This week we celebrate the 2015 Fortnight for Freedom. As we examine the domestic challenges to religious liberty, we are encouraged by our shepherd, Bishop Loverde, to “use this period of time for prayer, study, and advocacy,” so that we are, “ equipped with the spiritual and practical resources needed to bear witness to the fullness of faith in our culture.”
By: Helen M. Alvaré
It probably hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that the Catholic Church, and others seriously proposing the irreplaceable good of preserving the natural links among sex, children, and marriage, are increasingly assigned a place with bigots and evildoers.
It was fairly discouraging, therefore, to read the implication in John Allen’s recent column about the controversy over the same-sex marriage of a Catholic Relief Services executive: that caring strongly about marriage could be interpreted as not attending properly to the horror of murdered Christians. This is not likely what Allen intended, given his record of fairness covering the Church’s marriage work, but the implication was felt nonetheless, with the article’s use of the words “luxury issues” “fuss” and “manufactur[ed] … controversy.”
Similar aspersions are never cast against those working on other social justice issues that don’t concern murder — issues like poverty or the environment. They’re never leveled against Pope Francis, who is instead credited with highlighting — in one week’s time — the environment and marriage and Christian persecution.
Helen M. Alvaré is a professor of law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law.
Please join Bishop Loverde and Fr. David Pignato on Saturday, June 27 for a morning of prayer and a powerful address about our freedom to bear witness. To learn more about the 2015 Fortnight for Freedom, including information on prayer, study and advocacy in the Diocese of Arlington and abroad, click here.
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