SAN DIEGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bishop Robert McElroy, who once called faithful Catholics opposing homosexual behavior a "cancer" in the Church, will be presenting a lecture on how Catholics should vote.
McElroy will present his address, titled "Candidates, Consciences and Faithful Voting" at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on Thursday, Feb. 6, little more than two weeks after Pope Francis exhorted U.S. bishops to teach Catholic voters how to properly discern how they should vote.
But, with an eye to McElroy's liberal record, faithful San Diego Catholics are bracing for what he will say in his lecture.
At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) general assembly in November, McElroy sided with Abp. Cupich of Chicago that abortion should not be considered the "pre-eminent" issue of our time, claiming it contradicts the spirit of Pope Francis' pontificate.
"It is not Catholic teaching that abortion is the pre-eminent issue that we face as a world in Catholic social teaching," the bishop claimed. "It is not."
McElroy is also a staunch supporter and promoter of Pope Francis's encyclical, Laudato Sí.
In June 2019, he attended a conference on the environment titled, "Laudato Sí and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home" at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
For us in the United States at this perilous moment in our national history, the core themes of Laudato Sí are especially urgent. We stand, deeply estranged from one another, seething in divisions and unwilling to reconcile. We are the most powerful nation in the history of the earth, yet have rejected the only realistic pathways that have emerged to heal our broken planet.
Underscoring his environmental theme, McElroy ended his keynote address at Creighton with a call for human fairness and planetary care, by exhorting: "Let us in these days seek to build in God's grace a fairer paradise on this planet which is our common home, and to secure its just future for all of humanity."
Conflating homosexual behavior with same-sex attraction, he lamented: "This campaign of distortion must be challenged and exposed for what it is, not primarily for Fr. Martin's sake, but because this cancer of vilification is seeping into the institutional life of the Church."
Taking the words of Pope Francis out of context, McElroy continued, "The controversy over [Martin's book] Building a Bridge is really a debate about whether we are willing to banish judgmentalism from the life of the Church."
Faithful Catholics judge acts, not persons, in line with the Catechism, Scripture and Tradition.
Church Militant reported that McElroy allowed a man in a same-sex "marriage" to work as a pastoral associate at a parish in the diocese of San Diego. When the man resigned from his position, claiming he had "endured physical and emotional violence from groups like Church Militant and LifeSite News," McElroy responded by retorting, "There is nothing Christian or Catholic about the hateful and vile people whose persecution of [this man] drove him from his ministry." The bishop uttered not a word about his living a public lifestyle that contradicts an essential moral doctrine of the Catholic Church.
In 2017, McElroy participated in an LGBT Mass that celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Always Our Children," a document produced by the U.S. bishops, which has been criticized for downplaying Church teaching on homosexuality.
Church Militant also reported that in 2018, the bishop had a series of "listening sessions" in which faithful Catholics were asked to leave the premises for challenging him with questions about the clergy scandal and Catholic moral doctrine.
Bishop Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego, will give an important lecture to kick-off the election year. The bishop will lay out the moral parameters and principles we should consider in deciding for whom and for what to vote. This timely lecture will initiate a year of important discussion as we determine the future of our country and world.
The voters McElroy will be speaking to live in a historically blue state. California has not voted Republican in a presidential election since 1988. Since then the state has favored Democrats by considerably lopsided margins.