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Selective Morality . . . California Bishop’s Call To Disrupt Trump’s America Betrays His Political Bias

February 26, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


A California bishop who mixed religious references with strong liberal political defiance of the Trump administration at a conference had rebuked one of his priests last fall for supposedly substituting conservative views for the Magisterium.
That bishop, Robert McElroy of San Diego, calling for disruption of Trump’s America, even suggested during an Alinskyite-flavored conference in central California in mid-February that establishing a $15 minimum wage is part of “our work (as) co-creators with God.”
Apparently rejecting the traditional principle of subsidiarity, McElroy dogmatically claimed that “the tradition of Catholic social teaching is unequivocally on the side of strong governmental and societal protections,” and also that free markets “must be structured by government to accomplish the common good.”
The priest McElroy had rebuked, San Diego pastor Richard Perozich, pointed out the traditional five “non-negotiable” issues of Catholic teaching to his congregation as the November 8 national election approached, including abortion and euthanasia.
Some viewed Perozich’s reminder as damaging to liberal Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, although the priest didn’t name candidates.
The liberal McElroy issued a statement November 4 saying that Catholic teaching points to other important issues for the presidential election, too, including poverty, economic justice, the environment, and immigration.
It has been some liberals’ goal to elevate their economic and social issues — whose possible implementation should be subject to prudential debate — to equal importance with the fundamental right to life and other bedrock moral principles.
In a February 21 email to The Wanderer, Perozich, the San Diego pastor, suggested that McElroy’s rebuke of him before the election, which drew national attention, may have had an effect contrary to McElroy’s intention and had helped Trump win.
“When I made my election guidance statements, my target audience was the 300 families of Immaculate Conception (parish),” Perozich said. “Bishop McElroy’s insertion of his comments into the situation at Immaculate Conception with the San Diego press spread my parish conscience-guidance to Catholics and others nationwide, rather than containing it locally.
“His manner of speaking and rebuke which went nationwide in November may have contributed to the election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, rather than just to my parishioners in formation of their consciences as I intended. Now the response of that unintended consequence may be in play,” Perozich said.
Last December the San Diego diocese’s media office told The Wanderer, “In accordance with U.S. Catholic policy and practice, Bishop McElroy does not express his own political views.”
However, it would be hard to think that McElroy merely stated official Catholic fundamentals as he issued his hard-line list in mid-February of how to fight against Trump’s conservative policies. The majority of Catholic voters last November chose Trump, not Clinton.
McElroy spoke at a February regional gathering of the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Modesto, Calif. A story posted February 20 at the Crux website said an estimated 700 people from 12 countries participated at the invitation-only event.
In addition to Pope Francis’ Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the conference was cosponsored by PICO, an Alinskyite leftist organization.
The PICO website said, “An initiative of Pope Francis, the World Meeting of Popular Movements’ (WMPM) purpose is to create an ‘encounter’ between Church leadership and grassroots organizations working to address the ‘economy of exclusion and inequality’ (Joy of the Gospel, nn. 53-54) by working for structural changes that promote social, economic, and racial justice.”
A northern California observer commented to The Wanderer that “Modesto is a fairly conservative Central Valley agricultural area — most famous for being the home base for the still family-owned Gallo wineries — which are the largest in the world. . . .
“Modesto is in the Stockton Diocese, which has been headed by the celebrity liberal Bishop Stephen Blaire, who reached age 75 last December, but has not yet been replaced,” he added.
Emphasizing the importance that McElroy attributed to his Modesto speech, the homepage of his San Diego diocesan website played it as the top item, “San Diego Catholic bishop calls leaders to disrupt and rebuild.”
Another open-borders prelate, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, also spoke at the Modesto meeting and wrote about that at his archdiocesan website. Gomez also wrote of how his archdiocese is preparing to resist Trump’s policies against illegal immigration.
In Modesto, Gomez wrote, “I shared our experience here in Los Angeles, and especially the challenges we are facing with the new administration in Washington. This is a question that is on everyone’s mind — what are we doing to help our immigrant communities and our brothers and sisters who are undocumented.”
The National Catholic Reporter quoted Gomez at the conference as saying, “I do not like the harsh tone, the sense of indifference and cruelty that seems to be coming out of this new administration in Washington. They are playing with our emotions, with people’s emotions, toying with their lives and futures, and that’s not right.”
Perozich, the priest McElroy had disciplined, also emailed to The Wanderer on February 21:
“We, the San Diego clergy and the San Diego Catholic faithful, are obliged to respect (McElroy’s) opinions, but are not bound by them since they are not magisterial statements from the bishops in union with the Holy Father together.
“They are Bishop McElroy’s personal opinions with statements drawn from many sources and from his own life experience which may differ from many of the faithful clergy and lay faithful,” Perozich said. “He may have a small but eager audience at PICO events, but perhaps not necessarily throughout our Diocese of San Diego.
“Bishop McElroy has the audience of the whole diocese and anyone who will host his talks or read his writings. Some receive them eagerly, others not so much or at all,” the priest added.
One might have thought that McElroy believed he was in the economically devastated old Soviet Union as the bishop pronounced in Modesto:
“Yet the very realities which our speakers this morning have all pointed to in capturing the depth of marginalization in housing, work, and economic equality within the United States point us toward the clarification and the humanization of truth, which leads to a deeper grasp of the realities of injustice and marginalization that confront our nation.”
McElroy mentioned various people suffering from the U.S. economy. However, the bishop didn’t seem to remember that Alinskyite Democrat Barack Obama had overseen the nation for eight years, until mid-January 2017.
Giving examples, McElroy said: “A senior who can’t afford medicine or rent; a mother or father who is dying, working two and three jobs, really dying because even then they can’t provide for their kids; young people who can’t find their way in the world in which there is no job for them, and they turn to drugs, and gangs and suicide. Think of one person you know that this economy has killed.
“Now mourn them,” McElroy continued. “And now call out their name; let all the world know that this economy kills.”
It didn’t seem to occur to liberal McElroy of the deep suffering that Obama not only presided over but encouraged since 2009. However, McElroy was eager to finger Trump as a negative leader.
Naming Trump as the candidate of disruption in 2016, McElroy said:
“Well now, we must all become disruptors. We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need.
“We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men, women, and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. We must disrupt those who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor,” he continued. “We must disrupt those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”
Drawing on his fractured stereotypes, McElroy said nothing about deadly Islamic terrorists whom Americans rightfully hope Trump can protect them from, nor did the San Diego bishop acknowledge the deep suffering that ham-fisted government Obamacare, that was lied into existence, has imposed on the nation. Nor did he seem aware of any illegal immigrant criminals fully deserving to be deported.
Drawing toward his conclusion, McElroy said that “all of us are called to be cohesive and embrace one another and see ourselves as graced by God. We are called to rebuild our nation which does pay $15 an hour in wages, and provides decent housing, clothing and food for those who are poorest. And we need to rebuild our Earth, which is so much in danger by our own industries.”

A Bishop Defends Trump

However, a different Catholic bishop in southern California took a drastically different view on borders than McElroy and Gomez.
San Diego’s major daily news platform, the Union-Tribune, not a conservative organ, posted a video and commentary on February 17, “Trump right to protect nation with travel ban,” by Bishop Bawai Soro, of St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in suburban El Cajon.
Soro said that he’d like to comment as an Iraqi-American who came to this nation more than four decades ago.
“Mr. Trump has no one to apologize to for his immigration doctrine for the simple reason that coming to America is not a right but a privilege, a privilege that is earned by waiting in line for however long it may take to reach America,” Soro wrote.
“Americans are therefore consoled by his position that the fundamental duty of the government is protecting Americans from all enemies foreign or domestic by maximally securing the homeland’s borders and, if necessary, also by extremely vetting certain individuals. . . .
“Lady Liberty has stood tall for decades both representing American values and welcoming immigrants and refugees to America,” Soro continued in the Union-Tribune. “But, if America is to accomplish her historic vocation by offering her values to newcomers, she must first herself be safe, prosperous, and stable. No nation can offer its citizens that which she does not possess.
“If America needs to build a wall and vet refugees, then it must be so,” the bishop added, and concluded: “In caring for America’s safety, I am not against refugees, since I was one myself. Being prudent about security and caring for human rights are not mutually exclusive. America shall remain the land of the free and home of the brave, as long as she is secure and safe.”

A Convention Of Anarchists

Rob Haney, an orthodox Catholic in Phoenix and retired chairman of that area’s Republican Party, has long criticized Catholic bishops substituting political liberalism for Church doctrine.
Asked by The Wanderer for his reaction to McElroy’s Modesto talk, Haney said: “Democrat Party operatives have been infiltrating the ranks of the Catholic hierarchy for many decades. Pope Francis’ assertion that there is no Islamic terrorism and Bishop McElroy’s address at what would more appropriately be called the ‘anarchists” convention are only further evidence of the fact.
“They are experts at disinformation and are directing their flocks to join the Resist movement led by Obama, (globalist George) Soros, and the ACLU that is bringing chaos and riots to our cities, universities and gatherings throughout the country,” Haney said.
“These are not religious men. They are ideological men and they are in the process of destroying the Catholic Church. They are the bishops of the Archdiocese of Anarchy and Lawlessness,” he said, adding:
“The Pope is removing religious men from positions of authority and replacing them with ideologues who support his new-world-order view. The cardinals he has been appointing will vote for another leftist ideologue to replace Pope Francis when he is judged by Christ. The religious base will not have the ability to replace an Obama with a Donald Trump.”
An Arizona woman who lives near the international line with Mexico questioned McElroy’s call to disrupt the United States before rebuilding it.
She asked that The Wanderer not identify her because of her security concerns near the porous border.
“The social-justice teachings of the Church comport with and articulate the principles of the Natural Law, which also informs our Constitution and laws. Such disruption as advocated by a bishop offends both our laws and the Church’s teachings,” she said.
“Rather, the bishop should preach a missionary and sacrificial message. He should encourage the young people (the potential disruptees) to go to the sending countries and advocate for social justice and the Gospel there. In that manner, they can uplift the weaker and older and vulnerable of the sending countries rather than those immigrants who are strong enough to get here. . . .
“Sounds a little tainted with Liberation Theology to me,” she said.

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