Review of Religious Freedom Forum Held by Catholic Diocese and LDS North Stake

On the January 23, 2015 the local Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, Colorado Springs North Stake held an event called the Religious Freedom Forum at the LDS facility. The program was a formatted as a religious service with hymns, invocation and opening remarks from Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, a LDS video, a keynote speaker followed by a Q and A period and closing remarks from LDS’s North Stake President, Kevin Woodward, followed by another hymn and a benediction. The auditorium was packed and the front rows were reserved for local dignitaries and prominent political leaders including John Suthers, Wayne Williams and Darryl Glenn among others.
The keynote speaker was the Diocese’s Executive Director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, Jennifer Kraska, whose duties also include lobbying the legislature and promoting the positions of the diocese. Mrs. Kraska and Bishop Sheridan expressed concern that religion is being driven out of public life and that the government seems to willing to restrict the church’s involvement in government programs. Mrs. Kraska detailed the church’s umbrage at the legislature not being willing to further the church’s position on equal marriage, restriction of adoption and foster care by same-sex couples, and perceived blockage of religious groups on campuses. The keynote also perseverated on the inability of private businesses to refuse service to those they find religiously objectionable, a term broad enough to technically include anyone. Finally, the topic of the legislature debating death with dignity or “physician assisted suicide” was broached with the speaker being firmly on the opposition. Each of these topics is a hot button issue for multiple sides of their respective arguments and Mrs. Kraska essentially urged the attendees to get registered, vote and to write their legislators on issues important to the churches.
Citizens Project serves the diverse communities of Colorado Springs, supports equality among all our citizens, and urges all members of the community to be involved and engaged in the discussions that affect our daily lives. We encourage participation in the process of representation by our elected officials and count on every voice to write, call, and vote so that we all may be heard.

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