In June I wrote a controversial column titled, “Exit, Don’t Enable the Catholic Church.” I talked about the highhanded attitude of the increasingly politicized bishops, their opposition to modernity, the unconscionable cover-up of child rape, and backwards attitudes towards human rights. My advice to the good Catholic majority was to run out of the church and don’t look back:
It does seem as if diehard liberal and moderate Catholics are not fighting so much as being beaten to a pulp by ideologues. If this were a boxing match, it would have been stopped many rounds ago. Indeed, attacks from the right have become so extreme that the Church is even going after American nuns. If nuns aren’t Catholic enough for these fanatics, liberal Catholics sure aren’t going to be embraced any time soon.
Today, the situation only worsened with the Bishop of Peoria, Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., seeming to mock IRS laws against church’s endorsing candidates and ordering the flock to vote. In an arrogant letter to parishioners, released by the National Catholic Reporter, the Bishop basically demanded that his followers vote for the Republican ticket.
By virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at each Weekend Mass, November 3/4.
Dear Catholic Believers,
Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present. Neither the president of the United States nor the current majority of the Federal Senate have been willing to even consider the Catholic community’s grave objections to those HHS mandates that would require all Catholic institutions, exempting only our church buildings, to fund abortion, sterilization, and artificial contraception. This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system.
For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life. God is not mocked, and as the Bible clearly teaches, after this passing instant of life on earth, God’s great mercy in time will give way to God’s perfect judgment in eternity.
I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote. Be faithful to Christ and to your Catholic Faith. May God guide and protect his Holy Church, and may God bless America.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
BISHOP OF PEORIA
Attention IRS, this is about the most flagrant violation of the law I have ever seen. The Bishop didn’t even bother attempting to walk a fine line like most non-profits. He basically found the fine line, turned it into a fuse and lit it.
Attention moderate Catholics: Are you now convinced that it might be a good time to run from this church as fast as possible?