Friday, May 04, 2007

Bishop Jenky's Five Years

The Peoria Journal Star recently published an article on Bishop Daniel Jenky’s first five years as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Bishop Jenky declined to be interviewed for the article and would not allow other Diocesan officials to be interviewed. Fr. Mike Bliss, OSF chaplain, was picked by the Diocese to be quoted regarding the Bishop’s first five years.

Bishop Jenky is spiritual head of almost 200,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Peoria.

In his first five years the Journal listed Bishop Jenky's number one accomplishment was leading a successful capital campaign. 37 million dollars was raised by the Diocese. The majority of these funds are going to Catholic school scholarships and other educational efforts.

The Journal also stated that he has spearheaded plans for a new diocesan center near downtown Peoria. Bishop Jenky also refurbished the Cathedral and a photo shows the Bishop in the Chancery showing "Victorian steps, curving French Renaissance stairways and historic pieces".

Unfortunately, in 2003, Bishop Jenky gave into OSF, as OSF withdrew all support for Haitian children dying of heart disease. Haitian Hearts patients, that were treated at OSF in the past, have not been able to return to OSF, and some have died. Bishop Jenky could have helped find other medical centers to care for sick Haitian kids, but he did not. Based on my conversation with him, I think he is afraid of the power and wealth at OSF. It would be interesting to know how much OSF contributed to the Diocesan capital campaign.

I am sure Bishop Jenky has accomplished good things in his first five years in Peoria. However, advocating and supporting Haitian kids dying of heart disease is not one of them.

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