UP Catholic 10 07 2016 E Edition Page 14

14 October 7, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org A Statement from Arch- bishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty For the current chairman of the United States Commis- sion on Civil Rights (USCCR), religious liberty is reduced to nothing except hypocrisy, and religion is being used as a weapon by those seeking to deny others equality. He makes the shocking sugges- tion that Catholic, evangelical, orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities are comparable to fringe segrega- tionists from the civil rights era. These statements painting those who support religious freedom with the broad brush of bigotry are reckless and reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work. People of faith have often been the ones to carry the full promise of America to the most forgotten peripheries when other segments of soci- ety judged it too costly. Men and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era. Can we imagine the civil rights movement with- out Rev. Martin Luther King, Father Theodore Hesburgh, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel? In places like St. Louis, Catholic schools were integrated seven years before the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Jesus taught us to serve and not to count the cost. Our record is not perfect. We could have always done more. Nevertheless, we have long taught that the one God, mak- er of heaven and earth, calls each and every individual into being, loves every individual, and commands believers to love and show mercy to every individual. The idea of equal- ity, which the chairman treats as a kind of talisman, is incom- prehensible apart from the very faith that he seeks to cut off from mainstream society. Today, Catholic priests, re- ligious and laity can be found walking the neighborhood streets of our most strug- gling communities in places abandoned by a throwaway culture that has too often determined that quick profits matter more than commu- nities. We are there offering education, health care, social services, and hope, working to serve as the field hospital Pope Francis has called us to be. We wish we were there in even greater numbers, but we are there to humbly offer the full promise of America to all. Rest assured, if people of faith continue to be marginalized, it is the poor and vulnerable, not the chairman and his friends, who will suffer. Catholic social service work- ers, volunteers and pastors don't count the cost in financial terms or even in personal safe- ty. But, we must count the cost to our own faith and morality. We do not seek to impose our morality on anyone, but nei- ther can we sacrifice it in our own lives and work. The vast majority of those who speak up for religious liberty are merely asking for the freedom to serve others as our faith asks of us. We ask that the work of our institutions be carried out by people who believe in our mis- sion and respect a Christian witness. This is no different from a tobacco control orga- nization not wishing to hire an advocate for smoking or a civil rights organization not wanting to hire someone with a history of racism or an animal rights group wishing to hire only vegetarians. In a pluralistic society, there will be institutions with views at odds with popular opinion. The chairmans statement suggests that the USCCR does not see the United States as a pluralistic society. We respect those who disagree with what we teach. Can they respect us? We advocate for the dignity of all persons, a dignity that includes a life free from vio- lence and persecution and that includes fair access to good jobs and safe housing. People of faith are a source of Amer- ican strength. An inclusive and religiously diverse society should make room for them. Archbishop Lori comments on religious liberty Marquette nuns test-wear redesigned habits 50 & 25 YEARS AGO BY LARRY CHABOT FROM OUR SUNDAY VISITOR OCTOBER, 1966 Former diocesan priest, Father Edmund Szoka, was named chaplain of the Michigan Daughters of Isabella. (Ed- itor's note: In the Diocese of Marquette he was pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Manistique, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Ishpeming and pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Marquette before becoming the first bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord in 1971, Archbishop of Detroit in 1981, a cardinal in 1988, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See in 1990 and president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City in 1997) What's new: Marquette nuns were test-wearing redesigned habits for their St. Joseph of Carondelet order. A new record? 201 parishioners were confirmed at Manistique's St. Francis de Sales Parish. FROM THE U.P. CATHOLIC OCTOBER, 1991 Cliffand Shirley Fitzpatrick opened Sacred Heart Religious Goods store in Marquette. The anti-Catholic movie, "The Pope Must Die" flopped at the box office, even after "die" was changed to "diet." U.P. schools joined a national campaign to stress the values-added feature of Catholic education.

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