It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Friday, April 20, 2012

Washington DC's Ongoing War with the U.S. Catholic Church

(Chicago Tribune) - A prominent advocate of church-state separation filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday, accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria of violating federal law by intervening in a political campaign.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, alleges that a fiery homily delivered by Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky last Sunday effectively urged Catholics to vote against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

Jenky's homily criticized policies proposed by the Obama administration that would require all employers, including religious groups, to provide free birth control coverage in their health care plans. The bishop included Obama's policies in a litany of government challenges the Catholic Church has overcome in previous centuries, including Hitler and Stalin's campaigns.

"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," Jenky said. "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...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:  In what is becoming a clear showdown between the United States government and the U.S. Catholic Church, the latest episode involves some comments made by His Excellency Bishop Daniel Jenky.  Here, the good bishop dared to criticise the president of the United States, from behind the pulpit no less, and for this the president's supporters are retaliating with charges that will surely land His Excellency before a civil magistrate and place the entire diocese in financial jeopardy. 

For my international readers, allow me to explain.  It is generally understood in the United States that freedom of speech does not exist for religious leaders when they preach behind the pulpit.  Certain things may not be said, and this most especially applies when it comes to politicians.  If this happens in an election year, this "cardinal sin" is compounded of course.  You see, the United States federal government has successfully placed a muzzle on religious leaders in the United States through the all important tax exemption.  So long as religious leaders keep their noses out of politics, they may retain their tax exemption status.  This doesn't mean that they themselves don't have to pay taxes, oh no, every religious leader must always pay his own personal income tax.  No, this has to do with donations and the parish itself.  You see, so long as the tax exemption is retained, parishioners may donate money to the parish and write this off as a personal tax deduction.  However, if the tax exemption is revoked, then parishioners may no longer claim a personal tax deduction when donating to the parish, and in addition to that, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may punish the parish with tax penalties for whatever actions caused them to lose their tax exempt status in the first place.  The IRS has a reputation of punishing churches with the most fiendish malignity, even to the point of seizing entire parish buildings and all property related.  Yes, the IRS also has a reputation of being selective in this process.  Some churches are spared, others are made examples of, and to the best of our knowledge, it often seems this happens along partisan lines.  For example; radical left-wing Protestant churches (particularly black Liberation Theology congregations) such as the one previously attended by President Barack Obama for example, have a reputation of inflammatory political speech from behind the pulpit directly toward conservative and Republican leaders.  These churches are rarely investigated by the IRS, and when they are, they are usually spared any serious repercussions.  In contrast, right-wing Evangelical churches may have a reputation of making some veiled comment toward a politician that may (or may not) have political undertones, and these churches will often find themselves in a fight with the IRS to retain their property, which of course, they usually lose.  So there is a lot of political game-playing that goes on here in the United States, and a lot of it has to do with ideology.  That the tax code is applied unfairly is beyond doubt, but for the most part, the American people are powerless to do anything about it.  Our leaders are spineless, and indeed, they often benefit from the system the way it is.

In this context Bishop Jenky makes his brave remarks of observation that the Obama administration is mirroring the very behaviours seen in the early ears of Hitler and Stalin.  Indeed, far worse observations were made by religious leaders of former President George W. Bush, but no penalties were ever applied to them as far as we know.  Bishop Jenky on the other hand will certainly be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  That's almost a guarantee, and the whole Diocese of Peoria is now in financial jeopardy.  Will the bishop and the diocese escape the long arm of the IRS?  Perhaps if the bishop back-peddles hard enough, he may get off with a stern warning, and the diocese may be spared.  If he holds his ground however, it is not unreasonable to assume the diocese will lose its tax exemption status, along with half of its diocesan property.  Parishes will be closed and auctioned.  All future donations to the Diocese of Peoria, or any parish or ministry within, will be fully taxed with no deductions available.

Stepping back for a moment from the heat of the current situation, I would like my readers to examine the overall moral precedent this sets not just for the U.S. Catholic Church, but for every religious institution within the United States.  Effectively, by using the much coveted tax deduction section (501c3), the federal government now has a say in what is preached behind the pulpit of every church in America.  Pastors are effectively muzzled.  If America's leaders act like tyrants, and a religious pastor calls them out on it, then that pastor can be prosecuted and his parish (or diocese) punished.  This is all legal, according to the U.S. tax code, and it's been going on in America for a VERY LONG TIME.  Is there not something inherently wrong with this?  Am I the only one who sees something insidious in this?

I have in the past made the controversial statement that the best thing that could happen to the U.S. Catholic Church is for it to lose its tax exemption status.  While this would be financially catastrophic at first, in the long run, it would have the effect of liberating priests and bishops to fully speak their minds from behind the pulpit.  If a politician begins to act like a tyrant, as Barack Obama has definitely done, then they could call him out on it, before their entire congregation, without fear of the IRS.  They could even go further than that.  The bishops could meet in conference and decide in advance who they will support and who they will oppose in political races, freely preaching this and the reasons why in their Sunday homilies, thus giving lay Catholics a much more informed conscience.  The U.S. Catholic Church would effectively become the largest "voting block" in the United States, marching in virtual lock-step, electing and deposing candidates as it sees fit, transforming America's political landscape almost overnight.  In fact, the one and only thing that PREVENTS this very thing from happening, is the coveted tax exempt status (501c3) which so long as the U.S. Catholic Church wants it, politicians need not fear the formation of a unified Catholic voting block.  Thus politicians like Barack Obama can do as they please.

I do not know what will become of the brave Bishop Jenky or the Diocese of Peoria, but I do know if politicians like Obama want to keep their worst nightmare from becoming reality, they better get the IRS to dismiss this one as quickly as possible.  Because once word of Bishop Jenky's demise spreads to the other Catholic bishops, he will become a martyr for the cause of Catholic free speech, and the result will be a revolt of every Catholic diocese in the nation.  I say bring it on!  I say ditch the tax exempt status all together, and sell whatever church properties are needed to pay the penalties.  Then with absolute liberty, having no more restraint left on them, let the U.S. Catholic bishops call "Adolph Obama" what he is, and let them preach it behind the pulpit, and let all the Catholic faithful finally vote in unison again!!!  Within a decade, not only will the U.S. Catholic Church have transformed the entire American political landscape, but they will have dismantled the IRS as well!!!

14 comments:

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Daniel Jenky is my bishop, and man, I didn't know he was such a tiger! If the dung hits the fan, I'll be very happy to fight along side him!

Paul said...

Sir Knight,
I thank God for your writing of this! I have been thinking along these lines for about 5 years now and have encouraged priests to never worry about saying whatever the Holy Spirit inspires them from the pulpit.
The 501c3 code crawled out from a hole under a rock whose origin is hell. Most of our churches are half full anyway -so drop the exemption, take the losses and fight the totalitarianism that is becoming obvious to even the least astute observers of American life. AMDG!

Antaine said...

I get so irritated hearing stories like this. It makes me feel useless. Great news anyway. Bishop Jenky sounds like a brave man. Wish I knew how I could do my part in fighting for the Church.

Confederate Papist said...

Reminds me of how Lincoln and his blue boys forced High Church Episcopalian priests in Virginia to pray for Lincoln and the Federal government or face the consequences. So there's the basis for the modern version of it.
Black churches have carte blanche and always did, regardless of who the candidate was and his/her race or colour.

Tyrant Obama is pulling out all of the stops to destroy our Church and he's using his minions like this supposed "reverend" and the Marxist-leftist ADL's on his side so he can say he's fair to religion.

Revolution is coming. We did not ask for it, and did not start it, but we *will* finish it.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention the IRS in your article. Check this out:

"PEORIA, Illinois, April 20, 2012 After a fiery homily last weekend urging the faithful to oppose President Obama’s “radical pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda” at the ballot box in November, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria has been hit with an IRS complaint from a national secularist lobby group (Barry Lynn, Exec. Dir.)"

You said "bring it on" and that's what the liberals are doing. This is going to be a "knock down, drag out" before it's over. I pray that the clergy will stand true to the Gospel, preach like Peter off those pulpits and and stay the course.

Anonymous said...

Mr Knight, i am not nearly as optimistic as your honorable self. First of all we are dealing with a generation of dumbed-down Catholics who basically push the "D" button automatically when entering the voting booth. Many also do not know the basic teachings of the faith, and so glaze over with "contraception?? what's wrong with that??" Also in the mix is this "interesting" statistic: Catholics comprize the largest regligious group in the US. Second largest?? EX CATHOLICS, all with a built in hostility to the church. Finally, given the pathetic state of the US hierarchy which hungrily reached out for federal money for their institutions (they should call that the Ted Hesburgh rule)even at the cost of de-catholicizing them. No Mr Knight, I'm afraid, with few exceptions, the current crop of mitred wimps will follow the example of the bishops at the time of Henry VIII. Only one, St John Fisher, said the King's "marriage" was evil, and he went to the gallows. I dont think too many of the American hierarchs are prepared to abandon their filet mignon dinners and country club membership for prison orange. Pete Frey

Paul said...

I don't agree with this for a number of reasons Pete.
First we are in a political situation that is closer to France at the time of the Revolution than England during Henry VIII when the situation was more muddled and an alternative religious option was offered. So the bishops in England chose to leave Rome (whose history at the time was less than admirable in so many ways) for an Anglican church and only a few bishops stayed loyal. In France, the secularism was far more obvious and directly combative to true religion. Of about 310 french bishops, 300 stayed loyal to Rome and many of them were martyred instead of joining the puppet church the revolutionaries had set up.
Our situation is closer to that of France. And our present episcopal situation is better than is often thought. It is worlds better than it was in the 80's and 90's when you would be hard pressed to find five bishops speak publicly against the status quo on any given hot-button issue. Today hundreds of bishops can unite against the satanic forces which try to control the church. JPII and BXVI have made some choices many of us didn't like or understand in appointing bishops, but we have to remember that there was a systemic problem in popes getting good info on who would be a good bishop when JPII arrived in Rome. The enemy was giving the advice and they weren't saying: "hey JP, i'm an infiltrator and you can trust this guy to be a good bishop." Were I in JPII's shoes 30 years ago having to make decisions about who to appoint, the Church today would be in total ruins! Thank God and His saints and angels for these popes!
The reason we are in so much hot water with the secularists and satanists today is precisely because they are steadily losing control of the American episcopacy. These bishops no longer automatically do their bidding. Is that hierarchy perfect? By no means, but neither are you or i. So as for these bishops and priests and nuns we can pray rather than criticize because of the example of our little seer Jacinta who used to cry when she heard people talk badly of priests. She would say the time is better spent praying for them. After all we really are just one big, screwed up, redeemed family. And thank God for those imperfect parents who JPII prophesied would be converted through the prayers of their children. Thank God indeed since i have fairly recently become one of those parents (of a bunch of kids) myself!

Anonymous said...

Let the Church sell off all the hideous modernist office building-like cloned churches and rectories and just keep the beautiful classical architectural beauties that are clearly identifiable as churches and rectories.

Anonymous said...

Paul, perhaps i overstated the case. (Just ask Mr Knight about that tendency i have) However I do think that the apparachiks in the USCB, as i said, are too wedded to govt money, and while there has been noted improvement in episcopal appointments (I still gag at the fact that Wuerl wears a red hat,and still wont excommunicate Pelosi) there are still a large number who accept the status quo. Prayer from priests, of course is our duty in charity, however being realistic we need to take a truly honest look at the state of the church as it is, especially among the laity, who after all, are thosw who will decide this election. The church has also no one to blame but itself with the unfolding sex abuse trial taking place in my archdiocese. Mass attendance is DOWN, collections are DOWN, school enrollents DOWN, seminary applications DOWN. All this signifies a greatly weakened church. And yes, i do agree with Sir Knight that losing tax exemption would be a great boon long term to the church. We didnt really need it back when schools and churches were rising steadily in the 40s and 50s. Pete Frey

Paul said...

Thanks Pete, and i agree this taking of state money has been the demise of so many catholic institutions. The Church did not need it in the beginning and it has been naive for us to do so from the recent past to the present. Our secular humanists and generational satanists do not compromise or share power; they only destroy. And i am sure they have laughed at us as they watched us walk in character (as we fall for their filthy lies and money) to Jesus' words that the children of God's Kingdom are less wise in worldly things than the children of this fallen world. God help us.

p.s. regarding your style of blogging, i like it -you help keep life from being boring!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA, thanks Paul, I owe it all to the Knight, for putting up with my "cutting edge" comments. Pete

Brantigny said...

Amazing isn't it that the tribune should post this on the anniversary of dear Adolphs birthday.

c matt said...

The main problem is that a very large portion of the laity is so wedded to the extreme separation of Church and state, that loss of tax exempt status would probably not factor much to them. Even if the bishops were to act in unanimous (or close) fashion, I have a difficult time believing the laity, in its current state, would act as an effective "Catholic block". I could be wrong, and hope I would be, but it would certainly surprise me if they did act as an effective voting block.

Anonymous said...

Richard,

Nice to see you here, and rather sobering observation, if I do say so myself.

Sir Knight and readers,

I have just had a thought; remember back to God's children of old in ancient israel. What was their pattern of behaviour towards God? orthodoxy, complacency, sliding down the slippery slope, craving what the civilisations around them had, wanting to be like them, incrimental idolatory and wandering from God's side and truths, appostacy, prophets arising, (often prophets being killed for their trouble), wanrings of repercussions and consequences for behaviour, deaf ears, the army over the hill marching on Il, trashing Jerusalem and leading away those left into captivity, a final coming to one's senses in captivity, sometime, sometimes not, a turning back to God God's promises to restore, repatriate and rebuild... sound familliar?? Is the present secular age the 'army over the hill'??

Blessings,

Sarah,
Australia.