Ongoing religious discrimination and censorship in our schools, churches, workplaces, military and public square should concern all Americans who cherish their freedoms.  Catholics For Freedom of Religion (CFFR) has been working around the diocese to educate and empower all Catholics on issue concerning religious freedom.

“Being educated and passing along education to others is the antidote to powerlessness,” said Thomas Renker, General Counsel for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, who has been speaking at many CFFR events  and will make his next presentation on May 22 at 7 p.m. at Infant Jesus  Church, Montfort Hall,  110 Myrtle Ave., Port Jefferson.

“Even when swimming against a popular and secular anti-religious tide, we’ve got to keep our heads above water, never giving in and never giving up,” said Renker, “passing our messages along to our peers and, more importantly, to our children.”

“The incremental nature of the current erosion of religious liberties that is taking place is its most troubling feature,” he added. “Silence is the ally of this incremental erosion. Education and information is the enemy of incremental erosion. This is why, in a sense, the HHS Mandate was a blessing. It has mobilized thousands of people, and many courts, to come to the defense of religious freedom.”

In a world where “tolerance” is supposedly revered, people seem to be intolerant of Christian religious expression. “I see two things at play in a conscious strategy to undermine the influence of religion in public life, particularly Christianity: (1) indifference among Christians and (2) hatred of the Church and her messages of life and selflessness,” Renker said.

“Intolerance of intolerance is culturally acceptable. So, distort the Church’s messages, paint her as intolerant as often as possible in the mass culture, and the chipping begins.”

One of the biggest challenges facing us today, said Renker is “indifference among our fellow Catholics to the problems posed by a growing secular culture that champions practices antithetical to Church teachings. There is nothing that concerns me more than when I hear a professed Catholic say he or she is ‘pro-choice,’ That’s a grave issue.”

June 24 to July 4 our diocese will once again participate in the national Fortnight for Freedom with events to help educate on issues and opportunities to pray for the preservation of religious freedom.  For more information about upcoming Catholics For Freedom of Religion events, check the calendar at and look for more information on CFFR and the Fortnight for Freedom in the June issue of The Long Island Catholic magazine.