A newsletter from a Catholic church in San Diego's Old Town neighborhood has warned parishioners they'll go to hell if they vote for Democrats.
The flier was inserted in the Oct. 16 bulletin of the Immaculate Conception Catholic at 2540 San Diego Ave. called voting Democratic a mortal sin. It cited five policies - including support for abortion and same-sex marriage - that will doom supporters to eternal damnation.
“There was some Catholic teaching mixed in there, but then there was a whole lot of other things that have nothing to do with Catholicism and frankly are misleading people,” said Kevin Eckery, Spokesman for San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, adding the church is supposed to stay out of politics.
On Oct. 30, the bulletin itself took a Hillary Clinton quote out of context to claim she's influenced by Satan. It also criticized immigration policies and gun control.
“There’s no Catholic position on the public debt. There’s no Catholic position on the Second Amendment, and there is a Catholic position when it comes to immigration, and it’s quite clear, Catholic teaching says it’s repugnant to fan the flames of prejudice against other groups,” Eckery said.
The church doubles as an election polling site.
“It’s troubling to me because this kind of material can lead people astray,” San Diego Christian Unitarian Minister Jim Grant said. “I’m not talking about politics. I’m talking about humanity.”
The Roman Catholic 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 people who gave Jesus the hardest time were people who had rules which were dehumanizing,” Grant said. “Some of this is dehumanizing.”