St. Mary’s Batallion

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelation 12:1.


We are Catholics dedicated to defending the teachings of our most blessed Lord Jesus Christ and His most Holy Catholic Church. We are named after the most important saint of the Catholic Church, Saint Mary, the Mother of God. One of the titles of Our Blessed Mother is “destroyer of all heresies,” as it is written in Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman and thy seed, and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shall lie in wait for her heel.”


One of the heresies of our time is the idea that divorced and remarried couples can receive Holy Communion. Another is that there “LGBT families” headed by homosexual couples can legitimately exist.

After Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitiae” was published in March 2016, the seeds were planted for giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics that were not eligible to receive an annulment.

Two months later, on May 11, 2016 San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy announced that he would convene a diocesan synod that would take place in August 2016. After the synod ended in October 2016, Bishop McElroy e-mailed all 99 parishes within the Diocese of San Diego the following letter, which confirms that he agrees with these heresies:

November 8, 2016

My dear brother Priest:

I want to inform you about the tenor and outcome of the diocesan synod which we held last weekend.

I want to begin by thanking the pastors in particular for the superb quality of the delegates whom they selected to represent their parishes. The delegates reflected the great diversity of cultures and ages in San Diego and Imperial counties, and they were uniformly men and women of deep faith, great love for the church, and profound dedication to the Catholic vision of marriage and family life. The talents, experience level and insights of the delegates were truly edifying.

I also want to thank the twenty five priest delegates who caringly contributed by their presence and insights to the dialogue, deliberation and decision making. I know that this was a significant drain on them, especially over a weekend, and I am deeply grateful.

I found the synodal process to be an inspiring and robust model for pastoral planning and decision-making in the diocese. It dramatically brought lay voices and reflections too the heart of a central pastoral question for our local church, in union with the priests, deacons, religious, theologians and the bishop. It has fashioned a set of proposals which form a vibrant outreach in the area of marriage and family life in fidelity to the teachings of the church and mandate of Amoris Laetitiae.

The deliberations pointed the need for renewed dedication to the witness of married couples to the depth, permanence, sanctity and sacrifice which lie at the heart of the Catholic conception of marriage. They underscored the need to make a spirituality of marriage and family life more available to our parishioners, especially to young couples who often find it less automatic to bring prayer and the Gospel into their marriage and role as parents. The synod pointed to the need to invite young couples lovingly, non-judgmentally and energetically into Catholic marriage and to provide mentors for them. The synod spoke movingly to the need for the church to reach out to divorced men and women at every moment of their journey to support them spiritually and pastorally, to help them move through the annulment process, and to assist those who are divorced, and remarried and cannot receive an annulment to utilize the internal forum of conscience in order to discern if God is calling them to return to the Eucharist. Finally, the Synod proposed a spirituality of family life which is deeply inclusive: embracing mothers and fathers beautifully bonded in their married love and the love of their children, as well as single parents, those who are widowed, our many military families where deployment brings great stress, LGBT families, families which deportation has split and families with members who have special needs.

I have attached below both the long form and short form of the goals produced by the synod. I am also attaching a brief summary which you may want to use or edit in your bulletin for November 12-13, since I recognize it is too late for this weekend.

During the coming months I will be working with committee of synod delegates who will focus on the implementation of these goals. The goals tend to divide into two sets, one involving diocesan level actions and the other parish initiatives. Please know that we discussed during the synod and will make a centerpiece of the implementation process the recognition that they synod cannot be placing significant new demands of time and energy upon the priests and parish staffs.

I will be in conversation with the Presbyteral Council during the coming weeks about the diocesan synod, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it might be an ongoing part of the life of the diocese every two or three years. In this regard, it may be a model we can use two years from now in conjunction with the theme of the next international synod in Rome, which is pastoral outreach to young adults.

Once again, I want to thank you for your help in making the synod possible and in particular your ongoing ministry in support of the great divine gifts of marriage and family life.