Why the brave archbishop made his move on Nancy Pelosi now
San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone made waves by taking on House speaker Nancy Pelosi, barring her from receiving Communion at Mass until she could get her head straight on whether she's the devout Catholic she thinks she is or the beast who brings abortion on demand to the U.S. as one of its most powerful politicians. A marker has been laid down — it's one or the other for Pelosi at this point, and since she's going to remain in the pews for a while, she's now got some time to decide.
In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters. Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September. That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion "rights" or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
It was a pretty gentle and shepherd-like response to her obnoxious use of her Catholic faith as her justification for every pro-abortion statement and act she's ever made. Cordileone was actually pretty kind to her, speaking of how her pro-abortion stance is endangering her soul and how he wants to save it. Cordileone cited the teachings of Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II and contrasted them with Pelosi's own pro-abortion militancy, so it was clear it wasn't just his opinion. But he didn't kick her out, or excommunicate her, which probably could have been justified under canon law, given her material support for abortion on demand. Instead, he called for prayer — a shower of roses from heaven, as the wording went — to be rained down on her for the conversion of her soul. He emphasized that he was concerned about her soul, not just the souls of the dead babies she was leaving in her wake. His tone was firm but kind.
Pelosi likes to bill herself to voters as sort of an Italian earth mama, a child of the south, which in San Francisco is pretty chic the same way that claiming one has Pilgrim ancestors works well in Boston. Pelosi is a mom of five and, like most Italians worth their salt, is nominally a demonstrative Catholic in the wonderful Italian way. That act was called out particularly effectively by Cordileone, who's even more Italian ethnically than she is, so she can't claim he doesn't understand her. Only Cordileone could do that effectively.
Pelosi, after all, isn't any ordinary cafeteria Catholic who likes abortion, but claims to be a devout Catholic. Pelosi is a powerful change agent for promoting abortion as a powerful elected official who cites her Catholic faith as some kind of justification for it. It's obvious in her record thus far: Pelosi doesn't just favor abortion on demand up until the moment of birth; she also wants the government to be able sue the Little Sisters of the Poor for their pro-life conscientious objection to financing abortions. She's shoveled cash for abortion on demand abroad. She's repeatedly shut down proposed votes in the House for saving infants born alive after abortion. She fully supports ending conscience exemptions on abortion for medical professionals and forcing them to commit abortions whether they like it or not. Most of all, she's all about cash, cash, cash for the premier human body parts–trafficker of aborted babies, Planned Parenthood, which is all about abortion. Now with Roe v. Wade likely to be overturned by the Supreme Court, she's looking to make abortion until the moment of birth the settled law of the land as House speaker.
That's a helluva ugly picture, given that the other "devout Catholic," Cheatin' Joe Biden, stands ready to sign any law she might ram through Congress through her good offices. Abortion until the moment of birth will then be codified as law of the land so that even states cannot make up their own minds as to whether they want abortion or not. Leftists are always yelling about too many Catholics on the Supreme Court, but the idea of abortion on demand being the big law of the land, in a form that would make the Bolsheviks (who first introduced the world to state-sponsored abortion in 1920 as a normal thing) blush, is rather an ugly picture.
With circumstances like that, it was pretty important for Cordileone to act, and act he did, even though it has created controversy. Some bishops and, of course, everyone on the left were critical, claiming he was politicizing the issue. But it wasn't about politics; it was about whether there's going to be a recognition of human life or an ignoring of human life. And from the Catholic point of view, if there is human life, then there is someone with a soul, and that makes it a topic the Church cannot ignore.
As described in a secular way by Ron Paul in his memoirs, here is the actual issue:
In some abortions, a gasping infant is left to die in a bucket. Ron Paul’s story of witnessing an abortion: pic.twitter.com/C5vEaKeR0A— Anton Seim 🔑 (@antonseim) May 21, 2022
And yes, as Andrea Widburg noted here, Cordileone's act did take courage. It was gentle, but it was not timid.
After his letter was published, a striking number of other bishops and archbishops have leapt forward to express support and solidarity with Cordileone's letter, including the bishop of the Napa, California area, where Pelosi owns a dacha. He too said he would deny her Communion, so for Pelosi, there's just Washington for Communion, where the leftist grip on the clergy remains strong. But now, with the hypocrisy exposed, expect even the Washington Church leftists to feel heat, too. The Church has been all over the place on giving Communion to Catholics who work to undermine human life and, for that matter, the work of the Church in the U.S., suing the humble nuns. With this move, a marker has been laid that a pol can't claim to be a devout Catholic and then lead the effort to promote and fund abortion throughout the country, which is the current spectacle we see, while being coddled by the Church anymore. That seems to be the root of the Cordileone timing.
People like leaders who can speak with authority, and they follow them. Now with Pelosi (and Biden) set to promote abortion to the country under the rubric of devout Catholicism, it seems that Cordileone has just thrown an emergency brake onto their runaway leftist abortion train.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.