A courageous archbishop finally takes on Nancy Pelosi
There are two things Nancy Pelosi has loudly and proudly boasted about for decades: her absolute support for abortion and her staunch Catholicism. Of course, those two things are inconsistent because, even under the progressive Pope Francis, abortion remains anathema to the Church. With that in mind, it's good news that, on Friday, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone had the courage to announce that, until Pelosi repudiates her support for abortion, she should not be admitted to Holy Communion in her home diocese of San Francisco.
Nancy Pelosi is not just a lukewarm abortion-supporter. In 2013, Pelosi opposed a bill banning late-term abortions with the jaw-dropping statement: "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me. ... This shouldn't have anything to do with politics." She's also claimed that videos showing trafficking in fetal body parts are fake, that unborn babies aren't human, that pro-lifers are plagued by "this conscience thing," and that the Church has no idea when life begins.
All of that makes for an interesting stance for a "practicing and respectful Catholic" to take. Pope Francis, who assumed that office in 2013, the same year Pelosi linked Catholicism and abortion, has been remarkably clear that abortion is an untouchable third rail, one as to which he will not show any flexibility. Over the years, Pope Francis has stated that "abortion is murder," likened abortion to "hir[ing] a hitman" in order to solve a problem," called aborting disabled children a Nazi practice, informed physicians that abortion is "against the Hippocratic oath" and "is an evil in and of itself," and said that abortion is "incompatible" with our obligation to respect the environment and creation.
But for Pelosi, it's "sacred ground." No wonder she gets a 100% mark from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League). And of course, Pelosi has gotten away with this made-up doctrinal nonsense for a long time. Back in 2007, her San Francisco-based priest, Father John Ring, insisted that "she's a fine woman. She is a good parishioner." He also insisted that she could continue receiving Holy Communion: "Leave it in God's hands. I'm not going to argue the matter with you."
Image: Nancy Pelosi (edited). YouTube screen grab.
Here's the thing: if priests don't have standards, who does? And what kind of a faith is it when the "faithful" can treat the religion like a buffet from which they pick the things they like, abandon the things they don't like, and still get "full service" from the Church, with the implied guarantee of Heaven to follow? If Catholicism doesn't stand, first and foremost, for an unswerving reverence for life, what's left?
Well, Archbishop Cordileone has decided that, if his faith is to mean something, America's second-most prominent Catholic (after Joe Biden) doesn't get to go around spitting in Catholicism's eye while still enjoying the benefits of Communion:
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should not be admitted to Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, nor should she present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion.
Cordileone said on May 20 that the step was "purely pastoral, not political" and came after Pelosi, D-Calif., who has described herself as a "devout Catholic," repeatedly rebuffed his efforts to reach out to her to discuss her abortion advocacy.
Nor is this an inconsequential announcement for Pelosi. The same article notes that, in 2008, Pelosi said being denied Communion would be "a severe blow," for she is a "regular communicant."
Pelosi can still receive Communion in Washington, D.C., for Cordileone's edict covers only the San Francisco archdiocese. Nevertheless, he's made an important point because he's right that this isn't political. It's moral: the Church must stand for something, and it weakens itself if it blithely allows famous people to ignore its core doctrines.
We can only hope that Archbishop Cordileone's action spurs the archbishop in D.C. (Wilton Cardinal Gregory) to make the same announcement with regard to Pelosi and to Joe and Jill Biden, too.