“Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith–in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it. Religious liberty is an empty shell if the spiritual core of a people is weak. Or to put it more bluntly, if people don’t believe in God, religious liberty isn’t a value. That’s the heart of the matter. It’s the reason Pope Benedict calls us to a Year of Faith this October. The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t ‘out there’ among the legion of critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the church, or all three. The worst enemies are in here, with us–all of us, clergy, religious, and lay–when we live our faith with tepidness, routine, and hypocrisy.”
-Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput addressing a group of Catholic journalists on the eve of the “Fortnight for Freedom,” a nationwide campaign celebrating religious freedom that some also recognize as a protest against the Obama administration. Read the rest of his speech.
Read more in the Faith 2012 Quote Archives.