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Illinois bishop directs priests to read anti-Obama letter at Mass

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A bishop in Peoria, Ill., has ordered priests to read a letter to parishioners stating that pro-choice Catholic politicians “reject Jesus as their Lord,” becoming the latest Catholic leader to offer election guidance in recent weeks.

The letter from Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky hints that President Obama and other Democrats would not revisit the mandate in Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul that birth control be covered under the health plans of religious employers — a major political flashpoint earlier in the year.

“This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system,” Mr. Jenky wrote in a letter circulated to clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, according to McClatchy. “By virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at each Weekend Mass.”

“Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord,” Mr. Jenky continued. “They are objectively guilty of grave sin.”

Last month, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki indicated he was not saying which party or candidate to support or oppose, but said in the Springfield Diocese newspaper that “[t]here are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils.”

Meanwhile, in the Rockford Diocese, Vicar General Eric Barr wrote that “Obamacare marches on, steamrolling Catholic morality and the First Amendment under its weight. How can that be tolerated by citizens?”

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