Citing Catholic doctrine and calling abortion a “grave moral evil,” the archbishop of San Francisco says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will no longer be able to receive communion until she repents of and repudiates her “advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion.”
Cordileone’s letter to Pelosi says he warned her on April 7 that her support for abortion would lead to the denial of communion unless she changed her position.
“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,” the letter says. “Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 915).”
Pelosi, a Democrat, was elected House Speaker in 2019. Serving in her 17th term as a representative, she is one of the chamber’s most outspoken advocates for legal abortion.
“In light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication, I am hereby notifying you that you 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 publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone writes.
“Please know that I stand ready to continue our conversation at any time, and will continue to offer up prayer and fasting for you,” he writes.
Meanwhile, Cordileone says in the letter to Catholics that Pelosi “remains our sister in Christ.”
“Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable elicits my admiration. I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral, not political,” Cordileone writes. “I have been very clear in my words and actions about this. Speaker Pelosi has been uppermost in my prayer intentions ever since I became the Archbishop of San Francisco.”
Pope Francis, the letter to Catholics says, has “repeatedly and vividly affirmed the Church’s clear and constant teaching that abortion is a grave moral evil.”
Pelosi’s position on abortion, he says, is risking “danger to her own soul.”
“Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months,” Cordileone writes in his letter to Catholics. “Just earlier this month, she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a ‘choice,’ this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.