Showing posts with label candidates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label candidates. Show all posts

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Letter to the members of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky:
Election AD 2012

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. 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.

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.
The headline of the post at the National Catholic Reporter is "Peoria bishop orders Catholics to the polls".   Since I've long admired the reporting at NCR, I hope the headline is irony.  What the bishop orders is that Roman Catholics go to the polls and vote for Mitt Romney and Republican candidates for the US Senate.
 In 1954, Congress saw the need to separate charities and churches from politics. An amendment was offered on the floor of the Senate by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson.

The Johnson amendment is found within the well-known section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In its present form, the law states that charities, including churches, are not allowed to “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

Freedom of speech and religious liberty are essential elements of our democracy. But the Supreme Court has in essence held that tax exemption is a privilege, not a right, stating, “Congress has not violated [an organization’s] First Amendment rights by declining to subsidize its First Amendment activities.”

The rule against intervention by charities and churches in political campaigns has been entrenched in the law for over a half-century. Congress enacted the law. The Courts upheld it. Our job at the IRS is to educate the public and charities about the law and to enforce it in a fair and evenhanded manner.
Perhaps the powers-that-be at the IRS might be moved to investigate the Diocese of Peoria's tax-exempt eligibility. The bishop stepped outside the boundary of advocating issues to advocating candidates. I know the IRS is not likely to do as I suggest, but it should.

The bishop's heavy-handed order to the priests in the diocese demonstrates desperation and a lack of confidence in his own authority.  He speaks of the "Catholic community" as though all Catholics think alike and speak with one voice, which is (excuse my language) bullshit, as is Jenky's claim of "assault upon our religious freedom", on which basis he orders the faithful to vote Republican, or risk their very salvation.  Will Roman Catholics pay attention to the gospel according to Jenky when they vote? I hope not.

In an earlier post I quoted another letter from Bishop Jenky in which he compared President Obama to Hitler and Stalin. 

Note: I was going to take a pass on posting on the the bishop's odious letter, but Rmj at Adventus inspired me otherwise.  Keep in mind that the thoughts and words here are my own, and Rmj bears no responsibility.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


From Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island Bishop Search:
The Search and Nomination Committee has selected five priests to stand for election as the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island. This preliminary slate consists of:

• the Rev. Kurt Dunkle, 50, rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Orange Park, Florida (Diocese of Florida);
• the Rev. Cathy George, 55, currently on a writing sabbatical; former priest-in-charge, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts (Diocese of Massachusetts);
• the Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, 51, dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Arizona);
• the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 52, rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Diocese of Pennsylvania);
• the Rev. Jennifer Pedrick, 45, rector, Church of the Epiphany, Rumford, Rhode Island (Diocese of Rhode Island).
Links to the Nominee Profiles, photos, autobiographies, and answers to the four essay questions posed by the Search and Nomination Committee may be found at the diocesan website.

H/T to Nicholas Knisely Ann Fontaine at The Lead.

Nicholas Knisely is one of the candidates. Go Nicholas!
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for the Diocese of Rhode Island that they may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip them for their ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer)