|Bishop Jenky: A vote for abortion is a grave sin.|
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Illinois, has issued a letter for all priests in his diocese to read during Mass on Sunday November 4, which warns that a vote for 'intrinsic evil' is a grave sin.
Jenky was one of the first Catholic bishops to speak out forcefully against the Obama administration's abortion mandate, comparing it to developments in Europe which led to persecution of the Christian churches under Bismarck, Stalin, and Hitler. That statement by Bishop Jenky produced howls of protest from the American Civil Liberties Union, which demanded an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into the tax exempt status of the diocese.
"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," Jenky wrote in a letter circulated to clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.
In the letter, (read here) Jenky cautions parishioners that Obama and a majority of U.S. senators will not reconsider the mandate that would require employers, including religious groups, to provide free birth control coverage in their health care plans. "This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system," Jenky wrote.
"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," Jenky added. "They are objectively guilty of grave sin."
Jenky is the third Illinois Catholic leader to offer pointed guidance for Catholic voters in recent weeks. Last month, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki offered a commentary on the Democratic and Republican parties' platforms that he said wasn't intended as instruction, but guidance.
"There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils," Paprocki explained in the Springfield Diocese newspaper.
"Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against," he said. "But I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy."
Furthermore, in the Rockford Diocese, Vicar General Eric Barr compared Obama's support of religious freedom in Muslim countries to his lack of support for Catholic liberty.
"Meanwhile, Obamacare marches on, steamrolling Catholic morality and the First Amendment under its weight. How can that be tolerated by citizens?" Barr wrote.
"Nothing justifies this peculiar and unreal stance of the president," he said.
Unfortunately, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is not expected to issue any statements before the election, according to spokesman Colleen Dolan.