WASHINGTON (AP) - Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput predicts American Catholics will face "more and more serious challenges to religious liberty" in the future.
Chaput delivered the homily at a July 4 Mass in Washington concluding the Fortnight for Freedom - 14 days of prayer, education and advocacy organized by U.S. bishops in response to government policies like the health care law's birth control mandate.
The bishops maintain that religious institutions and individual employers shouldn't be required to provide insurance for drugs and treatments they consider immoral.
Chaput said Catholics "need to speak out" for religious liberty and for "the sacredness of life."
The Vatican's ambassador said Pope Benedict hopes American Catholics will be strengthened in their religious and patriotic commitment.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)