Monday, April 23, 2012

Stand Fast, Bishop Jenky!

Bishop Jenky was certainly on the right track with his homily of April 14; you can tell from the way he’s being attacked. As LifeSiteNews reports:

After an IRS complaint from a secularist group and other criticism, Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky is now facing a petition by Notre Dame faculty to have him removed from the Catholic university’s board of fellows.

The first reported complaint was about this comment from the bishop’s homily:

This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries - only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State claimed the homily violated federal law by taking sides in a political campaign, and that Bishop Jenky’s comments clearly called for Catholics to vote against Obama.

As for the Notre Dame professors, they charge that Bishop Jenky’s comments comparing Obama’s machinations to those of Hitler and Stalin were “profoundly offensive”, and “demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment”, according to LifeSiteNews.

Let’s hope Bishop Jenky doesn’t follow the lead of Cardinal Francis George. I expressed my own doubts as to whether Bishop Jenky is walking the walk as well as talking the talk here. I pray he’s really walking!

Remember last December when Cardinal Francis George made the comparison between the KKK and “gay pride” parade organizers? He said the tactic of scheduling a “gay pride” parade that would interfere with Mass at a prominent Catholic church was similar to the tactics historically used by the KKK and other groups to deny religious freedom to Catholics. He stood by his comparison at first. Such analogies are lost on those who want to pursue the “gay” agenda, though, and the pressure was on. Cardinal George caved a week later, offering an apology for the “the hurt my remarks have caused” (see a report here).

So far, Bishop Jenky and the Diocese of Peoria have stood their ground, refusing to bow to the critics.  LifeSiteNews reported:

In response to the criticism, the Diocese of Peoria told local media that the bishops’ comments were misunderstood outside their context.

“Based upon the current government’s threatened infringement upon the Church’s religious exercise of its ministry, Bishop Jenky offered historical context and comparisons as a means to prevent a repetition of historical attacks upon the Catholic Church and other religions,” said diocesan chancellor Patricia Gibson.

“Bishop Jenky gave several examples of times in history in which religious groups were persecuted because of what they believed,” she added. “We certainly have not reached the same level of persecution. However, history teaches us to be cautious once we start down the path of limiting religious liberty.”

I think this is very important. It was an inspirational homily. If Bishop Jenky makes some kind of retraction, he’ll take the wind out of the sails of those who have been inspired. And it will just be another indication that the episcopacy of this country has no backbone. At a time when the bishops seem to be finding their voices, it’s important that they stick to their guns. And we must support them with prayers and all the encouragement we can muster if we want them to stand fast.

To that end, apparently, parishioners and even the mayor of Peoria have come to the defense of the bishop. Good for them! And I think those Notre Dame profs need to dust off their profession of faith and/or oath of fidelity to the Catholic Church.

I’m praying Bishop Jenky has the strength and courage to stand against the bullies who want him to back down.  And I think I’ll make use of the contact information provided by LifeSiteNews by sending a note of support of Bishop Jenky to the addresses below.

I hope you’ll do the same.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend
915 South Clinton
P.O. Box 390
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801
Phone: (260) 422-4611
Fax: (260) 969-9145

Notre Dame
Phone: (574) 631-5000

1 comment:

  1. Old airforce maxim: "When you start receiving hits you know you are on target"


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