Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote.

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.

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
BISHOP OF PEORIA

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. BISHOP OF PEORIA

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/3/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Catholic Vote, Campaign 2012, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, HHS Mandate, religious liberty, Right to Life, Marriage, courageous Bishop


PEORIA, IL (Catholic Online) - On November 6, 2012, Americans head to polling places all over the Nation to vote. Along with Congressional contests and ballot initiatives, they will be asked to choose a President and Vice president. The choice is between Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan or Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. Oh, I know there are other options - but to vote for them is to eliminate the effect of your vote. 

U.S. Catholics can determine the outcome of this Presidential election. That is if we act in a manner which is, to use words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "morally coherent".  That phrase was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life".

Here is an excerpt, "The social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible. Living and acting in conformity with one's own conscience on questions of politics is not slavish acceptance of positions alien to politics or some kind of 'confessionalism', but rather the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person."

The same congregation repeatedly addressed the primacy of the Right to Life. Here is one example:  "The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental - the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others. It does not belong to society, nor does it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and not for others" (Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974), no. 11. I)

To insist upon the fundamental Human Right to Life is not single issue politics. Human rights are goods of human persons. When there is no human person to exercise them all the rhetoric extolling them is sloganeering and sophistry.  Nor is our position only a matter of adherence to our "religious" beliefs. It is a response to the truth revealed by the Natural Law and confirmed by medical science. The Child in the womb is our neighbor. It is always and everywhere wrong to kill him or her through procured abortion.

So too with our obligation to defend Marriage and the family and society founded upon it. Marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. It is a relationship defined by nature and protected by the natural law that binds all men and women. It finds its foundation in the order of creation. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a "right" to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. The institutions of government should, when acting properly, defend marriage against those who would redefine it.

Government has long regulated marriage for the common good. The ban on polygamy and age requirements were enforced in order to ensure that there was a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society.

To "limit" marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. To now "confer" the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad public policy.

We are living under what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism" in the West. When there is a wholesale effort to deny the existence of anything objectively true which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life, then there is no real freedom. Instead, we teeter on the brink of anarchy. On January 19, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Bishops of Region IV in the United States gathered in Rome for their ad limina visit.

He warned them of a "radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres". He told them that the "seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion."

The pope's  admonition to defend religious freedom came the day before Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, issued a mandate requiring all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans. The purported "accommodation" offered later is a sham. Anyone who denies this, even a sitting Vice President at a recent debate, is lying.

One of the silver linings in the cloud is the way that it has elicited courageous leadership from many Catholic Bishops. Among them is Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois. He gave a homily on April 14, 2012, at a Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral during the annual "Call to Catholic Men of Faith" event which showed great heroism. It also provoked a strong reaction.

Over 500 men marched through downtown Peoria bearing witness to the ancient but ever new Catholic faith. In his homily the Bishop reflected on the readings of the day for the Liturgy. The first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4: 13-21), recounted the hostility faced by Peter, the first Pope, and the beloved disciple, John, as they exercised their apostolic ministry in another culture which had grown hostile to the Church and her message of genuine liberation. Peter and John left an example which has been followed for over two millennia whenever the Church faces open hostility from the State.

It is in this account that we find these often quoted words: "So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, "Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."

The Gospel of the day was from St Mark's gospel (Mk 16: 9-15). Jesus told the believers to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." The Apostles did just what the Lord said and they turned the world of their age upside down (Acts 17:6). So too have their successors, like Bishop Jenky of Peoria. He told the men "We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction."  

That outstanding homily was quoted in piecemeal fashion and became fodder for those who simply o not want Catholic Bishops to exhibit a backbone. Threats were made against the non-profit status of the Diocese, simply because the bishop had the courage to speak the truth. Groups such as "People for the American Way" (a misnomer), who produced the video clip with which this article is published, were incensed over the courageous way in which the Bishop addressed the faithful. We offered the entire homily in an article entitled "The Courage of Bishop Daniel Jenky: Catholics by Conviction!"

The Bishop told the men "it has never been easy to be a Christian and it's not supposed to be easy! The world, the flesh, and the devil will always love their own, and will always hate us. As Jesus once predicted, they hated me, they will certainly hate you. But our Faith, when it is fully lived, is a fighting faith and a fearless faith. Grounded in the power of the resurrection, there is nothing in this world, and nothing in hell, that can ultimately defeat God's one, true, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

I now offer a letter from this good Bishop which was sent to all of his priests to be read at all of the parishes in his Diocese the weekend before the election. It is causing quite a stir among those who do not know how to deal with Bishops who demonstrate such backbone. His unapologetic exercise of episcopal authority irks many in the media. It is also upsetting some dissenting Catholics. It is not only proper, it is timely and refreshing.

His willingness to make the following statement, "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", is similarly refreshing - and inspiring.

Bishop Jenky needs our prayer. He deserves our deep respect and appreciation.  His detractors better get used to courageous Bishops - they are multiplying at the beginning of the Third millennium in much the same way they did at the beginning of the First Millennium. His call to heroic Catholicism - to be Catholics by conviction - has application in the voting booth.

*****
Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, C.S.C.
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
DIOCESE OF PEORIA

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. 

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.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
BISHOP OF PEORIA

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


And you thought you had bad traffic! Tropical storm strands thousands in Nevada Watch

Image of Heavy rain washed out numerous portions of Nevada's critical I-15, leaving many drivers stranded or forced to take roundabout backways.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what may be the area's worst storm in decades, a 2-mile-long stretch of highway in Moapa Nevada was destroyed by four inches of rain that occurred in just an hour, part of the end of Tropical Storm Norbert. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rain caused ... continue reading


What do you do when a man takes off with millions in sunken treasure? Watch

Image of Gold coins recovered from the SS Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the past two years, U.S. marshals have been on the hunt for Tommy Thompson, the man who made the greatest lost treasure discovery in American history back in 1988. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson has been on the run as a fugitive after he skipped a ... continue reading


Wore out his welcome: Obama advocates withdrawing their support Watch

Image of A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll has yielded some most striking findings. The degree to which the president's approval has slipped among key parts of the Obama coalition, such as women, youth and Latino voters who put in him back in charge two years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama's support has been rapidly dwindling stateside. The president, in particular has alienated women voters, especially those who re-elected him in 2012. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "He's been faced with a lot of challenges, and ... continue reading


Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Democrats and Republicans stand together against the Islamic State at inaugural Christian summit Watch

Image of The Islamic State has continued to murder and persecute Christians in every region they have conquered, displacing millions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California representative Anna Eshoo (D.) spoke at a special summit called In Defense of Christians (IDC) on September 10, commenting on the continuing persecution and slaughter of Christians at the hands of Islamic extremists in the Middle East, specifically by ... continue reading


War? Congress and administration agree on conflict, argue over who declares it Watch

Image of President Obama's speech on September 10 outlined continued conflict against the Islamic State, and so far responses among Congress and within party lines have been mixed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During a live address to the nation on September 10, President Obama promised to destroy the Islamic State, functionally declaring war without the support or approval of Congress. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This might be for the best, as a majority of ... continue reading


COMES TO LIGHT: Yahoo was threatened in 2008 with $250,000 daily fine if it didn't cooperate with NSA Watch

Image of Recently released documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret - and unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government's demands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Would you capitulate if the United States government threatened to hit you with a quarter-of-a-million dollar DAILY fine if you didn't cooperate with them? Internet search engine Yahoo buckled to pressure back in 2008, and the dreaded National Security Agency ... continue reading


72-hour abortion wait period enacted in Missouri Watch

Image of Crowds gathered for rallies both in support and opposition of the legislation. Abortion rights activists wore purple shirts while abortion foes wore red. Both sides pointed to the personal experiences of women who had abortions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Overriding a veto of legislation, Missouri lawmakers enacted a new law that requires women to wait 72 hours after consulting with a doctor before having an abortion. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The vote by Missouri's Republican-led legislature overrules ... continue reading


Feds take $100 million from cartel related businesses in California! Watch

Image of Federal officers seized $100 million from downtown Los Angeles businesses as part of an anti-cartel bust.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Federal officials announced that Los Angeles is now the nation's center for money laundering by international drug cartels, after a raid in downtown L.A. seized an estimated $100 million in cash and from bank accounts as part of an ongoing probe. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 5:7-9
7 During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20
2 turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a ... Read More

Gospel, John 19:25-27
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 15th, 2014 Image

St. Valerian
September 15: The massacre of the martyrs of Lyons with their bishop, St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter