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Pelosi's Abortion Stance Is Out of Communion

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks about defending abortion rights on Capitol Hill, May 13.


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San Francisco’s Archbishop

Salvatore Cordileone

stated Friday he would bar House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi

from receiving communion in her house diocese. Mrs. Pelosi, a Catholic, has been on the heart of a Democratic push to codify abortion protections in federal legislation after a draft Supreme Court choice overturning Roe v. Wade leaked this month. She has spent a long time framing her political profession as an expression of her religion, all of the whereas working to broaden abortion entry in defiance of Catholic doctrine.

In a letter to Mrs. Pelosi, Archbishop Cordileone stated he had beforehand mentioned together with her the church’s instructing on the immorality of abortion. The archbishop stated ultimately Mrs. Pelosi stopped taking his calls. He felt the time had come to decide concerning the non secular penalties of Mrs. Pelosi’s sacramental life, each for her sake and for the great of his flock. His mates say he was reluctant to do it.

In Catholic theology, the Eucharist is the sacramental presence of Christ’s personal physique and blood. It can also be an expression of the unity of the Church. Since the primary centuries of Christianity, communion has been accessible solely to these believers residing underneath the authority of their bishops and in obedience to Catholic doctrine.

Everybody sins, however there’s a distinction between struggling to get issues proper and publicly rejecting that wrestle altogether. Church legislation says a Catholic “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” shouldn’t be provided communion as a result of incoherence between life and observe causes non secular hurt.

Archbishop Cordileone isn’t the primary American prelate to bar a Catholic politician from the sacrament. Illinois’ Bishop

Thomas Paprocki

banned two lawmakers over a state abortion invoice in 2019. But state legislators don’t have the identical stature because the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

At their annual assembly final 12 months, U.S. bishops debated the way to deal with pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Most agreed with Archbishop Cordileone that at a sure level the scandal of abortion advocacy requires a concrete sacramental response. Some theologically liberal bishops contemplate Archbishop Cordileone’s place to be “anti-Francis.” But

Pope Francis

himself stated final 12 months that whereas bishops ought to work as pastors with pro-abortion politicians for a change of coronary heart, such lawmakers “cannot take communion, because they are out of the community.”

The focus now shifts to how different bishops will react. Bishop

Robert Vasa

of Napa Valley, the place Mrs. Pelosi has a trip house, stated Friday that the San Francisco ban will apply when she is in his diocese. But it isn’t doubtless that Cardinal

Wilton Gregory

of Washington, D.C., will uphold the ban. He has in contrast the prospect of sacramental self-discipline to a “gun on the table” throughout dialogue with pro-choice politicians. But dialogue shouldn’t be at all times fruitful. And on main ethical points, reminiscent of abortion, euthanasia and the demise penalty, politics have lasting non secular significance.

Archbishop Cordileone stated this week that when Catholics flout ethical actuality in political discourse, souls—and lives—grasp within the steadiness. And when souls grasp within the steadiness, pastors have an obligation to behave.

Mr. Flynn is editor and co-founder of Pillar Catholic.

Wonder Land: The finish of Roe would erode the foundations not simply of abortion, however of a complete philosophy of American governance born 50 years in the past with Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Image: Olivier Douliery/AFP by way of Getty Images

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Appeared within the May 23, 2022, print version.

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