Charles Rice defends Bishop Jenky from Notre Dame Attackers – A Must Read!

by JesseRay on April 30, 2012

Background: Bishop Jenky from Peoria Illinois a (Notre Dame Board of Fellows) delivered a noble and blistering homily on President Obama and his policies. Forty-nine Notre Dame professors condemned Bishop Jenky in a signed document. The professors were fools – as ably demonstrated by Professor Charles Rice, Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School. Here is a link to Bishop Jenky’s Homily and below is Professor Rice’s eloquent defense of Bishop Jenky and his astute homily. (Pray that all bishops will deliver such messages to the faithful – and to the US Government). After reading this, please write to the good bishop and give him your support.

Bishop Jenky defending the Catholic Faith and Religious Freedom

Letter of Defense: On April 14, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., of Peoria, Illinois, delivered a courageous homily at Mass during “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.” Bishop Jenky said, “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”

Forty-nine members of the Notre Dame faculty denounced Bishop Jenky in a Letter to the University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Richard C. Notebaert. The Letter called on them to “definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement.” The signers, said the Letter, “feel” that Bishop Jenky should resign from the University’s Board of Fellows.

The faculty Letter claims that Bishop Jenky “described President Obama as ‘seem[ing] intent on following a similar path’ to Hitler and Stalin.” They accuse Bishop Jenky of “ ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment.” The astonishingly simplistic and defamatory character of those accusations can be appreciated only by looking at what Bishop Jenky actually said:

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room. In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century. Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama—with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

The immediate antecedent of that last quoted sentence refers to the fact, which not even a liberal academic could deny, that Hitler and Stalin, like Bismarck and Clemenceau, “would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.” It was not “incendiary” but simple truth for Bp. Jenky to say that the trajectory of the Obama regime is along a “similar path” in regard to “education, social services, and health care.” His faculty detractors misread Bishop Jenky’s homily, assuming that they actually read it before they distorted and denounced it. The strident tone of their Letter, moreover, draws into question their own judgment and balance.

Notre Dame Law Professor Charles Rice

Bishop Jenky properly drew attention to the impending dangers to religious and personal freedom. The Obama regime, the leader of which was elected with 54 percent of the Catholic vote, is substituting for the free economy and limited government a centralized command system of potentially unlimited jurisdiction and power. Its takeover of health care was enacted against the manifest will of the people, in disregard of legislative process and by a level of bribery, coercion and deception that was as open as it was unprecedented. The HHS Health Care Mandate imperils not only the mission of the Catholic Church but also the right of conscience itself.

The faculty Letter outrageously claimed that Bishop Jenky’s limited and appropriate reference to Hitler and Stalin showed his ‘insensitivity to victims of genocide.” The Hitler record, however, is relevant in another respect. It provides an example, comparable to the Obama record, of the rapid concentration of executive power by a legally installed regime. Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30. Over the next few weeks he consolidated his power. The decisive event was the Reichstag’s approval of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, by which it ceded full and practically irrevocable powers to Hitler. That was the point of no return.

The Enabling Act received the needed two-thirds vote only because it was supported by the Catholic party, the Centre Party. (Eliot Barculo Wheaton, The Nazi Revolution: 1933-35 (1969), 286-93; William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959), 88, 276-79). The gullible Catholics voted themselves and the German people into persecution. America’s Catholics may be about to follow their example. With good reason, Bishop Jenky prayed: “May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.”

Bishop Jenky deserves appreciation for so urgently reminding Catholics of their civic duty. He spoke the Truth as a Bishop ought to speak. And his judgment and courage reflect the finest tradition of a Notre Dame that has gone missing. Pray for Bishop Jenky, for Notre Dame, for our Church and for our country.

source article here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Catholic Defender April 30, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I think it is time to clean Notre Dame making it a Catholic College again. Last year I learned that Notre Dame Seniors felt that about 15% of them felt their faith grew while being at the College. About 35% felt zero growth and about 50% said their faith actually went backwards? This does not speak well coming from a “Catholic” institution.

ND Alumnus April 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM

If 15% of students grow their faith, and 35% neither grow nor lessen it, Notre Dame is doing spectacularly well, not poorly. Perhaps Catholic Defender has forgotten that college students are in their late teens and early twenties? I seem to recall being immortal, invulnerable, and infallible at that point in my life, notwithstanding the fact that many of my Sundays were spent suffering from the wrath of grapes and very few spent going to Mass.

But, as long as there are young adults, there will be older adults, and the Church will be there to welcome them back when they crash headlong into the real business of life.

That said, Prof. Rice is missing the point, as is his habit. Anticlericalism in turn of the century France and Germany was a matter of political, not theological or ideological, alignment. As the Catholic church increasingly aligned itself with ultra-conservative political parties in the late 19th century. The Church used its position vis-a-vis public schools (paid for by the state through taxes, run by the church) to push those political views. In other words, the Church stopped educating students for the public – that is, the greater – good and made itself a party to the political conflict.

When the political reformers won power, and they always did (ultra-conservatives not being known for their excessive devotion to the greater good), one of the immediate orders of business was to pry the Church’s fingers away from the public purse. Why? Need you ask?

The lesson here is that when the Church stops being universal, stops being small-c catholic, and starts taking sides, not for right or wrong, but for right and left, playing partisan politics. then the Church loses its moral standing and moral authority over both sides.

Do you think there’s a single Democratic politician, not in Peoria, but anywhere in the entire USA, who will take Bishop Jenky’s calls today? Who will meet with him or be seen with him? Are other Bishops more or less likely to exert influence over a Democrat, and what of the large Catholic but strongly Democratic-aligned hispanic community? And the same applies to the Republican side; does the Church wield any influence whatsoever with the Republican party on any matter other than abortion?

vmd May 8, 2012 at 2:02 AM

The Church is being universal when it speaks to universal truths. Bishop Jenky is underscoring a fundamental universal truth, that protecting life is for the common good. Last time I checked, life precedes, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It just so happens that modern Democrats have become the greatest supporters of the abortion industry. Must the Church sit on the sidelines and neglect its teaching role because this may be considered to be a political act? It is a pleasant surprise to hear an elder statesman of the party, Jimy Carter, try to issue a corrective to a party that has become intransigent on the abortion issue. I’m sure the leaders of the Democratic party must consider Jimmy Carter to be senile, as no one can challenge fortress abortion in the Democratic party.

Actually, Bishop Jenky, and other Bishops, have been much too restrained in their assessment of the policies of the Obama administration. All one has to do is to look at Obama’s record on abortion issues before he became president. It seems that for Obama, the “right” to have an abortion trumps religious sensitivities every time. Has there ever been a more strident supporter of abortion on demand than Obama? Why did not individuals critically analyze his comments when, as a candidate, he stated that knowing when life begins was above his pay grade? If a person truly does not know when life begins, than one would expect caution when voting on issues regarding abortion. Since Obama has never made a decision that would protect life in the womb, he obviously must be convinced that it does not begin in the womb. He feigns lack of knowledge, but his actions betray his certainty.

We need more Bishop Jenkys!

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