SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, and even in Rome raised their voices against SB 360, securing a victory against this gross violation of religious liberty and Catholic practice. However, triumphant tones must be tempered: Hill has publicly stated his intention to re-propose this bill at a later time. There are thus important lessons to be learned from the activism that effectively blunted this anti-Catholic legislation, ones we would do well to understand as we brace for the next attack.
One of these lessons is the importance of passionate celerity. The grassroots campaign against SB 360 began quickly and intensely at many levels, which enabled it to spread into a movement that elicited the activism of religious liberty advocates — both inside and outside the Church — far and wide. Immediately after Hill introduced the bill in February, a number of important organizations mobilized to respond. ….
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