"Noli irritare leonem" – Don't disturb the lion

Someone shared a link to slides from a recent lecture put on by Credo St. Louis by Rev. Michael Witt concerning religious liberty and the current furor over the HHS contraception mandate.

Noli Irritare Leonem - Crest of Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick

During the presentation, Fr. Witt spoke of the episcopal motto of Archbishop Kenrick, Noli irritare leonem (seen in the picture of his crest above, which I took during a visit to the Old Cathedral a few years ago). It is translated, "Don't disturb the lion," and conveys a special message today: don't try stripping us [Catholics] of our religious liberty, or you'll get the full force of our fury!*

Kenrick responded forcefully to an earlier attempt by the Missouri legislature to 'cage the lion', so to speak, by telling the clergy entrusted to his care to refuse endorsement of the 'Drake Constitution' after the civil war—a move that put him in hot waters with the law, but showed that the lion could not be caged, and would fight aggressively to protect his freedom!

We need more lions today—the presentation shows pretty clearly the progression of the HHS mandate through the past couple years, and why it's extremely detrimental to the freedom of religion in the U.S.A., and does so within a good historical context.

Let's work and pray to keep America free and great!

(Download the PDF of the presentation here via Credo St. Louis.)

*Fury meaning the full brunt of prayer, lobbying, and votes from the Catholic faithful to protect religious liberty, in this case.