A San Diego Catholic church is getting a lot of attention this week after it published a strong message about voting pro-life in its bulletins in October.
The Associated Press reports the Oct. 16 bulletin at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church included a message warning its congregants that it is a “mortal sin to vote Democrat.” The flier, “How to vote like a Catholic,” addressed several election-related topics, including abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. It was written in Spanish and English.
“It is a mortal sin to vote Democrat . . . immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell,” the flier said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Here’s more from the report:
The flier listed five political topics that will guarantee damnation for anyone who endorses them, the newspaper reported.
What are those mortal issues? Abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
Warnings from the church, which is in Old Town, the city’s touristy historic district, escalated on Oct. 30.
That message on that day specifically mentioned Hillary Clinton, linking her to the famed late community organizer Saul David Alinsky, whom it described as a tool of “Satan” and ‘the devil.”
While Catholic leaders have been strongly encouraging Catholics to vote for pro-life officials, the California diocese leaders backed away from the controversial wording in the bulletins.
Kevin Eckery, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said the priest did not review or approve the flier, and Bishop Robert McElroy said the Catholic Church does not get involved in partisan politics.
“… while we have a moral role to play in explaining how Catholic teaching relates to certain public policy issues, we must not and will not endorse specific candidates, use parish media or bulletins to favor candidates or parties through veiled language about selectively chosen issues, or engage in partisan political activity of any kind,” McElroy said in a statement to NBC San Diego.
The church and diocese received some nasty responses to the bulletins on social media, including several calling on the church to give up its tax-exempt status, according to the AP.
Abortion is an important issue in the upcoming election, and U.S. Catholic leaders have been encouraging Catholics to research candidates’ positions on the issue before they cast their votes.
Last week, Bishop William Murphy, head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in Long Island, wrote a letter that was read at Masses, telling Catholics that support for abortion “should disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote,” Newsday reports.
“The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is the ultimate measure of what is good or bad, right or wrong,” Murphy wrote. “Every person is sacred and has inherent rights which political leaders must protect and serve. Those who do not are unworthy of our vote.”
The next president could potentially make a huge impact on the future of abortion in the U.S. through his or her nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and other policies. And Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton specifically is touting a radical pro-abortion agenda that would force Americans to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.