Contact Us

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9520
Rancho Santa Fe, California  92067

Physical Address:  (UPS & FedEx Only)
16236 San Dieguito Road, Suite 3-15
Rancho Santa Fe, California  92067
Please note that we cannot receive regular mail at our physical address.

Phone: (858) 759-9948

Stay Connected with us:
Support The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund
Your donation can help us defend our Religious Freedom



  His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Burke was born on 30th June, 1948, in Richland Center (United States). His first studies were carried out at the Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and subsequently at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 1971 he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he remained until his priestly ordination.

Pope Paul VI ordained Burke to the priesthood on June 29th, 1975, for the La Crosse diocese. In 1984 he obtained his PhD in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. On 10th December, 1994, Pope John Paul II named Burke Bishop of La Crosse and subsequently on 2nd December, 2003, Archbishop of St. Louis.

On 27th June 2008, Pope Benedict XVI named Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, of which he was already a member, and President of the Supreme Court of the Vatican City State. In the consistory of 20th November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal and appointed him Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Agata dei Goti.

On 8th November, 2014, Pope Francis named Raymond Leo Burke Cardinalis Patronus of the Sovereign Order of Malta, where he succeeded Cardinal Paolo Sardi who has performed this role since June 2009.
  His Excellency The Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco
Bishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was born in San Diego, California, on June 5, 1956, the second of Leon and Mary Cordileone’s two sons and third of their four children.

Cordileone graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Francis Seminary. He was accepted to study in Rome and continued in the seminary at the Pontifical North American College. He received the Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology in 1981 from the Pontifical Gregorian University and then chose to return to be ordained a priest in San Diego and begin his first pastoral assignment.

On July 9, 1982, Bishop Leo T. Maher ordained the Reverend Salvatore Cordileone. In 1985 he was again sent to Rome, this time to study the new Code of Canon Law. He spent the next four years again at the Gregorian University, completing his doctorate. Upon Father Cordileone’s return to San Diego in 1989, he became secretary to Coadjutor Bishop Robert Brom and a year later became adjutant judicial vicar. In 1995 he was called to Rome and for the next seven years served as assistant at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest canonical court.

On July 5, 2002 Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego and he was ordained bishop on August 21, 2002 by Bishop Brom. On March 23, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Cordileone to be Fourth Bishop of Oakland. His Mass of Installation in the Diocese of Oakland was celebrated on May 5, 2009 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

On July 27, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Cordileone the ninth Archbishop of San Francisco. Archbishop Cordileone was installed on October 4, 2012, the patronal Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, California. Archbishop Cordileone presently sits on the Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as well as on its Task Force on Cultural Diversity. He also serves on the Religious Liberties Committee of the California Catholic Conference.
  Mr. Mike Sweeney
Mike is a recently retired Major League Baseball player of 16 years; 13 with the Kansas City Royals.  Mike also played for the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies. Mike is a 5 time American League All-Star who was named the 2003 and 2004 Good Guy in Sports by the Sporting News. On March 25, 2011, Sweeney retired from baseball.

Mike is the President and Founder of Catholic Baseball Camp, Inc. as well as The Mike and Shara Sweeney Family foundation. Mike and his wife Shara have been actively involved with a number of pro-life and pro-family charitable organizations including Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Mike is a Nationally acclaimed speaker who draws large audiences at Catholic Men's Retreats, Youth Conferences and Churches around the country. He hosts the annual Mike Sweeney Catholic Baseball Camp in San Diego and Kansas City. Mike and Shara live with their five children in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
  Dr. Robert P. George
Professor George holds Princeton's celebrated McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), of which he continues to be a corresponding member. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis, Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism, and co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, and Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is and Why It Matters. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics.

Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton's Department of Politics. He has given honorific lectures at Harvard, Yale, University of St. Andrews, and Cornell University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, divinity, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he also received a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.
  Dr. Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty at the Heritage Foundation as the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, healthcare and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory.

Anderson is also the Founder and Editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.

Anderson’s recent work at Heritage focuses on the constitutional questions surrounding same-sex marriage. He is the author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom (Regnery Books, July 2015), the first book-length response to the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage. He is also the co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of the acclaimed book What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (Encounter Books, December 2012).

Anderson was cited by Justice Clarence Thomas in his dissenting opinion in the 2015 Supreme Court case involving state marriage laws. And Justice Samuel Alito cited him twice in his dissenting opinion in the 2013 Supreme Court case involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He earned his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, where he received his master’s degree. His research spans the natural law tradition in conversation with classical and contemporary liberalism. His dissertation, which he defended in October 2014, is titled: “Neither Liberal nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights.”
  Mr. Thomas Mckenna
Thomas Mckenna is the President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, an association of Catholics that strives to uphold and defend Christian values inspired by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The organization works in a legal and peaceful manner in the realm of ideas to promote these values. It aims to provide a network of resources and activities for clergy and laity to inspire them to reach out to others in an active way to defend these values.



Welcome to The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund’s mission is to defend religious freedom by providing protective legal services at the trial level to persons whose religious liberty and free-speech rights have been attacked. FCDF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public-interest law firm which defends the conscience rights and religious freedom of those of all faiths and no faith.