The Archbishop of San Francisco has barred House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving communion over her support for abortion.
In 2008, Pelosi said that being denied communion would be a “severe blow.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced that she may no longer receive it in a public notification letter to her that was published on Thursday.
Cordileone said that he had previously spoke to Pelosi about the issue, but that she did not accept a recent request to talk after vowing to try and codify Roe v. Wade.
In order to be able to receive it again, Pelosi, who says she is a devout Catholic, must either repudiate her support of abortion or not refer to her religion in justifying her position.
“As you have not publicly repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come,” Cordileone said.
“Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication 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,” the letter continued.
In March, Pelosi spoke at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Texas about how she grew up in a pro-life Catholic home — while explaining why she does not believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade.
“This [topic] really gets me burned up in case you didn’t notice, because again I’m very Catholic, devout, practicing, all of that. They would like to throw me out. But I’m not going because I don’t want to make their day,” Pelosi said at the time.
Cordileone also stated that a “Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.'”
The Archbishop said that he wrote to Pelosi on April 7, warning her 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.”
When Cordileone publicly spoke out about Pelosi’s abortion views last Fall, the speaker downplayed his comments as having a “disagreement” about the issue.
“I believe that God has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities,” Pelosi said at the time.
Fox News noted that in a 2008 interview, Pelosi claimed that “as a devout, practicing Catholic,” the Church has “not been able to make that definition” of when life begins. The comment drew criticism from multiple top US bishops, to whom she responded that “the point is, it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.” During that interview she had also stated that she wanted abortion to be “rare,” a seemingly far cry from the Democrat Party’s position of today.
During the same year, Pelosi was asked about the possibility of being denied communion on C-SPAN’s “Q & A.”
“I think some of it is regional. It depends on the bishop of a certain region and fortunately for me, communion has not been withheld, and I’m a regular communicant so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case,” Pelosi said.