Thursday, November 03, 2016

Catholic parish's bulletin says Democratic voters are doomed to hell, Clinton is satanic

Joshua Stewart
Nov. 2, 2016

Between requests for prayers for the sick and a notice for an upcoming chastity luncheon, a newsletter from a Catholic church in Old Town that doubles as an election-day polling site included a flier that told parishioners they’ll go to hell if they vote for Democrats.

Two Sundays later, the message had changed: Satan was working through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Oct. 16 bulletin from the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was stuffed with a flyer written in both English and Spanish that cited five legislative policies — support for abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, human cloning, and embryonic stem cell research — that will doom a politician and their supporters to eternal damnation.

“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 flyer said.


The political messages continued as early voting began and the election drew closer. An article in the Oct. 30 the church bulletin claimed that Clinton is influenced by Satan.


Clinton, speaking at the Women in the World Summit, was actually talking about eliminating cultural barriers that prevent girls from attending elementary school and women from attending college, as well as obstacles that stand between enforcement of domestic violence laws and access to reproductive and maternal healthcare.

Lawyers who study churches and other nonprofit organizations said the statements violate regulations that prevent tax-exempt groups from speaking in support or against political candidates.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Wednesday said the messages in the flier and bulletin do not reflect Catholic teaching or diocese policies, are inappropriate, and that voters should use their conscience to determine which candidates to support.

“It’s not a mortal sin to vote for Democrats, number one. And number two, the church doesn’t take positions on this, and we’re not going to,” diocese spokesman Kevin Eckery said.

In a speech Tuesday at the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture at the University of San Diego, Bishop Robert McElroy stressed the importance both for his faith and for the country of religious leaders like himself staying out of candidate elections.

“I speak to you tonight as a bishop who is part of a long tradition in Catholic episcopal leadership in the United States which holds that both the Church and society are best served when bishops refrain from publicly endorsing or favoring, either directly or indirectly, specific candidates in partisan elections,” a transcript of his address says.

The diocese said the flier was not authorized by the parish, but it was somehow inserted into the Oct. 16 bulletin.

“For all I know someone thought that they were doing a service,” by putting it into the bulletin, Eckery said. “The pastor said it was not something he had reviewed or approved.”


The morality of either political party is far from agreed upon among the Catholic clergy and lay people, and likewise, there are Catholics in all levels of government across party lines. There have been two priests in Congress — both were Democrats. There have likewise been two Catholics in the executive branch, Vice President Joe Biden and President John F. Kennedy, also Democrats. Also, Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and Gov. Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, both studied to become Jesuit priests.


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