Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Following the bishops

This week the bishops are meeting in Atlanta (you can follow the proceedings on Twitter @usccblive or watch it in real time--something I can't do this week, since I am needed in the bookstore). They have a lot to cover! The Year of Faith, which begins in October, was one topic. (In that context, one of the bishops announced an interactive version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be made a available online.) The bishops also got updates on how the Charter for the Protection of Children is being observed.

As you might well expect, religious freedom was on the agenda--but not just religious freedom here in the US; instead they also looked at the subject of international religious freedom. Speaking on the topic were Thomas Farr of Georgetown ("religious freedom is seen as a threat to the theory of modern sexual liberation") and John Garvey (President of Catholic University) on how changing attitudes toward religion influence how a culture perceives religious freedom (including conscience protection). Iraqi Bishop Schlemon Warduni also addressed the bishops, on the state of Christianity in Iraq (Warduni received a standing ovation from the US Bishops).

You can view these talks yourself online ( --just go to the mid-point, about 48 minutes in).

The "Fortnight for Freedom" which the Bishops' Conference is promoting as a time of greater prayer and reflection (but mainly prayer) on religious liberty begins a week from tomorrow, and extends through July 4. During that span, we commemorate two martyrs of religious freedom in England, and a third great biblical martyr for the sanctity of marriage. I prepared a special Facebook "cover" picture which I am using on my Facebook page through July 4. Feel free to download it and use it as your cover picture, too, or share it on your wall!

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