San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced on Friday that he had sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) informing her that she would no longer be allowed to receive holy communion due to her support of abortion rights.
For years, Pelosi has been at odds with the Catholic Church over her continued support of abortion, even with the Catholic Church being vehemently opposed to it. In the last few years, some Church leaders, including Archbishop Cordileone, have elevated their stance on the issue, saying that they would bar Pelosi, President Joe Biden, and other prominent Catholic lawmakers from receiving Holy Communion due to their support of abortion.
Earlier this month, the issue became even more stressed following leaked Supreme Court documents showing that the court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade sometime later this year. Following the leak, Pelosi became one of the leading voices against the likely overturning of the ruling, even going so far as to call it an “abomination.”
“If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women but on all Americans,” said Pelosi earlier this month. “The Republican-appointed justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history. Several of these conservative justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the US Senate, ripped up the constitution and defiled both precedent and the supreme court’s reputation.”
With Pelosi also looking to make the Roe v. Wade decision codified into law, and the Church warning her last month that she could be banned from receiving Communion if she didn’t pull back on her support for abortion, the Church finally issued the ban on Friday.
“I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” said Archbishop Cordileone in a letter to Pelosi on Friday. “Please know that I stand ready to continue our conversation at any time, and will continue to offer up prayer and fasting for you.”
Pelosi to no longer receive communion
While expected, the banning of politicians from receiving communion, as well as harsher measures such as excommunication, or banning from the Church entirely, has rarely been done in recent years.
“We live in a complex world, and as such, the Catholic Church has tried to move along with it as best as we can,” explained Father Ricardo Cora, a Roman Catholic priest in Southern California, to the Globe on Friday. “This isn’t something taken lightly either. The Church does not endorse candidates of course, but from the outside, you can see Catholics shifting away from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. It used to be, you know, Democrats and Catholics going hand in hand. There’s JFK of course, but a lot of older Catholics, like Pelosi and Biden, are Democratic. Now, not so much.”
According to a Pew Research poll, over half of all Catholics in the U.S. now identify as Republican.
“Now, abortion isn’t the only reason for the shift, but it has been a major factor. I’ve been in the Catholic Church all my life and from as early as I can remember, overturning Roe v. Wade has been a major point. In school in Mexico, we watched a film where a fetus appeared to be screaming during an abortion. That…that stays with you. And I’ve heard American and Honduran parishioners tell me the same thing of the church or catholic school showing something similar.”
“But going back to Pelosi and her communion ban, it was that hard line on abortion, that we see as murder. And giving communion to someone who supports murder and is now trying to put it in law before the court ends it, you can see why it happened. Those on the pro-abortion side have other arguments, like choosing what you want to do with your body and having to carry a baby due to rape. But in this case, the line was drawn, and Pelosi crossed it after being warned.”
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