On November 3, CalCatholic posted a story concerning an October 16 insert in the parish bulletin of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in San Diego. The bulletin insert, which was not endorsed by the pastor, Father Richard Perozich, said it was “a mortal sin to vote Democrat.” Father Perozich then authored an October 30 column in the parish bulletin called “Voting Catholic,” in which he described sins enslaving American society, imposed by elected officials. On November 4, Bishop McElroy of San Diego issued the following statement “concerning the distribution of political material at Catholic Parishes“:

Catholic teaching points to the importance of several major issues in this presidential election year: abortion, poverty and economic justice, the environment, euthanasia, immigration, religious liberty, and solidarity within society.  This final issue of solidarity has a particular importance at this moment because the very democratic impulse which is the foundation for our national unity is being eroded by partisan venom and personal attack.

In this environment, it is vital that all institutions in our nation participate in discussions about the election with civility and balance. It is particularly vital that religious communities do so.

This duty has been violated by one of our parishes, and thus it is essential to make clear:

• It is contrary to Catholic teaching to state that voting for a Democrat or Republican automatically condemns the voter to hell;
• It is contrary to Catholic faith to state that gun control legislation is a form of slavery;
• It is contrary to Catholic faith to fan the flames of hatred against Muslims or any religious group.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a comprehensive statement on the substantive implications of Catholic faith for the current election. I urge all Catholics to consult these teachings, pray about the vote that you are going to make, and then in conscience select the candidates whom you are going to vote for in this very difficult year.

What Father Perozich actually said:

To read the bulletin in question, click here. The article by Father Perozich, “Voting Catholic,” is on page 3.