Religious freedom "not sufficient for human happiness," says ArchbishopTuesday, July 10th, 2012
Freedom of religion, "is a foundational right," and, "necessary for a good society," but it is not, "sufficient for human happiness," Archbishop Charles Chaput has said.
In a homily last week at a Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to mark the end of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop Chaput said that true freedom, "knows no attachments other than Jesus Christ.”
He said, "It has no love of riches or the appetites they try to satisfy. True freedom can walk away from anything, wealth, honour, fame, pleasure. Even power. It fears neither the state, nor death itself.
“This is the freedom of the sons and daughters of God. It’s the freedom of Miguel Pro, Mother Teresa, Maximillian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and all the other holy women and men who have gone before us to do the right thing, the heroic thing, in the face of suffering and adversity."
The Fortnight for Freedom event was held by the US Bishops in order to highlight the impact of the Obama Administration's health mandate on religious freedom. The mandate forces faith-based schools, hospitals and other employers to provide health insurance coverage for abortofaeceints and sterilisation services.
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, said the event’s purpose was, “simply to bear witness and celebrate our religious freedom.” Cardinal Wuerl added that American Christians see patriotism as a virtue and the goal for Christians was to, “build a society built on the highest moral and constitutional institutions.”
Religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput said, is, "not an end in itself. In the end, we defend religious liberty in order to live the deeper freedom that is discipleship in Jesus Christ.” He added, "What good is religious freedom, consecrated in the law, if we don’t then use that freedom to seek God with our whole mind and soul and strength?”
“The political and legal effort to defend religious liberty,” he said, "belongs to a much greater struggle to master and convert our own hearts, and to live for God completely, without alibis or self-delusion. The only question that finally matters is this one: Will we live wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ? If so, then we can be a source of freedom for the world. If not, nothing else will do."
He continued, "We live in a time that calls for sentinels and public witness. Every Christian in every era faces the same task. But you and I are responsible for this moment. Today. Now. We need to speak out, not only for religious liberty and the ideals of the nation we love, but for the sacredness of life and the dignity of the human person. In other words, for the truth of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.”
"We need to be witnesses of that truth not only in word, but also in deed. In the end, we’re missionaries of Jesus Christ, or we’re nothing at all. And we can’t share with others what we don’t live faithfully and joyfully ourselves."
by Tom O'Gorman