BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s archbishop will open the Catholic church’s religious liberty effort with a Mass at the city’s
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption.

Rev. William Lori will celebrate the Mass on Thursday evening to open two weeks of prayer and advocacy focused on religious liberty.

A Fourth of July Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will close the fortnight.

The effort is a response to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that employers provide health insurance that includes birth control for workers. The church says an exemption would not apply to most Catholic institutions because they hire and serve all people, regardless of faith.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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