the Catholic laity to be an engaged, articulate and well-formed presence with the courage to counter “a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.”

Those seeking to discredit our calls for protection of religious liberty accuse us of wanting to establish a theocracy. Not so.

We do not seek a “sacred public square” with special privileges or benefits to religious citizens.

We cannot settle, Tuy nhiên, for a “naked public square” stripped of well-reasoned religious arguments and religious believers.

Thay vào đó, we seek a civil public square where all citizens can make their contribution to the common good.

Let us use the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom to equip ourselves to promote and defend “our first, most cherished liberty.”

Jason Adkins là các giám đốc điều hành của Minnesota công giáo hội nghị.

Minnesota Catholic Conference religious liberty events

  • “Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally,” Friday, Tháng sáu 8, noon-1 p.m., US Courthouse, Minneapolis, 300 S. 4th St.

Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm and other leaders will voice their support for public policies that protect religious liberty for all citizens.

Co-sponsored by Pro-Life Action Ministries.


  • “Religious Liberty: Tự do ấp ủ nhất của chúng tôi,” Thursday, Tháng sáu 21, 7 để 9 chiều., Steiner Hall at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 1900 Wellesley Avenue, St. Paul.

Speakers: Jason Adkins, Các giám đốc điều hành của Minnesota công giáo hội nghị; Father Daniel Griffith, faculty fellow of law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law; and Teresa Collett, professor of law, Đại học St. Thomas.

Đồng tài trợ bởi Tổng giáo phận St. Paul-Minneapolis.


  • “Deceits and Conceits: The False Conflict of Religious Freedom with Women’s Liberty,” Wednesday, Tháng sáu 27, 7 để 9 chiều., Đại học St. Thomas, St. Paul.

Moderator: Jeanne Buckeye, professor of ethics and business law, Đại học St. Thomas. Speakers: Teresa Collett, professor of law, Đại học St. Thomas; R. Mary Lemmons, associate professor of philosophy, Đại học St. Thomas; Deborah Savage, clinical professor, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Co-sponsored by the Siena Symposium for Women, Gia đình và văn hóa.


  • “Religious Liberty, Lương tâm quyền, và sự tham gia của cộng đồng Đức tin trong Public Square,” Thursday, Tháng sáu 28, 8:30 a.m. để 5 chiều., Đại học St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis.

Loa bao gồm: Eric Magnuson, retired chief justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; Andy Eisenzimmer, chancellor for civil affairs, Tổng giáo phận St. Paul-Minneapolis; Father Daniel Griffith, faculty fellow, Đại học St. Thomas School of Law.

This Continuing Legal Education Seminar is open to the public; một $20 registration fee for non-lawyers includes lunch.

Co-sponsored by the University of St. Thomas Pro-Life Law Center.

Nhấp vào Ở đây for more events.