On Tuesday we reported that Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, used his Sunday Homily to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, and described the Catholic Church as in a “war” similar to the struggles against “barbarian invasion,” “jihads,” and “Nazism and Communism.”
Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League told the Chicago Tribune that his comments were “completely over the top”:
A homily delivered Sunday by Peoria’s Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky has angered the Anti-Defamation League, a watchdog for anti-Semitism.
On Wednesday, Lonnie Nasatir, the regional director of Chicago’s Anti-Defamation League, demanded an apology from Jenky, calling his remarks “outrageous, offensive and completely over the top.”
“Clearly, Bishop Jenky needs a history lesson,” Nasatir said.
“There are few, if any, parallels in history to the religious intolerance and anti-Semitism fostered in society by Stalin, and especially Hitler, who under his regime perpetuated the open persecution and ultimate genocide of Jews, Catholics and many other minorities.”
Faithful America is also calling for an apology, writing members that “this kind of hateful and incendiary rhetoric is inappropriate coming from anyone”:
As pastors and teachers, Catholic bishops are supposed to lead their flock in sharing the love of God with our neighbors. So why did a Catholic bishop just use his Sunday homily to compare President Obama to Hitler and Stalin?
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, launched a vicious tirade against politicians who disagree with the bishops’ views on health care reform, culminating in the outrageous claim that “Barack Obama seems intent on following a similar path” to Hitler and Stalin, who “would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open.”
This kind of hateful and incendiary rhetoric is inappropriate coming from anyone — but it’s simply outrageous coming from a religious leader in a position of public trust. Bishop Jenky needs to hear immediately that reasonable people of faith are appalled by his remarks. [emphasis theirs]
There’s no excuse for comparing the President of the United States to Hitler and Stalin. Please offer an immediate apology for your offensive remarks and refrain from using such hateful rhetoric in the future.