House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been barred from receiving Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco because of her increasingly “extreme” position on abortion, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced Friday.
In a “letter to the faithful,” the archbishop wrote that after repeated attempts to speak with Pelosi and persuade her to adhere to the Catholic Church’s teaching that life begins at conception and abortion is a sin, he has determined to place her under public church discipline.
“Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months,” Cordileone wrote. “Just earlier this month she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a ‘choice,’ this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis.”
He quoted a statement Pelosi made to the Seattle Times earlier this month in which she fumed over the leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“The very idea that they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say that as a devout Catholic,” Pelosi said. “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’ Yes I do. Are you stupid?”
“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” the archbishop announced.
“Please know that I find no pleasure whatsoever in fulfilling my pastoral duty here. Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ. Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable elicits my admiration. I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral, not political,” he said, asking faithful Christians to continue to pray for her.
The announcement that Pelosi would be denied communion is the culmination of a years-long conflict between the speaker, a self-described devout Catholic, and her archbishop on the abortion issue.
Last year, Cordileone issued a missive condemning “the evil of abortion” and suggesting that an “erring Catholic” who continues to support abortion rights after being confronted by their pastor must be temporarily excluded from communion.
Pelosi has said that overturning Roe would be an “abomination” and that should the Supreme Court do so, it would be “one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.” She and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have led Democrats in support of a radical abortion bill that would wipe out state pro-life laws and dramatically expand abortion access by codifying Roe into federal law.