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Illinois bishop criticizes Obama, warns voters of ‘grave sin’ in letter

Updated: November 2, 2012 12:28PM



PEORIA — An Illinois bishop has ordered priests in his diocese to read a letter from the pulpit this weekend critical of President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.

Catholic Diocese of Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky’s letter cites the president’s unwillingness to consider Catholic objections to a requirement that insurance companies provide birth control to employees of religious organizations.

The letter says voters who enable “the destruction of innocent human life in the womb” are “guilty of grave sin.”

Critics say the letter amounts to a violation of IRS guidelines. But diocese chancellor Patricia Gibson says the letter doesn’t violate guidelines because it doesn’t mention any candidate by name, although it does mention “the president.”

Churches are allowed to engage in a wide range of political activities, and the IRS has rarely revoked a church’s nonprofit status.



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