Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky might be regretting a comment he made recently about President Obama. During a sermon, Bishop Jenky said that Obama’s political policies were on a “similar path” to those of Hilter and Stalin.
“Hilter 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,” Jenky said in his sermon. “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.”
In addition to being a Catholic Bishop, Jenky is also a member of the Board of Fellows at the University of Notre Dame. In response to the Bishop’s sermon, members of the faculty at Notre Dame have created and signed a petition that asks Bishop Jenky to either “renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy” or resign from the Board of Fellows.
Some are arguing that Bishop Jenky’s quote is being taken out of context, but that he was just stating his political and religious belief that Obama should not be re-elected and that Catholics should not vote for him.
“Based upon the current government’s threatened infringement upon the Church’s religious exercise of its ministry, Bishop Jenky offered historical context and comparisons as a means to prevent a repetition of historical attacks upon the Catholic Church and other religions,” said Patricia Gibson, the chancellor of the Peoria Diocese and a support of Bishop Jenky. “Bishop Jenky gave several examples of times in history in which religious groups were persecuted because of what they believed. We certainly have not reached the same level of persecution. However, history teaches us to to be cautious once we start down the path of limiting religious liberty.”
The members of the faculty who are petitioning to have Bishop Jenky removed from the Board of Fellows feel that his “comments demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgement,” according to a letter that 49 professors wrote to the University President and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We request that you issue a statement on behalf of the University that will definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement.”
Via The Huffington Post and The Chicago Tribune