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Group Calls on Bishop to Keep Politics Away from Pulpit

Catholic Diocese of Peoria

A group called Catholics United is calling on Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to stop using the pulpit of his diocese for partisan proclamations. Bishop Jenky is ordering all priests in the Peoria Diocese to read a letter during this weekend’s services.

WEB EXTRA: Read the letter here

The letter criticizes The President and Democratically-controlled Senate for ignoring what the Bishop calls the Catholic community's grave objections. Bishop Jenky has publicly denounced the federal mandate that will require Church-related institutions to provide contraceptive coverage for employees in their health-care plans.  

James Salt is the executive director of Catholics United. He says the Bishop’s demand of his priests to read the letter during weekend mass is troublesome. Salt says the federal contraception requirement does not force anyone to violate their conscience and it doesn’t infringe on a person’s individual religious freedom. Calls and emails to the diocese were not returned.

Illinois Public Radio's Tanya Koonce contributed to this report