House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hit back at a San Francisco archbishop who announced last week that he would refuse his communion for his refusal to support the alignment of US law with Catholic doctrine regarding the right of a woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Ms Pelosi, the second highest Catholic leader in the United States, has suggested that church officials who rail against Democratic politicians who do not support abortion ban laws are using a double standard as they speak out rarely against leaders who support the death penalty despite the Catholic Church’s longstanding opposition to capital punishment.
“I wonder about the death penalty, which I oppose. The same goes for the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their views,” Ms Pelosi said during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC. Hello Joe.
The president’s comments were a direct swipe at Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who last week said Ms Pelosi could not receive communion in her own parish because of her continued support for reproductive rights.
In a letter to his archdiocese published last week, Mr Cordileone said he had tried to speak with Ms Pelosi “numerous” times but decided to make a “public statement” stating that Ms Pelosi should “not be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion “rights” and confesses and receives absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the Sacrament of Penance”.
The archbishop’s position is at odds with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. As the Conference debated banning politicians who support abortion from receiving Communion at a meeting last November, they later issued a statement saying there is “no national policy on abortion.” rejection of Communion by politicians”. The pope said he had “never” denied it to “anyone”, but added that he had never been able to deny it to a politician who supports abortion.
But Ms Pelosi explained that her opposition to the abortion ban stems from a desire to respect the beliefs of others, not from her personal support for the practice.
“We just have to pray, we have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian-American Catholic family, so I respect people’s opinion on this, but I don’t respect that we are imposing it on others,” she said.
Last year, Mr Cordileone slammed a Pelosi-backed bill to codify abortion rights into US law as an ‘atrocity’ that was ‘nothing less than child sacrifice “.
At the time, the president noted that she and the archbishop had a ‘disagreement’ over the bill, but said she believed people had God-given ‘free will’ to ‘honor’ their responsibilities.
She said her own family has been a “complete and utter blessing”, but added that “it is none of our business how others choose the size and timing of their family”.
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