WASHINGTON — Religious Freedom Week takes place June 22-29. It begins with the feast day of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, includes the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and ends with the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
The theme for this year is Life and Dignity for All. This year, as we approach the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is especially mindful of the debates around our country about abortion. The Catholic Church plays a crucial role in bearing witness to the gospel of life and serving all who will be affected by these discussions and their outcomes.
The USCCB provides “Pray-Reflect-Act” resources at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek - one for each day on different religious liberty topics; this year, they focus on themes that intersect with life issues. Moreover, the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty has collaborated with the Office of International Justice and Peace to raise awareness about religious liberty in China and in solidarity with people throughout the world who suffer for their faith.
Domestically, a major area of concern continues to be freedom for Catholic institutions, such as schools, hospitals, and child welfare service providers, to carry out their missions with integrity. In particular, protecting Catholic adoption and foster care will become even more vital, as we take new steps in building a culture of life and dignity for all in the United States.
To build a culture of life and dignity for all, the Church must support women and children. In 2020, the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities launched Walking with Moms in Need. This initiative ministers at the local level by having parishes be places where pregnant and parenting women can find support and accompaniment.
Through prayer, education, and public action during Religious Freedom Week, the USCCB continues to advocate for the essential right of religious freedom for Catholics and for those of all faiths.
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