The Rev. Richard Perozich has been facing some heavy backlash after his San Diego church handed out a strongly-worded bulletin insert about the upcoming election a few weeks ago.
The Oct. 16 bulletin insert for the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in San Diego claimed that it was a “mortal sin to vote Democrat” and addressed election-related issues including abortion and euthanasia.
“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.
Perozich said he did not endorse the bulletin insert, but he has faced criticism nonetheless. He told the Church Militant people are angry at both the bulletin insert, which he did not approve, and a column he wrote about voting based on Catholic values.
“I do not tell people to vote for this candidate or that one, but point out what the Catholic values are and how some of us need conversion to these if we are voting or if we are asking for a vote,” Perozich said.
Perozich told the blog:
After backlash began and multiplied, I knew it would continue for several reasons. First of all, no one likes to be told they are less than anyone else, have done something evil, and are going to Hell. I did not endorse that comment for a flier in our bulletin, and it was not put there by our parishioners. The five non-negotiables [support for abortion, same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, human cloning, and embryonic stem cell research] are true.
The backlash began because of an article written by a local reporter for our paper who did not get in touch with me to ask any questions, but extrapolated what he wished and constructed his piece.
I found many people who are poorly formed as Catholics, many ex-Catholics and those who used the argument of no political comment by churches. I need a contortionist to teach me to twist my body to do the unseemly things they suggested I should do.
In his Oct. 30 column, Perozich did what many Catholic leaders have been doing – encouraging Catholics to consider candidates’ positions on the sanctity of human life and other issues before voting. He said he urged his parishioners to work to change the world by advocating for “godly values,” especially protections for human life from abortion, euthanasia, cloning and embryo destruction.
“I wanted to show how they are soldiers for Christ, working for Him as members of the Family of God to bring His values to the world,” Perozich said.
When asked what advice he would give to Catholics on election day, he told the blog:
Prioritize the issues — life from conception to natural death, God-given sexuality and marriage between man and woman, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia — way above all other things. Then a citizen has a right to vote for more taxes for all sorts of programs if he or she wishes by putting into place those seeking election who meet these first five criteria.
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.