San Diego Church Flier Says Voting Democrat Is 'Mortal Sin'

The diocese says that's ridiculous
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2016 9:26 AM CDT
Diocese Clarifies: Voting Democrat Isn't a 'Mortal Sin'
Bishop Robert McElroy speaks during a news conference in San Diego on March 3, 2015.   (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

(Newser) – If you live in San Diego and plan on voting for Hillary, it's best you don't read two recent newsletters from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. In the Oct. 16 bulletin for the Old Town church, which is used as an election polling site, a flier was inserted. Along with criticism of five political hot topics (including abortion and euthanasia) came a warning for voters, the San Diego Union-Tribune notes. "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 flier read, adding GOPers don't violate any of the mentioned policies, while Dems violate them all. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego says the flier wasn't OKed by the parish and that it doesn't know how it emerged.

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In its Oct. 30 edition, the bulletin specifically named Clinton in a section called "Voting Catholic," reading at one point, "We are called by politicians such as Hillary Clinton, deplorables." (It's unclear who wrote or OKed the passage.) The diocese of San Diego's response has been unequivocal: "It's not a mortal sin to vote for Democrats, number one," a rep tells the Union-Tribune. "And number two, the church doesn't take positions on this." On Thursday, Bishop Robert McElroy warned 100 parishes 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," per the Union-Tribune. Attorneys point out IRS rules stop tax-exempt groups like churches from maligning or supporting political candidates. (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)

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