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Catholic Social Action Contact:

Tony Stieritz – Director
Tammie Mers – Administrative Assistant
Sr. Tracy Kemme – Issue Campaign Coordinator

Catholic Social Action
100 East 8th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 421-3131 ext. 2660
Fax: (513) 421-1582

Dayton Office
Pam Long – Regional Director

Catholic Social Action
1436 Needmore Road
Dayton, OH 45414
Phone: (937) 224-3026
Fax: (937) 341-5036

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Preserve Religious Freedom!

Pray and Advocate for Victims of Religious Persecution Around the World

The Archdiocese hears the cries for mercy from all those persecuted for their faith around the world, especially those from our Christian brothers and sisters.  Join us in prayer, awareness and action for the protection of this fundamental human right.

This logo, created for the Patriarch’s visit, represents the solidarity expressed between the Eastern and Western rites of the Catholic Church. Together, we are “One Church of Mercy.”

This logo, created for the Patriarch’s visit, represents the solidarity expressed between the Eastern and Western rites of the Catholic Church. Together, we are “One Church of Mercy.”

One Church of Mercy, July 1, 2016:  The Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, His Beatitude Mar Beccara Peter Cardinal Rai, will visit the Archdiocese in a powerful expression of solidarity between the Eastern and Western rites of our one Catholic faith.  Come join us for an educational morning with the Patriarch about our Eastern rite brothers and sisters and religious persecution in the Middle East as well as Divine Liturgy against religious persecution that evening. Learn more here.

Resources on Christian persecution, compiled by Annunciation Catholic Church.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resources on International Religious Freedom.

Archbishop Schnurr Statement for Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Unity, Dec. 16, 2015

2016 Fortnight for Freedom:  Witness to FreedomFortnight 2016

The Fortnight for Freedom:  Witnesses to Freedom will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2016.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has once again prepared materials that you may use to celebrate the fortnight.  This year’s theme emphasizes the many witnesses to religious freedom, both past and present.  Please access these resources here:

 More Resources for the Fortnight

In the past, the Archdiocese produced “Preserve Religious Freedom” signs and posters.  While we are no longer able to make these signs available ourselves, we are happy to provide you with a high resolution image for reproduction of these signs.  Please contact Steve Trosley of The Catholic Telegraph at for more information.

 More Resources

Dioceses, parishes, and Catholic institutions around the country continue to highlight the importance of preserving our religious freedoms.  Among other examples, this freedom is under attack from such actions as the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate for religious institutions as well as state laws that would limit what populations of people the Church may serve, such as undocumented migrants.  Background on current threats to religious liberty, both at home and abroad, including opportunities for action, can be found at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website here. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati offers this page of resources, in addition to the materials provided by the USCCB, for use by parishes and individuals to focus our hearts and minds on our Christian and American heritage of religious freedom.

The HHS Mandate: What Catholics Need to Know

Ohio Council of Churches Statement of Concern on Religious Liberty!

The Ohio Council of Churches (OCC), which includes 18 Christian denominations in the state of Ohio, has issued a statement expressing concerns about religious liberty and the HHS mandate, which attempts to define which religious institutions are religious enough to follow their own teachings and which are not in certain circumstances. An excerpt of the statement reads: This mandate sets a concerning precedent for any religious institution which may find itself in a position of having values that, within reason, challenge that of the state… Therefore, in light of the concerns raised by the HHS mandate, even with the great diversity to be found in the communities comprising the OCC, we call upon our elected leaders, government officials of all levels, and the religious community, to work for two goals: 1) actively to pursue changes that would broaden the religious exemption within the current mandate, and 2) to propose and implement safeguards in legislation on social issues that will respect and protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Read the full statement here!

Background and Opportunities for Action on the HHS mandate

On January 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reaffirmed a rule forcing virtually all private health care plans to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. These are listed among “preventive services for women” that all health plans will have to cover without co-pays or other cost-sharing. The exemption provided for “religious employers” is so narrow that it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities, and service organizations that help millions every year.  What is most objectionable about the HHS rule is that it only defines those institutions worthy enough for an exemption as those which 1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; 2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; 3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and 4) is a non-proft-entity.  (View the ruling in the Federal Register here.)  To the contrary, our Catholic hospitals, universities, and service organizations exist to serve everyone, regardless of faith.  Yet the Administration’s rule has essentially declared that these institutions are not religious enough to fully operate by their moral principles. On February 10, 2012, the Administration made this rule final “without change”; delayed enforcement for a year against religious nonprofits that were still not exempted (our charities, hospitals, and colleges); and promised to develop more regulations to “accommodate” them by the end of that additional year.  But that promised “accommodation” still forces them to pay for “services” that violate their religious convictions. The Catholic Church and many other religious leaders are reiterating our firm position that the freedom to follow one’s conscience and to have access to health care are both fundamental human rights.  Take action today!

Previous Local and National Statements and Information