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"We need to remember that our faith in Jesus Christ is meant to have consequences. Not only in our own lives and in our own homes, but also in the society we live in. As Catholics, we have a viewpoint that our society needs to hear — a beautiful vision of human dignity and human society that we are called to share with our neighbors."

– Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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Religious Liberty

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Religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.
     -Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 183.

In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to "an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture." Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty
, April 12, 2012 | en español


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Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the United States of America
Religious Freedom Highlights

Pope Francis stresses vital role of religious freedom, September 27, 2015

Address of the Holy Father at the White House
, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Visits Little Sisters of the Poor, September 24, 2015

Bishop Cantú Urges Congress To Reauthorize International Religious Freedom Commission

September 30, 2015

Religious Liberty as a Cornerstone of Human Dignity, Archbishop William Lori at Religious Freedom Summit, The Catholic University of America
September 18, 2015

Various religious leaders, including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued an open letter on April 23, 2015, entitled “The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness."

Supreme Court Decision on Marriage, A Tragic Error

June 26, 2015, USCCB News Release

Continuing the Search for Religious Liberty, The Contribution of Dignitatis Humanae
April 21, 2015, Archbishop William E. Lori

Inclusion Act Receives Strong Support from Three USCCB Chairmen
March 9, 2015, USCCB News Release

U.S. Catholic Bishops Urgently Call for Greater Protection of Middle East Religious Minorities
February 24, 2015, USCCB News Release

Pope Francis issues Clarion Call for Protection of Religious Liberty
January 13, 2015

More News


Featured - Pope Francis & Religious Freedom - Quotes from Our Holy Father | en español

Fact Sheets -  One-page fact sheets provide information on threats to religious liberty at home and abroad.

Lesson Plans - These five lesson plans incorporate the Ad Hoc Committee’s statement, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty," as well as excerpts from Dignitatis Humanae, the groundbreaking Vatican II document on religious liberty

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Homilies and Statements

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