June 20, 2014

Religious liberty rally set for June 21 at State House

By Sean Gallagher

A religious liberty rally to kick off the Fortnight for Freedom in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will take place on June 21 in downtown Indianapolis.

The rally will begin with the ordinary 12:10 p.m. daily Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, 126 W. Georgia St., in Indianapolis.

Following the Mass, rally participants will pray the rosary while walking in a procession to the south steps of the Indiana State House, two blocks north of the church.

The rally at the State House will start at 1:15 p.m. It will include music, prayer and speakers who will reflect on the importance of the defense of religious liberty.

The rally is co-sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Pro-Life and Family Life and the Abba Father Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith.

Rally participants are asked to park in parking garages adjacent to St. John Church instead of the parish parking lot.

Eric Slaughter, a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, is helping to organize the rally.

He said he is trying to follow the example of Rosa Parks, a black woman who, in 1955, set off the movement to desegregate public bussing in Montgomery, Ala., when she was arrested after refusing to leave a seat in the front section of a bus that was restricted to white riders.

“What if Rosa Parks had not taken that stand?” Slaughter asked. “Too many people fail to do what Rosa Parks did. We tend to go along our merry way as long as we think we are not affected by seemingly inconsequential events or simply accept a known injustice because, well, ‘What can I do about it?’ ”

Slaughter believes he, fellow Catholics and other people who seek to defend religious liberty are taking action in the rallies.

“[They] are important because many people are unaware of the real and current threats to our religious freedom,” he said. “Those who are aware need to know that they are not alone. They should not be afraid to be Christians, to be Catholic, at all times.

“Whether at work, at school, in politics, in the voting booth, or while walking the streets of downtown Indianapolis, we must express our faith with joy and confidence. We must protect our religious liberty because there are those who would steal it away.”

Slaughter is especially concerned that the way in which the Catholic Church has historically served people in need will be threatened by new laws and regulations that would force Catholics to violate Church teachings.

“As Catholics, we serve our Lord through many organizations which are being threatened by legislation, both local and federal, laws and policies that attempt to force us to choose between helping the least among us or adhering to our faith,” he said.

Slaughter said he hopes to see many Catholics participate in the rally.

“Come to the rally and share your love and joy of being Catholic at the site where legislation is decided in our state,” Slaughter said. “Sing and pray together for our community, our state, our nation and the world.

“As the Church, we can overcome the evils of the culture of death. Our Blessed Mother has called us to pray, to seek the face of her Son. Let us do this together for all to see that we are not afraid to be called Christian, and we will stand up in defense of our freedom liberty.”

(For more information about the Fortnight for Freedom, log on to www.fortnight4freedom.org.)


Related from Archbishop Tobin: "Fortnight for Freedom: the liberty to serve others in need"

Local site Links: