A California Catholic official has told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., she may not receive Communion while she supports abortion.
Rep. Pelosi has long described herself, with a straight face, as a devout, practicing Catholic while vocally advocating abortion. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that Pelosi should not receive Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He further instructed her not to try to receive the Eucharist until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion, according to a “Catholic News Agency” report.
Catholic politicians in the U.S. have struggled to balance faith with public policy. Many Americans publicly questioned John F. Kennedy’s ability to serve both the U.S. and the Church in 1960. Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo explained his Catholic faith made him consider abortion a sin but he would follow the law of the state he was elected to lead.
President Joe Biden has been publicly upbraided for continuing to receive Holy Communion even though he supports abortion, too. The Catechism of the Catholic Church considers abortion homicide and many devout Catholics object to the president receiving the Eucharist while advocating abortion. “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves,” Catholic Catechism on abortion states. “Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.”
A May 2021 letter from the Vatican basically left the decision to Catholic bishops about preventing abortion supporters from receiving the sacrament. President Biden expressed relief that the Washington, D.C., bishop has said he will continue to provide it to the president.
Archbishop Cordileone, however, is of a different mind. He has no control over what churches in Washington do but he is the final word regarding San Francisco churches. He informed the speaker in a May 19 correspondence he was coming down on the side of unborn babies.
“[Y]ou are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are to be admitted to Holy Communion until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy for abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the Sacrament of Penance,” the archbishop informed Pelosi. He cited Canon Law 915 as a legal basis for denying her Holy Communion.
After a draft copy of a court opinion was leaked that suggests the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, Pelosi has not talked about reducing abortion. The Speaker has continued to claim her pro-choice stance is in line with Catholic teaching.
“This really gets me burned up in case you didn’t notice, because again I’m very Catholic, devout, practicing, all of that,” Pelosi said earlier this month. “They would like to throw me out but I’m not going because I don’t want to make their day.”
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