Defying Pope Francis, San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Friday announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may not receive the sacrament of Communion due to her position supporting abortion rights.
In a public statement to Pelosi, Cordileone said since the lawmaker hadn’t “repudiated your position on abortion … I’m hereby notifying you that you just aren’t to present yourself for Holy Communion and, do you have to achieve this, you aren’t to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
The ban will remain in place “until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion, and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin within the sacrament of Penance,” added Cordileone, one in all the nation’s most conservative Catholic leaders.
After quite a few attempts to talk with Speaker Pelosi to assist her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, an the danger to her own soul she is risking, I actually have determined that she will not be to be admitted to Holy Communion. https://t.co/l7M85CyG86
— Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (@ArchCordileone) May 20, 2022
Pelosi has not yet responded to the Communion ban.
Jamie L. Manson, president of the abortion rights group Catholics for Selection, condemned Cordileone’s statement while talking to Catholic News Agency, saying he’s “waging a culture war that the bishops have already retreated from.” He called on church leaders to “stop stigmatizing and begin listening to Catholics who’re pro-choice.”
Cordileone said on “The Gloria Purvis Podcast” Friday that he took the motion now due to Pelosi’s support to “codify the Roe decision into federal law.” Pelosi said that she would achieve this in a bid to guard reproductive rights in light of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion that might gut the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Cordileone said he considered Pelosi’s legislative motion a “more extreme and more aggressive” support for abortion rights. (The law failed within the Senate.)
Pope Francis warned last September that Communion should never be politicized. Communion is a central sacrament of the church and the main focus of Mass during which bread and wine are believed by the faithful to be transformed into Christ’s flesh and blood.
“What should a shepherd do?” Francis said concerning the issue while talking to reporters. “Be a shepherd and never going around condemning or not condemning. They need to be a shepherd with God’s style [of] closeness, compassion and tenderness.”
Francis said he had “never denied the Eucharist” to anyone.
The pontiff was responding to calls then by conservative Catholics to disclaim Communion to President Joe Biden, also due to his stance supporting women’s reproductive rights.
A month later, Biden met personally with the pope on the Vatican. Francis told him he was a “good Catholic” and that he should “keep receiving Communion,” Biden said.
Catholic lawmakers have often emphasized that they’re secular leaders and don’t have any intention of imposing Vatican rules on the American public.
When John F. Kennedy, the nation’s first Catholic president (Biden is the second), ran for office, many citizens feared he would take orders from the pope and never voters. It was a critical issue in a nation whose Structure demands separation of church and state.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this month found that 55% percent of U.S. Catholics want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade, regardless that Catholic teaching opposes abortion.
After heated debate last yr the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops decided there could be “no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians.”