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Religious Freedom Week

June 22 - June 29

As we celebrate the First Amendment, we must safeguard our fundamental freedom
Religious Freedom Week

Religious Freedom Week 2021: Solidarity in Freedom

“Solidarity means much more than engaging in sporadic acts of generosity. It means thinking and acting in terms of community” (Fratelli tutti, 116).

Religious freedom allows the Church, and all religious communities, to live out their faith in public and to serve the good of all.  Beginning June 22, the feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, the USCCB invites Catholics to pray, reflect, and act to promote religious freedom.

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  • June 22 - Adoption and Foster Care

    June 22 – Adoption and Foster Care

    Pray that children waiting to be placed in a loving home and the caregivers who serve those children will find strength and support from the Church.

  • June 23 - Catholic Social Service during the Pandemic

    June 23 – Catholic Social Service during the Pandemic

    Pray that God would continue to grant Catholic institutions the wisdom and courage to serve a world suffering the effects of the COVID pandemic.

  • June 24 - The Equality Act

    June 24 – The Equality Act

    Pray that the dignity of all people will be respected in our country.

  • June 25 - Church Vandalism

    June 25 – Church Vandalism

    Pray that Christian witness in the face of attacks on our churches will convert hearts to faith in Jesus Christ.

  • June 26 - Catholics in Nicaragua

    June 26 – Catholics in Nicaragua

    Pray for our Catholic sisters and brothers who are suffering in Nicaragua.

  • June 27 - Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers

    June 27 – Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers

    Pray that governments will respect the consciences of all people who care for the sick and vulnerable.

  • June 28 - Christians in Iraq

    June 28 – Christians in Iraq

    Pray for Christians in Iraq, and that people of all faiths in the land of Abraham may live in peace.

  • June 29 - Free Speech

    June 29 – Free Speech

    Pray that Christians will have the courage to speak the truth with kindness and clarity, even in the face of adversity.


Religious Liberty
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“It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore personal responsibility, are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth. But men cannot satisfy this obligation in a way that is in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective attitude of the individual but in his very nature.” (Dignitatis Humanae, Second Vatican II Declaration on Religious Liberty, 2).

The Knights of Columbus promotes a robust vision of religious liberty that embraces religion’s proper role in both its private and public dimensions. As both Catholics and Americans, we celebrate the essential relationship shared between religion and liberty, a relationship which has uniquely defined our country’s identity and has fostered our country’s development.

Every major achievement that has taken place within the American enterprise—the American Revolution; the abolition of slavery; the civil rights movement; reforms in education, labor and woman’s rights—has been at the urging of religious people seeking a more just and humane society.

In this light, the Knights of Columbus recognizes religious liberty as an indispensable condition for authentic human development.

Consistent with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we believe that man, created in the image and likeness of God, possesses the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being, especially in moral and religious matters. Our Order remains steadfast in its conviction that religious liberty “is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person.” (Catechism, 1738).

We are therefore called to defend religious liberty against cultural trends that are increasingly hostile to Christianity, and impede men and women from freely exercising their religion by living in accordance with it. As the Second Vatican Council noted, although we must respect the just autonomy of the secular sphere, we must take into consideration the truth that there is no realm of worldly affairs that can be separated from God.

St. John Paul II witnessed that when a society attempts to close the door to religion, it inevitably falls prey to a totalitarian reading of the human person that recognizes only the state as the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong. It is our duty as men of both Catholic faith and patriotism to resist militant secularism and to defend religious liberty at the international, national, state, and local levels. Without this necessary check on the power of the state, no principled limit can be recognized to prevent the expansion of government’s power at the expense of personal liberty.

8 Ways the KofC Defended Religious Freedom

The Legal Battle for Liberty

Defend Your Values – Our First Freedom

There are churches in every town across America, chaplains are on staff in Congress and the military, and the dollar bill in your pocket proclaims, “In God We Trust.” With these and other marks of religion all around, you may wonder why the Catholic Church in America annually observes Religious Freedom Week (from June 22-29 this year).

The sad fact is, we’ve seen a growing hostility to religion and its role in our politics and public life. Among numerous cases, Christian bakers have been sued for declining to use their creative talents for same-sex weddings and gender-transition parties, and nurses have faced discipline and dismissal for refusing to assist in abortions.

And recently, U.S. senators have harshly questioned public servants about their Catholic faith and membership in the Knights of Columbus.

In early June, during a Senate hearing for a nominee to the federal court, Ben Sasse of Nebraska defended the Knights by humorously calling attention to judicial nominees being grilled about their membership in the K of C.

Sasse asked Peter J. Phipps, a member of the Knights: “Are you now or have you ever been involved in the organization of a fish fry?” (The wording was reminiscent of McCarthy-era hearings when government officials were questioned about affiliation with the Communist Party.)

Sasse’s intervention, which you can watch here, brought attention to the veiled anti-Catholicism of some senators. These politicians see the Catholic faith as “extreme” because it upholds the teachings of Jesus Christ on marriage and the sanctity of human life.

Defending the good works and reputation of the Knights of Columbus, Sasse outlined a number of facts:

  • The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world.

  • In 2017 Knights contributed more than $185 million to charitable organizations and activities, and logged more than 75.6 million hours in volunteer service.

  • The Knights have a proud tradition of standing against the forces of prejudice and oppression such as the Ku Klux Klan.

Back in January 2019, Sasse introduced a Senate resolution, approved by unanimous consent, that “disqualifying a nominee to federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus” violates that anti-religious test clause of the U.S. Constitution.

As we consider current threats to religious freedom, we should remember that the Knights of Columbus was established at a time of great anti-Catholic sentiment in America. Father Michael McGivney founded our Order in 1882 to provide a safe haven for Catholic men to grow in charity, unity and fraternity toward one another and their neighbors, and to help families cope with the death of a breadwinner. Our Order continues its vigorous defense of religious freedom in many ways in the United States and around the world.

For more information on Religious Freedom Week and threats to the First Amendment, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Action Points

Here are some suggested steps you can take to support religious liberty:

  1. Sign up for action alerts at the USCCB Action Center and find out how you can engage government officials and advocate for religious liberty!

  2. Call your members of Congress. The U.S. Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121, or call your Representative’s and Senators’ local offices. Additional contact info can be found at house.gov, and www.senate.gov.

  3. To stay up-to-date on current religious freedom issues, sign up for text messages from the USCCB. Just text the word “FREEDOM” to 84576.


Religious Liberty | Liberty Life Family | Knights of Columbus


Religious Liberty, USCCB


Religious Freedom Week

Religious Freedom Week takes place from June 22, the Memorial of Sts. Thomas More & John Fisher, through June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul. Join Catholics across the country to pray and act for the freedom to serve faithfully and with integrity.  Learn more at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek!

Religious Freedom Week



Religious Freedom Week 2019: Strength in Hope

In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ in God and free from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those riches which remain forever and generously dedicate themselves wholly to the advancement of the kingdom of God and to the reform and improvement of the temporal order in a Christian spirit. Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that “the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
Apostolicam actuositatem, 4

Join us, June 22 – June 29, as we pray, reflect, and take action on religious liberty, both here in this country and abroad.



Action Alert . . .

Tell the Senate to reject religious tests for judicial nominees!
Recent nominees to the federal judiciary have endured pointed questions about their faith during confirmation hearings and in written questionnaires. It is time for these discriminatory, anti-Catholic questions to stop. Contact your senators today!

Religious Freedom Week

Religious Freedom Week takes place from June 22, the Memorial of Sts. Thomas More & John Fisher, through June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul. Join Catholics across the country to pray and act for the freedom to serve faithfully and with integrity.  Learn more at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek!


God’s Servant First

A monthly religious liberty blog

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First Freedom Podcast Conversations about a variety of issues related to religious liberty, including challenges to our first freedom, Catholic social teaching, and more!  Check it out!


Solemnity of Christ the King

This Solemnity reminds the faithful that Christ reigns as king of the entire world forever.  Let us rededicate ourselves this year to recognizing the reign of Jesus Christ and his Sacred Heart in every aspect of our lives.



June 22
June 29
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