PEORIA, Illinois (Catholic News Service) — In a passionate call to defend the Faith that drew sustained applause at an outdoor Mass on August 24, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, declared contemporary culture is “at war with Jesus Christ”, and asked Catholics, “What will it take to finally get us mad?” “Will you tolerate the holiest things of our religion on a daily basis being mocked and ridiculed on TV, in the press, and in the movies?” he asked the crowd of 800 worshipping under a tent on the grounds of the city's annual Irish festival.
“Are you in my company a confessing member of my holy Church, or would you prefer to sell me out to a world that is going straight to hell?” he asked. “Will American materialism and gross pagan immorality, disguised as personal autonomy and moral neutrality, finally succeed and win the hearts of the Irish, where Oliver Cromwell and Great Britain failed?”
Influenced by a secularist world view, American culture today is “living in direct opposition to the truth of Christ's Gospel, and is aggressively hostile to the Church,” said Bishop Jenky. While “convinced secularists” are in the minority, they have used culture's “command posts” of the national media, entertainment industry, and university campuses to successfully win acceptance for such “freedoms” as easy divorce, premarital sex, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock birth, abortion, and euthanasia. In the face of “vicious attacks” against the Church in the cultural war, the Bishop asked, “Why do we as Catholics not stand up and fight and defend our Faith? What will it take to finally get us mad?”