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Archbishop Lori to Celebrate National Religious Liberty Mass at Basilica Saturday at 5:30pm

Mass will kick-off national initiative of Catholic Church aimed at promoting faith in public life, educating people on threats to religious liberty.

Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Ad hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, will celebrate the opening Mass for the Catholic Church’s national religious liberty initiative, Fortnight for Freedom. The Mass will take place at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

The Fortnight, in its third year, is a two-week period of prayer, education and advocacy focused on the role of faith in public life and the preservation of religious liberty rights. This year’s Fortnight theme is “Freedom to Serve” and will call attention to the rights of Catholic Americans to serve the common good according to their religious beliefs, an ideal threatened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mandate which compels all employers to provide coverage of drugs and services that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Bishops throughout the country have been urged to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic churches across the Archdiocese of Baltimore will host education events and volunteer service opportunities during the Fortnight. A complete list of events is available here.

Earlier today, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of preserving religious freedom, saying it “is not simply freedom of thought or private worship. It is the freedom to live according to ethical principles, both privately and publicly, consequent to the truth one has found.”