Sunday, February 08, 2009

Jenky Calls Persecution Persecution

Deacon Greg Kendra presents the point of collision between The Catholic Diocese of Peoria’s Bishop Daniel Jenky and the news media and Illinois courts.
Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky is lashing out at the news media and Illinois courts over the handling of sexual abuse allegations made against priests.

In a letter dated for distribution this weekend to Catholic parishes throughout Central Illinois, Jenky expresses concern over media coverage and court rulings he thinks have been unfair to the diocese.

“Amid all the tensions of our nation’s culture wars and in the face of the media’s intense hatred for our Catholic faith, I am increasingly concerned that our Church in effect no longer enjoys equal justice under the law,” wrote Jenky.

The diocese did not respond Friday to a request for comment on the letter.

Jenky defended the church’s policies and track record for dealing with abuse cases, saying credible claims have been settled while allegations unsupported by facts are rejected. He thinks measures put in place in recent years have made the church a safe environment for children.

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria has not allowed abusive priests to move from parish to parish, said Jenky, who also vowed not to be intimidated by “choreographed demonstrations or the abuse that is sometimes personally directed against me” by victims’ support groups.

The bishop questioned the motives of attorneys representing some victims and groups supporting them, saying, “Obviously (they) have a significant financial stake in trying to overturn our Diocesan policies.”

Jeff Jones, Peoria leader of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, responded Friday to a copy of the letter provided to the organization.

“It’s a sad day when the bishop has to use these kinds of tactics to make sure innocent victims receive no reparations. He will stop at nothing,” said Jones.

In his letter, Jenky also assures area Catholics that he will be a “prudent steward of the money you offer for the work of Christ” and warned that difficult days may lie ahead as the diocese faces the potential of more than a dozen abuse lawsuits. You can read more at the link. Meantime, advocates for victims have responded: A support group for those who say they were abused by the clergy blasted a letter Bishop Daniel Jenky planned to send out to the Diocese of Peoria this weekend, saying its contents are outrageous, sad and scary.

“It’s hard to know which of Jenky’s radical claims is more bogus — that journalists hate Catholicism or that the diocese handles clergy sex cases perfectly,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, in a statement.

SNAP received the letter dated Feb. 7-8 addressed to all “priests, deacons, religious and faithful of the diocese,” from a concerned Catholic. SNAP provided the Journal Star with the letter.

The bishop wrote, “Amid all the tensions of our nation’s culture wars and in the face of the media’s intense hatred for our Catholic faith, I am increasingly concerned that our church in effect no longer enjoys equal justice under the law.”

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We see in this conflict the nexus of various groups claiming to set the definitive terms of discourse: on the one hand, the power of state with its courts, investigative branches, and those "special interests" that cater to the power of the state, none of whom declare any higher claim to truth than what human institutions define as truth. On the other hand, Bishop Jenky who, admittedly, has the irksome and reproachable task of dealing with fallen and sinful reprobate priests, posits a living link to truth claims whose origins and foundations make the state's look like sandbox decisions and tinker toy justice.

In short, the good bishop is calling out the courts, the MSM, and western culture's propensity for scapegoating the Catholic Church. And he is right. The victim is not rolling over the way its persecutors want. Neither did Job before the onslaught of his "friends". Eventually, neither did the disciples of Our Lord.

Read all of Deacon Kendra's post here.

UPDATE: Here is an example of an international attack on what Bishop Jenky, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and Natural Law stand up for. "Human rights" = Gnostic hubris and romanticism run amok.

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