Reporting Mary Bubala
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Should the Catholic church mix politics and faith? Some say ‘no’ as the church gears up to take on the Obama administration over it’s new healthcare mandate.
Mary Bubala has the story.
Prayers outside Baltimore’s basilica from Catholics who oppose the church’s involvement in politics. At the helm of the political movement against the Obama administration is Baltimore’s new archbishop, William Lori.
He’s spearheading the opposition against the president’s new health insurance rules that mandate Catholic institutions fund birth control for employees.
A mass kicked off the national movement Thursday night at the basilica.
“There are many threats against religious liberty that have been mounting for a long time,” Lori said. “The mandates sort of put our work on steroids. It kind of really engaged us. It galvanized us.”
Fortnight for Freedom is the church’s two-week period of prayer, education and advocacy focused on the issue of religious liberty.
But Catholics protesting outside say the church is turning parishioners off by its divisive politics.
“Young Catholics aged 18 to 35 are giving up faith. They are quitting the faith because they see the church is being led by politicians and not by spiritual leaders,” James Salt of the non-profit group Catholics United said.
But Archbishop Lori says the church has always advocated for causes by standing up against the death penalty and abortion.
“What kind of country would we be if those who believed and are people of faith were shut out of the political process? Then we could not advocate for justice and peace,” he said.
The Baltimore archdiocese and other religious institutions have filed federal lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s mandate.