House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday dismissed the San Francisco archbishop’s decision to deny her communion over her support for abortion rights, standing by her pro-choice views.
The California Democrat, who is Catholic, said she sticks by her stance on protecting abortion rights, and not imposing a religious view on the public through enhancing policy that would curb access.
“We have to be prayerful. We have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life, Italian-American, Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that. But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others,” Mrs. Pelosi said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Mrs. Pelosi also accused San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of being “vehemently against” LGBTQ rights, which she said is not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.
The speaker said there are discrepancies in the Catholic Church on different issues, saying for example that she is opposed to the death penalty but church officials take no action on congregants who differ on that issue.
Mrs. Pelosi’s comments follow Archbishop Cordileone’s decision to bar her from receiving the Eucharist over her refusal to retract and rebuke her support for abortion, which the church opposes.
But the speaker was seen receiving communion at a local church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., last weekend, according to Politico.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, of the Archdiocese of Washington, has yet to comment on whether he agrees with Archbishop Cordileone’s decision on barring Mrs. Pelosi from receiving communion.
The archbishop said he previously wrote to Mrs. Pelosi asking her to retract her views, before he issued his final decision on Friday.
“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,’” he wrote to Mrs. Pelosi.
Conservative bishops also have sought to bar President Biden from receiving communion, citing his similar stance on supporting abortion.
Mr. Biden was denied communion at a parish in South Carolina, but got the blessing of Pope Francis to keep receiving communion.
The president said the pope called him a “good Catholic.”
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