US Catholics Finish 'Fortnight for Freedom'

July 4 Celebrations Spotlight Conscience Rights

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Catholic dioceses across the United States on Thursday celebrated Masses, prayer services, marches and other events to mark the close of the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week celebration of religious liberty focused on how faith enriches public life. 

This second annual Fortnight began June 21, the vigil of the feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, and ended July 4, Independence Day.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington celebrated the closing Mass of the Fortnight at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. 

«Participation in the second Fortnight for Freedom has been an encouraging sign that Catholics take seriously their responsibility to participate in civic life and that we must all witness to the positive role faith plays in our society,» said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

Many dioceses held religious freedom rallies, marches, and parades to celebrate the Fortnight. 

Ecumenical and interfaith prayer services were also held around the country.

More than 120 dioceses participated in Fortnight for Freedom activities this year.

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