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Archbishop Lori to Celebrate National Religious Liberty Mass at Basilica June 21 at 7PM

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 on June 21st at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

The Fortnight, in its second 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. The Fortnight culminates on July 4 when churches throughout the nation will ring their bells in a sign of solidarity for the protection of this First Amendment right.

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 events during the Fortnight. A complete list of events is available at www.archbalt.org.

The Fortnight occurs just weeks before August 1, the date final rules take effect for implementing the federal contraceptive mandate, requiring most employers to provide contraceptive coverage for employees. The Catholic Church and other faith groups object to the requirement “coercing us to violate our deeply held beliefs," said Archbishop Lori. Last year, over 1,000 people attended the Fortnight Opening Mass.