PORTLAND, Maine — Bishop Richard J. Malone will celebrate a special Mass at 12:15 p.m. Monday, July 2, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., as part of the national Fortnight for Freedom.
The fortnight was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB, in response to numerous recent actions taken by the government which interfere or prevent institutions and individuals from acting in accordance with their deeply held moral beliefs, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
The fortnight was a way for American Roman Catholic bishops to call attention to, and rally support for, their opposition to President Barack Obama’s mandate that birth control be covered by health insurance. The USCCB has called it one of many threats to religious freedom in government, according to The Associated Press.
The “Fortnight for Freedom — a great hymn of prayer for our country,” was announced last month by U.S. bishops. It began June 20, the memorial of St. Thomas More, and will end July 4, the memorial of St. John Fisher.
Both men were described in a press release announcing the Maine diocese’s participation in the fortnight as “remaining faithful in the face of persecution by political power.” Both men opposed King Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Catholic Church. They were canonized together on June 22, 1935, by Pope Pius XI.