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San Diego bishop instruct pastors to avoid political endorsements, condemnations

November 04, 2016

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, has instructed all the pastors in his diocese to refrain from endorsing or condemning political candidates in this year’s election.

“Let me stress again that 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,” the bishop wrote in a letter to all pastors. The message was apparently a response to press reports about a parish newsletter that said Catholics would be guilty of serious sin if they voted for Hillary Clinton.

Bishop McElroy reminded the pastors that partisan political activity could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the Church. He told them that any political materials circulated by parishes should be approved by the diocese, the Catholic bishops of California, and the US bishops’ conference.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Nov. 05, 2016 11:10 AM ET USA

    Come on, folks. Whoever composed the bulletin insert in question was way out of line by telling parishioners that voting for Clinton is a serious sin. My understanding is that if you are voting for a politician BECAUSE she supports abortion, then you have a problem,but you might have other, legitimate reasons for choosing what you think is the lesser of two evils.

  • Posted by: feedback - Nov. 05, 2016 9:41 AM ET USA

    The situation in San Diego appears to be guided by a paraphrase: What profit is there for one to gain eternal salvation yet lose or forfeit his tax exempt status?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 04, 2016 10:32 PM ET USA

    Coward of the County and Church. He should be emphasizing the Church teaching on abortion and say who supports even partial birth abortion. That should be here start but that would take courage.

  • Posted by: Foundas - Nov. 04, 2016 10:06 PM ET USA

    There is nothing wrong with reminding orthodox Catholics of the sinfulness of society and to have them remember what "good" Catholcs are to belief and to do in the face of sin.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Nov. 04, 2016 9:36 PM ET USA

    As usual, money is more important than saving the souls of the sheep of the diocese.

  • Posted by: feedback - Nov. 04, 2016 6:17 PM ET USA

    The fear of jeopardizing the tax-exempt status seems even greater than the fear of God. But shouldn't the Church be always more concerned about saving souls than saving money?