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Bishop Jenky emphasizes religious liberty, speaks of ‘grave sin’ of pro-abortion politicians and ‘their electoral supporters’

Catholic World News - November 02, 2012

In a brief but impassioned letter that will be read at Masses in the Diocese of Peoria on November 3 and 4, Bishop Daniel Jenky emphasized threats to the Church’s religious liberty and stated that “Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb” are “objectively guilty of grave sin.”

The full text of the letter appears below.

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. Contrary to the guarantees embedded in the First Amendment, the HHS mandates attempt to now narrowly define and thereby drastically limit our traditional religious works. They grossly and intentionally intrude upon the deeply held moral convictions that have always guided our Catholic schools, hospitals, and other apostolic ministries.

Nearly two thousand years ago, after our Savior had been bound, beaten, scourged, mocked, and crowned with thorns, a pagan Roman Procurator displayed Jesus to a hostile crowd by sarcastically declaring: “Behold your King.” The mob roared back: “We have no king but Caesar.” Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin. 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.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Nov. 05, 2012 10:33 AM ET USA

    I hope he cc'd Cardinal Dolan in New York where we have been abandoned by our bishop.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Nov. 02, 2012 6:21 PM ET USA

    In the Gospel account of Our Lord's interaction with said Roman Procurator Our Lord was asked sardonically: "What is truth?!" We must not continue the previous errors that have led to this onslaught against "religious liberty." The strong recent statements by some bishops are being lauded, but these ought to have been the consistent, unanimous, and uniform proclamations of all Catholic bishops all along. Obama has forced the issue, and that might not be all bad in the grand scheme of things.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Nov. 02, 2012 6:09 PM ET USA

    I support Bishop Jenky implicitly. Where are the other bishops? Now Cardinal Burke was undercut by his fellow bishops for the same tone while archbishop of St. Louis.

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