Roman Catholic bishops issued a proclamation to church members Thursday to defend religious liberty, even calling on members to "have the courage not to obey" unjust laws.
The proclamation urged all Catholics and all Americans to join a national movement to defend religious liberty, which the bishops said is under attack "both at home and abroad," according to the New York Times,
The bishops also announced a "Fortnight for Freedom" for the two weeks prior to the Fourth of July, where parishioners are to study, pray and take public action on how they can curtail what the bishops called the government's attacks on religious liberty.
“To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other,” the statement said.
Bishops cited not only the controversial mandate in the health care reform act that requires even Catholic colleges and hospitals to have insurance plans that cover birth control, but also instances of funding being denied to Catholic agencies who wouldn't place adopted children in the homes of gay parents, as well as the federal government's refusal to reauthorize a grant to a Catholic immigration organization that served victims of sex trafficking because, as a Catholic group, it would not provide or refer women to services for abortion and birth control.