Additional Catholic jurisdictions ban Pelosi from Holy Communion over abortion stance

Amid renewed and heated debate on the topic of abortion sparked by a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting the imminent reversal of Roe v. Wade, several Catholic leaders have taken a strong stance against one of the Church’s most prominent members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), banning her from receiving Holy Communion due to her stance on the issue, as the Washington Post reports.

As of now, Pelosi is barred from the sacrament in four distinct jurisdictions, a scenario which is presumably quite significant for someone who has long touted her faith – even using it, at times, to justify her position on abortion.

San Francisco ban announced

Pelosi’s difficulties began earlier this month when San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone barred the Democrat lawmaker from receiving Holy Communion, informing her via letter that she was not to present herself for such at Mass and that priests would be forbidden from offering it to her if she did so, as Fox News reported at the time.

Specifically, Cordileone explained to Pelosi, “[y]ou 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 publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”

The archbishop added 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.”

“I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters,” Cordileone continued, adding, “[u]nfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law…,” but suggested he was “ready to continue our conversation at any time.”

Prohibition expands

As the Post reports, on the same day of Cordileone’s announcement, Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, which sits adjacent to San Francisco, followed suit and barred Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion within its boundaries as well.

“I have visited with the pastor at St. Helena and informed him that if the Archbishop prohibited someone from receiving Holy Communion then that restriction followed the person and that the pastor was not free to ignore it,” Vasa explained in a statement.

Vasa referred to an article of canon law he says “makes it clear that providing sacraments to someone prohibited from receiving them has its own possible penalties,” adding that a priest could potentially be “punished with suspension” for purposefully allowing participation in a sacrament by “those who are prohibited from receiving it.”

Notably, Vasa was not the only high-ranking Catholic official to sign onto Cordileone’s sanction against Pelosi, with Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Arlington, Virginia Diocese, and Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas also signaling their agreement, according to the Post.

Pelosi remains defiant

Just two days after Cordileone made his position clear, Pelosi presented herself for – and received – Holy Communion at a D.C. Jesuit church within the jurisdiction of Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the Washington archbishop who stands opposed to banning lawmakers from the sacrament over the issue of abortion.

Pelosi has long expressed defiance in the face of prior threats to block her from receiving Holy Communion, saying last year, “I think I can use my own judgment on that,” and while it remains to be seen whether more Church leaders will take a hard line against her position on abortion, it should at least now be clear to the speaker that when it comes to appeasing her pro-abortion liberal base and remaining in good standing with leaders of her Church, she really can’t have it both ways.

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