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Catholics Greet DNC With Calls for Religious Freedom

The Diocese of Charlotte is not about to miss an opportunity to evangelize conventioneers who will be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week and have hung two giant banners proclaiming the sanctity of life, marriage and religious freedom in a key area of the city.

The Catholic News Herald is reporting that the banners were hung on the property of St. Peter Catholic Church  facing an area designated as The Legacy Village, the site where Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will host special guests during the convention. Their gatherings will address issues such as children, families, youth employment, civic education, the economy, energy, technology and sustainability.

The banner facing this site proclaims: "A Message from the Catholic Church: Protect the Unborn, Defend Marriage, Safeguard Religious Liberty."

Another banner, also posted at St. Peter's, reads: "A Message from the Catholic Church: Religious Liberty, The Soul of Democracy."

According to diocesan officials, the banners are meant to "provoke dialogue and encourage evangelization during a time when the national spotlight will shine on Charlotte like never before – and where attention will especially be drawn near St. Peter Church, the oldest Catholic church in the diocese and located in the heart of the convention area," the Herald reports.

The banners draw attention to ongoing battles being fought with the Obama administration over its stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, and a controversial birth control mandate which will force religious employers to provide insurance for procedures they find morally offensive. They also proclaim the recent victory won by North Carolinians who voted in overwhelming numbers to protect the traditional definition of marriage.

Diocean officials say a lot of thought went into the wording of the banners which will be displayed throughout the DNC.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for evangelization," said Bishop Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte who was involved in the planning of the banners.

"The ability to express our beliefs as Americans is a right we treasure, and it must be protected," said diocesan Respect Life Director Maggi Nadol, who was also involved in the project. "As Catholics, we have a responsibility to witness to the truth and share that with others."

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