ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE )– A New Mexico priest is under fire for the comments he made during mass, some saying he was using his religious position to push a political agenda.
One parishioner claims the priest compared Hillary Clinton to Hitler, but some who attended the same mass say that’s was not the message at all.
Father John Riley, a visiting priest at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Roswell, gave a homily that did not sit well with some parishioners.
Some claim he used it as an opportunity to bash Hillary Clinton.
Deacon David McNeill Jr. For the diocese says people complained.
“We got a couple people who complained that he said things about one of the candidates,” said McNeill.
In an email sent to the church, one man said father Riley compared Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Hitler saying that’s when he grabbed his wife and kids and left, but Lety Lopez attended the same mass and says that’s not what the priest said.
“I think that it was completely misinterpreted. Father was comparing just the numbers of people that died during the Holocaust compared to the number of people that we, the USA have killed by abortion,” said Lopez.
The deacon says they are looking into the complaints, but he could not discuss specifics saying it’s a personnel matter.
He went on to say that during such an intense political race messages can be interpreted differently and while he cannot tell the church who to vote for he can talk about the issues.
“I can tell you that if he was addressing a moral issue on which the church has a position or teachings he’s free to do that and if people interpret that as for or against a candidate, that’s their interpretation,” said McNeill.
The deacon told local media Thursday that telling churchgoers how to vote is not allowed because the church has a tax free status it can’t influence the outcome of an election.