San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called last week for the U.S. bishops to shift from focusing on Catholic principles and moral issues in the political arena to a “deep-level conscience formation” inspired by Pope Francis.

“As bishops, we tend to teach from principles and moral norms,” McElroy said. “Our approach is cognitive and exhortational, not affective and inspiring.”

“There are, of course, moments and purposes for which cognitive and exhortational treatments are essential in expressing the Church’s legacy of teaching that spring from Revelation and the tradition of reason,” he said. “But breaking through the hyper-partisan divide of American political culture at the present day is not such a purpose.”

McElroy, who has regularly voiced support for the idea of moral equivalency between the Church’s teaching on life and other subjects, gave the second “Cardinal Bernardin Common Cause Lecture” at Loyola University in Chicago Wednesday.

His address titled, Forming a Catholic Political Imagination, was the subject of a National Catholic Reporter op-ed, which said the bishop’s full talk would be subsequently published in Commonweal.

McElroy was part of an open clash at the November 2015 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) General Assembly over the conference’s voting guide. McElroy argued the revision of the bishops’ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship voting guide document was a failure because it was out of step with Pope Francis’ priorities – specifically, in placing too much emphasis on abortion and euthanasia, while not enough on poverty and the environment.

“Specifically, I believe that the pope is telling us that alongside the issues of abortion and euthanasia which are central aspects of our commitment to transform this world, poverty and the degradation of the earth are also central,” he stated at the time.

Full story at LifeSiteNews.