SAN DIEGO — A newsletter from a San Diego Catholic church that doubles as an election polling site has warned parishioners that they risk going to hell if they vote for Democrats.
The Diocese of San Diego said Wednesday that the messages don’t reflect Catholic teaching and are inappropriate. The diocese says people should vote their consciences.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a flier inserted in the Oct. 16 bulletin of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church called voting Democratic a mortal sin. The flier cited five policies — including support for abortion and same-sex marriage — that could doom supporters to eternal damnation.
“Based on the above, it is a mortal sin to vote Democrat,” adding that sin, if not confessed, “means eternal damnation,” the insert cautioned.
The insert, distributed in bulletins on Oct. 16, states: “How to vote like a Catholic – it is a mortal sin to vote Democrat!”
On Oct. 30, the church bulletin itself took a Hillary Clinton quote to suggest she’s influenced by the devil. It also criticized immigration policies and gun control.
Bishop Robert McElroy rejected the partisan tone of those declarations.
“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,” he said in a written statement.