Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bishop Jenky and Worker Rights

     Before considering and advocating for the “Simple Life” let me comment on the suppression of workers’ rights by the Roman Catholic Church.
     The Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy despite the reforms of Vatican II. Rome dictates rules and policy. It shored up power since Vatican II by elevating extremely conservative leaders to bishops and cardinals. The result is a prioritization of Papal political power over the “sense of the Church.” Rome negated the Vatican II document on freedom of conscience — Dignitatis Humanae — by denouncing women’s right to choose and the use of contraception. To say that the Papal position is the position of the Church, or that it is The Truth, is simplistic and incorrect. Claiming the right to impose the Papal position of health care on Roman Catholic institutions violates freedom of conscience for workers of these institutions and their families — non-Catholics and Catholics alike.
     The latest tirade from an extreme right wing Roman Catholic Bishop is embarrassing but difficult to ignore for one steeped in, and proud of, Roman Catholic Social Teaching. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, compared President Obama to Hitler and Stalin in a recent homily. There are a few Roman Catholic lay people with limited theological background who support Bishop Jenky in an attempt to shore up their right wing political agenda of social Darwinism.
     Jenky's comments move him and his right wing political supporters par excellence closer to the scrap heap of theological and political irrelevance. (The full text of Jenky's remarks –
     The Church does have many rational leaders. Please read “Jesuits letter rebukes Ryan” (New York Times, April 25th 2012)

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