House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is prohibited from receiving communion by the Archdiocese of San Francisco due to her advocacy of abortion. Both she and President Joe Biden face pressure for claiming to be “devout” Catholics while supporting actions opposed to Church doctrine.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone informed the longtime Democratic legislator in a letter Thursday of his decision. He directed Pelosi not to “present yourself for Holy Communion” until a public declaration repudiating her support for “the legitimacy of abortion.”
After his written declaration, the archbishop tweeted a simplification of his position. Declaring that several attempts were made to further Pelosi’s understanding of what she is perpetrating, the resulting scandal and “danger to her own soul.”
Cordileone, in a separate letter to priests of the archdiocese, explained that his motive for denial of communion is “pastoral, not political.” He cites Pelosi’s using her Catholic faith to justify abortion advocacy while at the same time receiving the sacrament.
Despite the clear teaching of the Catholic Church of the “moral evil” of abortion and insistence that this teaching is unchangeable, liberal Catholics insist otherwise. Catholic Democratic politicians have long asserted their personal opposition to the practice but considered the right “fundamental.”
President Joe Biden, who is also Catholic, faced debate over whether he should receive communion over his support for abortion. He supported the Hyde Amendment, which prevented U.S. funds from paying for abortions in other countries, before his successful run for president.
In 2019, Biden was denied sacraments at a Catholic Church in South Carolina for the same reason. Then, two weeks after Biden’s 2020 victory, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez declared the Catholic president presents a “difficult and complex situation” for U.S. bishops.
However, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last October approved a document that stopped well short of denying communion to the president or other Catholic politicians who support abortion.
Even as Pelosi tried to reconcile her support for actions in direct conflict with her “devout” Catholicism, one archbishop called her on it. Pope Francis, who shies away from political declarations, says unequivocally that abortion ends a human life — that’s rather clear.