- - Thursday, April 19, 2012

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Bishop likens Obama’s path to Hitler, Stalin

PEORIA, Ill. — An Illinois Roman Catholic diocese whose bishop compared President Obama’s treatment of the church to the actions of totalitarian regimes defended the comments Thursday, calling them “historical context” in an ongoing debate over religious liberty.

Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky said during a Sunday homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria that Mr. Obama is following previous governments that “tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches.”

“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,” Bishop Jenky said.

Barack Obama — with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda — now seems intent on following a similar path.”

Diocese Chancellor Patricia Gibson told local media that Bishop Jenky “offered historical context and comparisons.”

“We have currently not reached the same level of persecution,” Ms. Gibson said. “But Bishop Jenky would say that history teaches us to be cautious.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, meanwhile, filed a formal complaint asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the diocese, suggesting Bishop Jenky may have crossed a line that put the church’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy.

MASSACHUSETTS

Ann Romney’s profile grows as election looms

BOSTON — The spotlight on Ann Romney is getting brighter.

Two out of three voters still don’t know the wife of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But Mrs. Romney’s profile is growing as Mitt Romney moves into the general election against President Obama.

She was a stay-at-home mother of five boys. She bakes cookies. And, at 63, Ann Romney has 16 grandchildren who call her “Mamie.”

But don’t be fooled: Republicans and Democrats alike see Mrs. Romney as an effective political weapon.

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