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Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, California

OAKLAND, California (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Michael Barber, S.J., of Oakland has criticized Cardinal-designate Robert McElroy of San Diego for thinking that abortion is “not wrong enough” to take action on, including by correcting so-called Catholic politicians supporting the practice.  

The accusation comes in the wake of Pope Francis naming McElroy a cardinal and before a special assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

Barber made his comments to the Wall Street Journal while discussing San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s decision to bar Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from Holy Communion. 

The Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

According to Barber, McElroy thinks that abortion is “not wrong enough that you need say or do anything about it or interact with the politicians who are publicly promoting it.” Barber also noted that McElroy has discussed other political issues publicly, such as immigration. McElroy’s spokesman responded to Barber’s comments, maintaining that he does discuss abortion. 

Barber further noted that Cordileone was “prophetic,” and said that the differences between the two bishops points to “two forces in the Church right now,” with Cordileone representing a party more closely aligned with the approaches of St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and McElroy representing Pope Francis. 

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Pope Francis: Don't make Bishop McElroy a cardinal - he knew about McCarrick
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Bishop Robert McElroy (right) is to be made a cardinal in August, despite his inaction on allegations against notorious ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

We all have a responsibility to speak up when serious wrongs are being brought to our attention, but McElroy didn't.

SIGN this petition to demand Pope Francis not reward a bishop who failed to report allegations against McCarrick

The Bishop of San Diego was told about serious sexual wrongdoing by McCarrick in 2016 when psychotherapist Richard Sipe, who had interviewed numerous victims of McCarrick, sent him a detailed letter, but McElroy sat on that information and is now being made a cardinal.

Appointing him to the College of Cardinals is not only an insult to those who suffered clerical sex-abuse, but also to those who are intent on ridding the Church of such evil.

This decision to make McElroy a cardinal must be reversed, and the only way to make that happen is with pressure from the laity.

SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the College of Cardinals

Sipe told McElory that numerous seminarians and priests reported sexual advances and activity by McCarrick in a letter that also detailed extensive abuse by other clerics.

"I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick," the psychotherapist told McElroy in the 2016 letter, adding: "None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation."

McElroy, who claims there was no corroborating evidence, could have brought the allegations to the pope, or even to the Papal Nuncio, but instead ended the correspondence with Sipe, himself a clerical sex-abuse victim.

It would take another year for the truth about McCarrick to slowly emerge in public.

SIGN the petition to stop Bishop McElroy being elevated to the College of Cardinals

Turning a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual wrongdoing is reprehensible in any context, but particularly when a bishop, a shepherd of souls, does so.  

He also supports giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, contrary to the Church's teaching, while he has concelebrated LGBT Masses as bishop and claimed Fr. James Martin's attempt to normalize the LGBT ideology is "fully consonant with Catholic teaching".

The sad truth is that McElroy is not fit to continue as a bishop, let alone become a cardinal.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the rot that continues to tarnish Christ's Church. 

We must do what we can to clean up this mess now.

More Information: 

Bishop McElroy was warned about McCarrick - LifeSiteNews

Pope announces 21 new cardinals, including McElroy - LifeSiteNews

Photo: Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Robert McElroy (Lisa Bourne/LifeSiteNews & Diocese of San Diego/YouTube)


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Barber was quick to defend Cordileone’s decision to bar Pelosi from Communion, tweeting the day Cordileone released the document “I support @ArchCardileone in the heroic and compassionate stance he took today in the protection and defense of human life.”  

Barber has also defended the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. In April 2014, Barber removed an openly homosexual priest from a parish on the campus of UC Berkley. He also spoke out against a proposed California law that would have penalized priests for breaking the seal of Confession, an offense punished by automatic excommunication in the Catholic Church. 

RELATED: Pope Francis’ new cardinal pick has a horrifying record on homosexuality and abortion

In contrast to Barber, McElroy has publicly celebrated “LGBT” Masses and voiced support for dissident priest Fr. James Martin, S.J., a priest known for supporting changes to Catholic teachings on homosexuality, accusing critics of Martin of “homophobia. McElroy has also downplayed abortion, criticizing USCCB voter guides in 2015 and 2019, saying that making abortion a “preeminent priority” is “at least discordant with the Pope’s teaching if not inconsistent” and is a “grave disservice to our people if we’re trying to communicate to them what the Magisterium teaches. 

McElroy has also downplayed the gravity of contraception, saying in a February 2020 talk given at the University of San Diego that it is a far greater moral evil for our country to abandon the Paris Climate Accord than to provide contraceptives in federal health centers.”  

He has also criticized barring pro-abortion politicians from Communion, claiming that denying pro-abortion Catholic politicians from communion would be “instrumentalization” of the Eucharist for “a political end, which he maintains “must not happen.”  

Pope Francis announced earlier this month that he will elevate McElroy to the College of Cardinals in the next consistory, set to take place in August.  

The Catholic Church teaches that both abortion and homosexuality are gravely evil. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law (CCC 2271).” 

The Catechism further states, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law (CCC 2357).” 

RELATED: New Mexico bishop explains why abortion promoters like Biden can’t receive Communion

Barber’s remarks come just before a June meeting of the USCCB held every three years to boost spiritual formation and cooperation between bishops. This year, the talks will be given by Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia.