Bishop Jenky of Peoria, IL tells it like it is! WOW. I've never read a more direct description of our current political position in this country:
[. . .] As your Bishop, I now believe it is critically necessary to raise an alarm among the faithful regarding growing threats to our religious freedom due to the increasing steps toward radical secularization taking place in Illinois. Beside the abrupt exclusion of Catholic Charities from childcare and adoption services and increasing attempts to intimidate Catholic healthcare, I am also concerned about possible future moves that could be made against the independence of our Catholic schools and other public ministries of our Diocese. Eventually it may come to pass that our fidelity to the Gospel of Christ and to Catholic tradition may place us in direct conflict with recent legal definitions of the State of Illinois. There are certainly some in our state whose commitment to aesthetic secularism is so intense that they may well try to restrict the Church’s role only to the sacristy and sanctuary.
I am especially scandalized by some “Catholic” politicians who willingly collaborate with efforts to restrict the civil liberty of the faith tradition from which they were originally sprung. Many of those in office who were taught to read and write in Catholic schools, now seem entirely indifferent to the consciences of those Catholics who live their faith. On Ash Wednesday, they like to be conspicuous with crosses on their foreheads, but the true Cross of Christ seems far from their hearts and minds. They enjoy parties on March the 17th and wearing green sweaters but in effect are ashamed of Saint Patrick’s unwavering zeal for the Catholic Christianity. They like photo opportunities with the hierarchy, but break their word to them without a moment’s hesitation. They may still use the rituals of Catholicism to mark their happy and sad occasions, but apparently would sell their soul for a vote or a dollar. What does it benefit a person to gain the whole world but lose their soul (Mark 8:36), but eternal loss for the sake of public office in Illinois is an extraordinarily foolish deal with the devil. Such people certainly need our prayers, but they should no longer be able to take our friendship or our support for granted [. . .]
I respectfully submit to Bishop Jenky that the lack of action on the part of his episcopal brethren in disciplining "Catholic" politicians has given these wayward souls the distinct impression that they can slap on green hats and parade their ashes and backslap Cardinals at fundraising dinners and still vote for abortion, gay "marriage," and ObamaCare w/o consequences.
It is well beyond time for our bishops and pastors to stop inviting these political leeches to public celebrations of Catholic cultural events. Whether or not individuals should be denied communion is a much more delicate and complicated matter. However, declining invitations to fundraising events, parades, etc. is not. The Bernadin Experiment in secular engagement has been a failure, a horrible failure, and our shepherds need to repudiate it before we all find ourselves under judgment.___________________
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