Summer Commitment

Register editorial from July 1 issue.

(photo: Shutterstock)

Summer is a time for family barbecues and vacations, and some Catholics will use the opportunity to join pilgrimages and youth ministry conferences.

But as much as we welcome the shift in daily patterns that comes with summer, we can’t afford to put the defense of religious freedom on hold until Labor Day.

At press time, the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But it’s reasonable to expect that the high court’s ruling will define the next chapter in the battle for religious freedom in the United States.

Yet, our concerns about the health-care bill should not distract us from the First Amendment challenge posed by the campaign to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act — recently overturned in a Massachusetts federal court house — and the continued effort to legalize same-sex “marriage” throughout the nation.

In New York, which legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2011, a same-sex couple filed suit June 19 against two Catholic hospitals, challenging their policy of denying health-care coverage to partners in nontraditional unions.

In a June 21 speech marking the Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia noted that the Church was a particular target of attacks by special interests because of its consistent “teaching on the dignity of life and human sexuality … rooted not just in revelation, but also in reason and natural law.”

But he also noted that U.S. Catholics were late to take up the fight for religious freedom, and they must tarry no further.

Our complacency, he said, reflected a superficial faith in need of fortification. “We live in a world of illusions when we lose sight of who Jesus Christ really is and what he asks from each of us as disciples.”