Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued a public pastoral letter barring Democrat Nancy Pelosi from receiving communion in her home city because of her abortion advocacy.
“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,” Cordileone’s letter announced.
Reception of communion is considered the most sacred form of participation in the Catholic faith, specifically reserved for those “in the state of grace,” that is without mortal sin on their soul. Cordileone reasons that Pelosi’s outspoken public advocacy for abortion places her in the state of mortal sin. Under Catholic teaching that state of sin is further aggravated each time the sinner receives communion while outside the state of grace.
Cordileone stated that Pelosi is welcome and encouraged to return to communion, after repenting and rejecting the grave moral evil of killing preborn babies through abortion.
Apparently annoyed by her bishop’s support of clear Catholic teaching, Nancy Pelosi fired back, saying, “I respect people’s views about (abortion). But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others.” Pelosi also stated, “These same people are against contraception, family planning, in vitro fertilization. It’s a blanket thing and they use abortion as the front man for it.”
The mainstream media, Democrats, and leftists also responded with similar indignation. Many newscasters, suddenly deciding they are the authorities on Catholic teaching, are asserting that Nancy Pelosi actually stands for “true” Catholicism. As the Democrat majority leader and speaker of the House of Representatives, Pelosi just recently championed a failed bill to enshrine the killing of babies without restriction through all nine months of pregnancy.
Media pundits widely exclaimed that Archbishop Cordileone is “politicizing communion,” accusing the bishop of using religion to advance his own conservative political agenda. Many have gone so far to state that the “Nancy Pelosi communion ban is a challenge to Pope Francis,” asserting that Cordileone’s stance defies the guidance of Pope Francis.
Yet Pope Francis has also been very clear on his Pro-Life stance. Pope Francis has stated that abortion is “more than a problem: It’s a homicide. No middle terms. Whoever does an abortion, kills.”
In 2021, Pope Francis stated that while the gospel teaches mercy and pastoral care, communion is for those who are “in the community,” and that those who support abortion are “outside the community.”
For his part, Cordileone has stated that, “I find no pleasure whatsoever in fulfilling my pastoral duty here. Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ.” Cordileone has also stated that, “I am not campaigning for anyone for office. As a matter of fact, my preference would be for Speaker Pelosi to remain in office and become an advocate for life in the womb.”
The mass media has been quick to attack Cordileone’s character and intentions, criticizing him as a “right-wing political extremist,” defying church teaching, and going against the Pope. One media outlet comically cited Joe Biden’s assertion that the pope called him a “good Catholic” as evidence that the pope supports pro-abortion politicians.
At least a dozen other American bishops have expressed public support of Cordileone’s actions. Responding to the news, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, stated, “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Archbishop Cordileone for loving Nancy Pelosi in the Truth of Jesus Christ!”
We are also thankful for Archbishop Cordileone’s bold stance in defense of the preborn. We pray that faith and political leaders across the country will have the same bravery to defend the weakest and most vulnerable.