Fortnight? What fortnight? What are those Catholics up to now?
You can practically hear the feigned ignorance as the mainstream media continues to pretend that there is no groundswell of opposition to their cherished "victory" in health care reform. The three main television networks have barely mentioned the historic avalanche of federal lawsuits brought against the unjust abortion/contraception mandate, 12 lawsuits brought by 43 organizations. You can hear them nervously wonder what will happen if, as is expected, the 'individual mandate" -- one forcing almost all people in the country to purchase health insurance -- is struck down by the Supreme Court. Most mainstream media outlets gave only passing mention to the 160 rallies for religious freedom held two weeks ago.
Has anyone seen a mainstream news story on how millions of non-Catholic Christians and even Jewish organizations are joining the Catholic Church in its growing opposition to the Obama administration's radical overreach on health care?
Nothing to see here! Now let's talk about the "war on women!"
But there is something to see here -- millions of people falling to their knees and asking Our Lord to stop our government's attack on people of faith, on religious freedom itself.
Even if Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional -- in part, or in total -- we have seen where our ruling elites want to go with their version of "health care reform." A Supreme Court ruling in our favor is only a temporary setback for those who have little if any respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We need a more thorough protection of religious freedom, and a robust response from all people of faith that we are now on alert, and we will not stand by while our rights to live our faith to the full are taken away.
For HLI's part, we have asked Catholics around the world to respond to the call of the U.S. bishops during this Fortnight for Freedom, of which we are in the second day, to pray one million rosaries for freedom. And the response has been huge, for which we are deeply humbled and grateful.
From the Philippines, from Latin America and from Europe we have received messages of solidarity in prayer. We've also heard from thousands of you here in the United States who are committing to this effort.
How many rosaries will be prayed as a result of your helping us get the word out on this campaign? The truth is, we cannot really know. But we do know that tens of thousands of Our Lady's prayer are being offered based only on the pledges we have received thus far. We know that several churches and cathedrals, prayer groups and families have contacted HLI assuring us that they're with us in prayer. And having a prayer request accepted in the Philippines is like throwing a torch on an enormous, dry field -- it spreads and grows very quickly.
So we are confident that hundreds of thousands of rosaries have already been committed for the defense of religious freedom, and we're only beginning this campaign.
Joseph Pronechen, who wrote a terrific article in the National Catholic Register on our campaign summed up nicely what we can expect when we get our fellow Catholics to appeal to the intercession of Our Blessed Mother in the midst of what appear to be insurmountable odds:
History has proven over and over what the Rosary can do. With the Battle of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571, Pope St. Pius V called on Catholics to pray the Rosary for the victory of the smaller Christian fleet against the superior Turk fleet invading Europe in one of history's greatest naval battles.
People picked up their rosaries. The commander of the Christian fleet credited the upset victory to the intercession of the Blessed Mother through the Rosary, and the Venetian Senate officially declared it wasn't the generals or arms but Our Lady and the Rosary that brought about the victory.
On May 13, 1955, the Russian communists controlling Austria pulled out of the country without explanation after an Austrian priest got 10% of the population to pledge a daily Rosary for that intention for seven years. Approximately 700,000 did.
When communists were trying to take over in Brazil in 1961, women formed the Campaign of Women for Democracy, praying the Rosary to save their country. At one point, 600,000 gathered for the Rosary in Sao Paulo. Guess who won?
And guess who will win this battle for freedom, when only one side is calling on the Mother of God to intervene on their behalf?
Rev. Shenan L. Boquet is the president of Human Life International.