A San Diego priest who faced heavy backlash after his Catholic parish published several pieces about the Nov. 8 election, including a strongly-worded bulletin insert claiming it is a “mortal sin to vote Democrat,” is no longer allowed to publish columns in his church’s bulletin.
The Rev. Richard Perozich serves at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in San Diego, California. In late October, the parish faced harsh criticism after it included a condemning election flier in its bulletin.
“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 authorize the bulletin insert, but the church and diocese received national media attention for it. Later, Perozich did write a column for the bulletin urging Catholics to consider candidates’ positions on abortion and other issues before voting. He encouraged 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.
He wrote: “Among the slavery imposed upon us is killing the unborn child in the womb, abortion, even with monies from our taxes. … A third enslavement is using embryos which have a soul as experiments. A fourth is cloning wherein now scientists are experimenting with human and animal DNA to create hybrid creatures. A fifth is euthanasia, the direct killing of human beings either with or without their consent. …”
Recently, however, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy told Perozich to stop publishing columns in the church bulletin, according to Cal Catholic.
In a statement, McElroy said he was concerned by the content published in the church bulletins, especially the condemnation to hell based on political party support, a comparison to gun control as a form of slavery and language that “fan[s] the flames of hatred against Muslims or any religious group.” The bishop did not mention having any problems with the pro-life content.
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Here’s more from the report:
Perozich told LifeSiteNews that McElroy ordered him to limit Immaculate Conception’s bulletin content to “calendaring events.” Perozich said he cooperated and that he respects the bishop.
Perozich’s columns will now only be published at his website, richardperozich.com. Immaculate Conception’s website has been taken down and its content has moved to Perozich’s personal site.
“Calendaring events is what [the bishop] wanted,” and pages three and seven, where Perozich’s opinions appeared, were what he opposed. “However, on my personal website, on those pages that would have been there, I have a page called ‘page 3 and 7’ in which I will publish other things that people who I know are interested [in],” the priest explained.
Soon after the controversy about the bulletin flier erupted, McElroy responded with the following statement: “… 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.”