So, I am sure all of you know that today starts the Fortnight of Freedom declared by the USCCB. It is also the Vigil of the fest day of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher. Thomas More always seems to outshine Cardinal John Fisher, but both were very brave men.
Cardinal John Fisher was a bishop in England during the reign of Henry VIII, you know, the guy with six wives and who broke away from the Church so that he could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. Cardinal Fisher refused to take the Oath of Supremacy which declared the King to be the head of the church in England instead of the Pope. He lost his life because of this and was given his red biretta a few days before his execution.
Saint Thomas More had more to lose. More had a wife, children, and property. Because More refused to take the oath he lost all of his property, his wife and children were left with nothing. He had to endure that guilt, the fact that his family home, Chelsea, would be taken away and his family's money and possessions stripped from them.
More was a brilliant lawyer and he was Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, a position he reluctantly accepted. More thought that he could maneuver around the Act of Supremacy by not speaking for or against it in public. In English law, silence on a matter signaled consent. More thought that if he was silent on the matter both the King and his own conscious would be satisfied. Well, Henry VIII was not satisfied with the. More was beheaded on July 6th, 1535.
Cardinal John Fisher and Thomas More both gave their lives for their faith and their conscience. Nowadays the federal government is asking us to put our conscience aside to satisfy an evil agenda. We must stand up just like More and Fisher did, and if necessary, be willing to die instead of going against our conscience.