The Catholic-American Center on Law and Religion, Inc. (“Catholic-American.org”) was organized for religious and educational purposes.
The primary purposes of Catholic-American.org are to educate, promote and otherwise advocate Roman Catholic principles, insights and teachings regarding the proper role of religion in public life and to specifically promote the Catholic vision regarding the relationship between religion and the state (i.e., the intersection of the secular and religious realms of American Society).
In order to effectuate its exempt purposes, Catholic-American.org has identified the following proposed activities (subject to adequate funding):
- Provide Public Speaking Forums to promote Catholic Social Thought and to explain Papal Teachings regarding law and religion and Church/State issues
- Provide printed and electronic resources to the public regarding Law/Religion and Church/State issues
- Submit legal briefs in court when necessary to respond to organizations that seek to improperly use the courts to promote secular, anti-Christian and/or particular religious agendas which exclude other traditions and religious perspectives from the Public Square
Although not directly affilitated with any particular ecclesiastical community, Catholic-American.org is firmly rooted in the rights and duties that apply to the Catholic laity.
As set forth in Vatican Council II’s Dogmatic constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium, the Council states that the lay faithful should strive to harmonize their rights and duties in the Church with their rights and duties to human society. In this context, the lay faithful have a particular duty to oppose “the ominous doctrine which seeks to build society with no regard for religion, and attacks and utterly destroys the religious liberty of its citizens.”
Furthermore, in connection with his 2008 Apostolic visit to the United States of America, Pope Benedict XVI challenged the Catholic Lay Faithful in America, to exercise their Constitutional right of Free Speech, and advocate the positive contributions of the Catholic vision as to the relationship between civil law and religion.
Specifically, on April 16, 2008, in his address to and discussion with the American Bishops, the Pope states:
As the Council made clear, the lay faithful have a particular responsibility in this regard. What is needed, I am convinced, is a greater sense of the intrinsic relationship between the Gospel and the natural law on the one hand, and, on the other, the pursuit of authentic human good, as embodied in civil law and in personal moral decisions.
The mission and core identity of Catholic-American.org is rooted in its faithful and prayerful response to the Holy Father’s directive and challenge to the Catholic-American Faithful.