|Imagine that, Cardinal Burke and Bishop Jenky taking a stroll. Why am I not surprised.|
I don't believe I've written anything about Bishop Jenky of Peoria. I have read quite a bit about him and he struck me as being another Bishop Martino of Scranton, or Morlino of Madison. Men who had garnered mid level dioceses who had their eyes on bigger prizes and decided to follow the Burke route to Rome and red beanies---shout and wave a lot so that Rome will notice their 'zeal' for 'teaching the hard truths'. The easiest way to get noticed in this country is to get all raging political and mimic Rush Limbaugh in thought, word, and deed. Jenky may be the most Limbaugh-like of all of them, and not just in physical shape, but in verbal affront.
The following is an article by Nicholas Cafardi excerpted from National Catholic Reporter"
Churches should be a sacred space, free from partisan politics
Nicholas Cafardi - National Catholic Reporter - 11/2/2012
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill., just can't seem to stay out of politics. On April 14, he gave a sermon in the cathedral in Peoria in which he compared the president of the United States to, among others, Hitler and Stalin. He has now just come out with an order to all his priests, under their vow of obedience to him, to read a highly political letter from the pulpit this Sunday before the election. I will leave apart the very serious question about whether this is the proper use of canonical obedience, but would point out to Jenky that his theory of obedience, which reduces his priests to automatons under his control, is not very respectful of their personal dignity. It is also the type of episcopal over-reach that allows plaintiffs' lawyers to argue that bishops are legally responsible for everything their priests do. And we know how many hundreds of millions of dollars actions like that have cost the church. (Actually Bishop Morlino went even further. Back in 2008 he ordered his priests to play a tape of Morlino 'teaching' against gay marriage as opposed to trusting them to read a letter.)
Jenky's letter is a non-endorsement endorsement of one party's candidates in the elections next Tuesday, filled with highly tendential "facts." Jenky appears not to know that the contraceptive regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services that he complains so bitterly about have already been modified once to exempt Catholic-affiliated institutions -- such as colleges, universities and hospitals -- and that future modifications to take care of the issue of Catholic self-insured organizations are in the works. He also seems to buy the notion that the only way to fight the evil of abortion is to make it illegal.
As a result of Jenky's command, Catholics in Peoria on Sunday will be exposed to a partisan political rant in order to attend Mass. That's just wrong. Our churches should be sacred spaces, free from any whiff of partisan politics. The Lord, in the Eucharist, welcomes all of those in the state of grace, despite their political affiliations. And making people feel unwanted in church because of the political party they belong to is a sure way to empty our already sparsely populated pews. (Jenky is implying one's politics destroys their state of grace. In his state of mind, the American democrat is the evil new fascist communist hybrid.)
Jenky is among those bishops who would say that while we Catholics may use our prudential judgment in designing solutions to the social justice issues, issues like the federal budget and its support for the least among us, or issues like racial justice and immigration, we may not use that same prudential judgment in designing solutions to the life issues, that the only way to address the life issues is to legislate the church's views into law......
Jenky represents so much of what is wrong with Catholic leadership in the West. He is an emotional child with a child's confusion between morality and spirituality. It is why bishops like him can not get beyond the pelvic issues and truly believe the unruly apostates they shepherd must be kept in line by the power of secular authority while they rant and shake impotent fingers from their episcopal authority. It's like the State must take on the role of Reverend Mother Superior in all her feared authority, so that the children will listen to the hall monitors.
Here's his letter straight from the horses mouth, with my comments, of course, of course.
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. (Total inventifact which negates the real suffering experienced by Catholics in the history of this country.)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, (Anyone who has followed the story knows this is a complete and total lie.)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. (Another total lie. Ask Native American and Mormons about assaults on religious liberty.) 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. (Hyperbole aside, this happens only if bishops like Jenky throw the Catholic mission out with the birth control bath water. Which this infantile excuse for a bishop will most certainly do. Essentially he would be throwing a tantrum which would have very serious consequences for the very people Jesus told us were our responsibility as His followers.)
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. (This is a heretical statement which conflates the Redemption earned for us all by Jesus with one single issue. He is stating to disagree with the USCCB criminalization strategy is to deny God and to send ones self to hell, and then he follows this up with a warning for those evil democrats:)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. (Whoa, I never knew God's great mercy didn't extend beyond death. If that's true then why did Jesus descend into hell?)
I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote. (I think that's over his pay grade. He can't make not voting a sin, even for practicing Catholics. OK, maybe he can if they are so ill informed as to believe he actually can.) Be faithful to Christ and to your Catholic Faith. May God guide and protect His Holy Church, and may God bless America.Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Catholic Bishop of Peoria
So there we have it, an American bishop inventing his own history, extending the limits of his own authority, re prioritizing the Gospel and teachings of Jesus, and completely embarrassing the American Church. I hope his Republican handlers paid this clerical actor very well for his services-something more than thirty pieces of silver I should think, given Cardinal Burke is his mentor.