Bishop Robert W. McElroy

Birthday: 5 February 1954

Bachelor’s American History – Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
Master’s America History – Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Saint Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
Licentiate in Theology – Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Doctorate in Political Science – Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Ordination: 12 April 1980
Episcopate: 7 September 2010
Facebook Twitter 858-490-8310

Bishop Robert W. McElroy on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Does not support Archbishop Viganò
  • McElroy viciously attacked Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, calling his actions ideologically driven, an attempt to distort truth and motivated by a dislike of what Pope Francis teaches. (National Catholic Register)
  • Archbishop Vigano alleges that Bishop McElroy was “well aware of McCarrick’s abuses” and that his appointment to San Diego was “orchestrated” by Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State under Pope Francis. (LifeSiteNews)

Amoris Laetitia

Permits Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • In 2016, Bishop McElroy told divorced and remarried Catholics in his diocese to consult “the internal forum of conscience” in making their decision to receive Holy Communion. The instructions, in effect, allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive communion. (LifeSiteNews)

Pro-life leadership

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • Bishop McElroy lead a large group of Catholics in a pro-life Stations of the Cross procession on Good Friday 2018 through downtown San Diego. The diocese announced ahead of time that the march would be “family friendly” and that there would be “no graphic signs” allowed. (Diocese of San Diego)
  • On Good Friday in 2017, Bishop McElroy participated in a pro-life Stations of the Cross procession through downtown San Diego. (California Catholic Daily)


Does not uphold Church teaching on homosexuality
  • In publishing “Pastoral Reflections on the Listening Sessions,” Bishop McElroy denies the notion that homosexuality is linked to clerical sex abuse despite evidence that 80 percent of abuse is homosexual in nature. McElroy also claimed that there was no homosexual subculture in his diocese despite promoting Aaron Bianco, a man in a same-sex marriage, to the role of “pastoral associate” in a diocesan parish in 2017. While in this role, Bianco promoted the pro-gay and Vatican condemned group, New Ways Ministry, with McElroy’s approval. (Church Militant)
  • At a series of “listening sessions” that were held to address the clerical sex abuse crisis, Bishop McElroy asked several young, devout Catholics who were asking challenging questions about homosexuality at a previous session to leave. At one of these sessions, McElroy spoke about allowing married priests saying, “There’s no theological reason why it could not be done. It’s been done in the past. It’s not a theological question.” (Church Militant)
  • Bishop McElroy was a keynote speaker at the 2018 Association of U.S. Catholic Priests meeting. The group is a pro-gay, pro-women’s ordination organization comprised of liberal priests in the United States. The group also wants lay-run parishes in the Catholic Church. Pro-homosexual merchandise and buttons were available at the conference. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In June 2017, San Jose bishop Patrick McGrath said he would not deny funerals for anyone, including active, unrepentant homosexuals. Bishop McElroy said he agrees with the “approach” McGrath took. “I think that is the appropriate policy that I would hope the priests would observe, especially in the times of funerals,” he said. “Our fundamental stance has to be one of inclusion in the church, especially during a time of burial.” (National Catholic Reporter)
  • In 2016, McElroy told America magazine “the destructive attitude of many Catholics to the gay and lesbian community is motivated by a failure to comprehend the totality of the church’s teaching on homosexuality.” He said Pope Francis’ apology to homosexuals “opens up a very helpful pathway to dialogue and, hopefully, healing.” McElroy also said the Church “should not” refer to homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered, which he believes is an example of “very destructive language.” Rather, the Church should use “language that is inclusive.” (America)
  • In response to the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize same-sex “marriage,” McElroy said his diocese would continue to honor the church’s teaching on marriage, but that it would do so in a way that is not offensive to homosexuals. “We will do so in a manner which profoundly respects at every moment the loving and familial relationships which enrich the lives of so many gay men and women who are our sons and daughters,” he said. (Diocese of San Diego)

Abortion politics

Does not uphold Church teaching on abortion politics
  • During a speech at Loyola University of Chicago in April 2018, McElroy called on U.S. Bishops to move away from focusing on Catholic principles and moral issues in politics and to focus instead on “deep-level conscience formation.” McElroy quoted extensively from Pope Francis during his speech, implying that Church leaders should focus on poverty and other social justice issues rather than emphasizing abortion. (National Catholic Reporter)
  • Immigration is the “key” issue “we have to face now in our local church,” Bishop McElroy said at a Vatican-sponsored event in California in February 2017. Instead of saying that saving unborn babies from abortion is the main issue the church should tackle, McElroy told 650 participants at the World Meeting of Popular Movements – a liberal initiative of Pope Francis – that “President Trump was the candidate of disruption…now we must all become disruptors” and defend immigrants and other social justice causes. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2016, Bishop McElroy banned an outspoken pro-life priest in his diocese from writing bulletin columns after finding out the priest was writing bulletins rebuking the “intrinsic evil” of abortion and condemning the liberal policies of the Democratic Party. The priest, who promoted Natural Family Planning and worked with same-sex attracted persons for many years, eventually retired. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In February 2016, Bishop McElroy released a voter guide that put abortion on equal footing with environmentalism and poverty. McElroy said no one issue or intrinsic evil can serve as a comprehensive “moral roadmap” for Catholics when voting. (LifeSiteNews)
  • At the 2015 U.S. Bishops’ Fall gathering, McElroy complained that poverty and climate weren’t being given the same attention as abortion and euthanasia in the Bishops’ voting guide. (LifeSiteNews)
  • During a 2013 interview with “Inside the Vatican” magazine, McElroy lamented the fact that the U.S. bishops conference treated abortion and euthanasia as their preeminent political concerns. McElroy called on the bishops to focus on what he described as the “structural sin” of poverty. He also proudly stated that he is a believer in the “seamless garment approach” to life issues. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2005, McElroy criticized the Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey for disallowing Catholic politicians who support pro-abortion legislation from receiving Holy Communion. McElroy said the decision makes the Church appear too “partisan” and “coercive.” (LifeSiteNews)


Not enough evidence collected on this issue

“LGBT” ideology

Does not uphold Church teaching on “LGBT” ideology
  • Bishop McElroy concelebrated a mass for “families of the LGBT Community” with San Diego auxiliary bishop John Dolan and 16 priests in October of 2017. Outside the church was a purple banner that read “All Are Welcome Here.” “Married” homosexual couples attended the mass as well. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop McElroy endorsed Fr. James Martin’s pro-gay book “Building a Bridge” in a 2017 article for America magazine. The book does not mention the sinfulness of homosexual acts, fails to call on homosexual persons to live chaste lives, and demands the Church change its teaching on LGBT issues. McElroy said the book helps usher in a culture of merciful inclusion in the church and said Fr. Martin is helping the church “embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community.” Bishop McElroy claimed opposition to Martin’s message is a result of a “cancer of vilification” seeping into the church. (America)
  • The Diocese of San Diego held a diocesan synod on the family in October 2016. With Bishop McElroy’s approval, the synod agreed to have the diocese incorporate what it called “a spirituality of family life which is deeply inclusive” and embracing of LGBT families. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2016, Bishop McElroy said that it is a “very good thing” that “LGBT worshippers” who attend St. John the Evangelist church in San Diego – a notoriously pro-LGBT parish – feel “particularly welcome.” (New Ways Ministry)
  • An openly homosexual man is in charge of LGBT Ministry efforts at St. John the Evangelist parish in San Diego, an un-apologetically pro-LGBT church in Bishop McElroy’s diocese. (LifeSiteNews)


Not enough evidence collected on this issue

Marriage and Family Life

Not enough evidence collected on this issue


Not enough evidence collected on this issue