From June 21 to July 4, 2012, Catholics across the United States participated in the Fortnight for Freedom, 14 days of prayer and public action to defend the Catholic Church in the United States against attacks by the federal government—in particular, the Obama administration's contraception mandate. The 14-day period was chosen for the obvious symbolism of ending on Independence Day, but also because it encompasses the feasts of some of the greatest martyrs of the Catholic Church: SS. John Fisher and Thomas More (June 22), the Birthday of Saint John the Baptist (June 24), Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), and the First Martyrs of the See of Rome (June 30).
The Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty was composed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Fortnight for Freedom. Drawing on the language of the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance, the prayer nevertheless is aimed less at protecting an abstract understanding of the religious freedom embodied in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and more at upholding the rights of the Church and the right and duty of all to worship "the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ."
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.