LINCOLN (ChurchMilitant.com) - The bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska is expecting that the government will persecute Catholics for standing up for the Faith.
Bishop James Conley reveals in a recent interview that he thinks the government will attempt to pressure the Catholic Church in the United States to conform to progressive gender ideology.
Responding to a question about Obama's promotion of allowing "a man in the girl's bathroom," Conley says, "But I have no doubt the government will pressure us to change, even though we never will. We can't. We can't change our understanding of marriage and gender; we can't change Church teaching. We will have to stand strong, and they'll come after us."
He notes how the progressive Left preaches tolerance for everyone "[unless] you hold a politically incorrect position. Then you will experience absolute intolerance. The opposition will not tolerate a lack of compliance."
He estimates Catholic social service agencies will be the first to be affected, especially since they accept federal funding. Fifteen percent of his annual $6 million Catholic social services budget was funded by the federal government. But in time he has been able to reduce it to 7 percent, with the aim of eliminating it altogether.
"The less we can be dependent on government, the better," he commented. "If it means compromising our fundamental beliefs, we can't take the money."
When asked about what issues are important in the upcoming presidential election, Bp. Conley noted, "Life comes out of the family, and a candidate's understanding of marriage and human sexuality is crucial."
"And, something I give higher and higher priority to is religious freedom," he continued. "This freedom is part of our Bill of Rights; our freedom to live our faith with respect to our conscience and all that follows from that. This just doesn't mean a right to worship in our churches, but to live our faith publicly without government intrusion."
He explained, "It is what our country was built on. People came here looking for a free land where they could worship God and follow their consciences, without king or government interfering."
He notes that Catholics "have to be prepared to suffer."
"But, it's not the first time the Church has suffered persecution," he added. "Look at the martyrs in the early Church in Rome or in 16th- and 17th-century England under Queen Elizabeth. Jesus warned us about this."