A Roman Catholic church in San Diego told its parishioners the devil works through politicians like Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and warned that voting for Democrats is a “mortal sin,” according to local media and the church’s website.
The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Old Town made the statements in its weekly leaflet to churchgoers, a copy of which remains on the church’s website. The letter railed against issues like abortion and constraints on tax-exempt organizations from certain political activity, likening them to slavery.
“Satan has deceived many Christians to convert to worldly values from Christian ones,” the Oct. 30 bulletin reads. “The devil does this through the tactics outlined by Saul Alinsky with the outcome as Hillary Clinton has stated, ‘And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,’ to draw us away from God’s teachings.”
Alinsky was a pioneer in community organizing in Chicago known for confrontational, tactics to achieve social change.
Local broadcaster NBC 7 reported that a one-page insert in a separate bulletin called voting for Democrats a “mortal sin.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.
But according to NBC 7, Roman Catholic bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, said in a statement: “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 … or engage in partisan political activity of any kind.”
The race for the White House has tightened significantly ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, as several swing states that Republican Donald Trump must win have shifted from favoring Clinton to being toss-ups.
Several of the church’s bulletins contain incendiary columns about the election and politics. One piece, titled “Decision 2016 – Will America Die As a Fool Dies,” attacked President Barack Obama.
“The liberals waited an eternity to put forth their best champion, Mr. Barack Obama who quickly began to apologize for America,” the piece says, before maligning the president for playing golf.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)