Jump over the site's section navigation.

Bishop Jenky drawing fire for ordering priests to read letter at mass

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 04:29:19 CDT
By: IPR's Tanya Koonce

Catholics United is asking Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to refrain from using the pulpits of his diocese for partisan messages. IPR's Tanya Koonce reports:

Bishop Jenky is ordering the priests in the Peoria Diocese to read a letter he wrote during all mass services this weekend. The letter says the federal mandates to fund contraception are a threat to religious liberty and they grossly intrude on deeply-held Catholic moral convictions. Bishop Jenky also tells people to vote their faith. James Salt is with DC based Catholics United. He says the letter smacks of telling people how to vote and that's not legal within IRS guidelines:
"The Bishop makes not only factually inaccurate claims, but it uses a very heated language to..to really attack the President and members of the democratic senate, all for opposing Bishop Jenky's desire to withhold contraception from employees of catholic hospitals and universities."
But Bishop Jenky likely doesn't see it that way. Earlier this year he explained it this way:   
"I have never, and it's not my role, told people how to vote. There are catholic Re, Democrats, catholic Republicans, and catholic independents. It's not my role as a shepherd but I am, it is my role to help form consciences."
Requests for comment from the Diocese were not returned for this report.

Support Your Public Radio Station