Catholics know what's at stake, and they're making up their own minds despite the influence the bishops claim, or the relative importance the hierarchy's influence and divisive campaigns garner in the media.
I'm fine with the bishops having a Fortnight for Freedom -- and who isn't really? We all love freedom, and I'd venture to even say we love fortnights. However, we're missing the real issue at hand: poverty.
The July 4 closing of the Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington drew a standing-room-only crowd, a fact that stunned organizers given the holiday.
Two hundred and fifty Catholics assembled on the first day to hear New York's top priest, Timothy Dolan, celebrate Mass and reflect on religious liberty. It's likely his public relations nosedive has necessitated a few alterations in the plan.
As Fortnight for Freedom begins, we can only hope that this great period of prayer and reflection will lead the Catholic Church to see that this quest for "religious freedom" should be a call for the Church itself to examine its own understanding of human liberty and dignity.