According to a Catholic News Service article carried by dozens of major Catholic news outlets, the U.S. bishops have set March 30 as a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence for religious liberty in response to the U.S. mandate. Rather than list them, I invite you to check this google search for yourself: U.S. bishops set March 30, and you will see the links for yourself. According to that article, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops set that date in their March 14 statement “United for Religious Freedom”, whose last paragraph reads (and these articles nearly all quote):
Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our First Freedom—religious liberty—which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition. Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength—for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.
Here is a link to the actual statement from the USCCB website. But if you read it for yourself and look for anywhere that the USCCB called for any particular day or set apart any specific date for this purpose, you will search in vain. I am open to correction on this point, but I could not find a single reference to the March 30 fast for religious liberty anywere on the usccb.org website.
It was the Pennsylvania bishops a week before USCCB statement was issued, that set that date and called for it to be a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence for religious freedom as reported on this blog just two days ago. In the days that followed the statement of the Pennsylvania bishops a column was published by Auxilliary Bishop James Conley, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Denver indicating that he would be observing the fast for that purpose and encouraging others to do the same (not requiring it, though – he is not an Archbishop, so maybe he doesn’t have the authority). Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina has also put out a statement calling for Catholics in his diocese to observe the fast. While there has been no indication that the other diocesan bishops in Colorado will join the Denver bishop, nor is the other North Carolina bishop, Peter Jurgis of Charlotte publically calling for the March 30 fast (on the other hand to his credit, Bishop Jurgis is standing shoulder to shoulder with Bishop Burbidge against the Obama administration’s opposition to N.C. Marriage Amendment, but that is beside the point), all four Iowa bishops are in solidarity with Conley, Burbidge and the Pennsylvania bishops on the March 30 fast, and since Catholic news agencies everywhere are reporting that the day was set by the U.S. bishops of the USCCB, it seems like the default position of the Catholic Church in the U.S. : on Friday, March 30, Catholics all across the country will be dedicating their lenten fast to religious liberty.
That means that not only all are people of faith “all Catholics now” as Glenn Beck said, all Catholics are Pennsylvanians now! :)
Welcome. You are now officially authorized (and legally required) to support the Pittsburgh Steelers to a degree approaching nearly idolatrous hero worship. Request my email address if you want details on how to purchase your Terrible Towel and have it sent to you. Also, for those of you faithful Catholics over in my native state of New York, you now may no longer call Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sunkist and other beverages of that sort “soda”. From now on it’s “pop”. Sorry, I agree that it is silly and I will never get used it either, but that’s the rule because you are all Pennsylvanians now like me.