House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may find it more difficult to receive communion when she returns home to San Francisco.
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, whose diocese encompasses her district, released a 17-page pastoral letter on Saturday condemning Catholic politicians who support what he described as the “moral evil” of abortion.
“Your Catholic ideals inspire you in your work to help those who experience discrimination, violence and injustice, and you deserve the gratitude of your fellow Catholics and our nation for this service,” he wrote. “But we cannot empower the weak by crushing the weakest.
“If you find that you are unwilling or unable to abandon your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion. To publicly affirm the Catholic faith while at the same time publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest,” he wrote.”
Cordileone appealed to 1 Corinthians 11:27–29 for his admonition, which says:
“Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
Pelosi, President Joe Biden\ and other Catholic politicians face a potential rebuke from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who will decide in June if they should tighten their stance on politicians who openly support the practice of abortion and demand they refrain from the Eucharist.
Cordileone recently expressed support for the conference’s proposed statement, telling the AP “there’s a growing sense of urgency” surrounding the issue. “Abortion is not just one among many important issues. It’s a direct attack on human life. They need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a basic concept.”
The archbishop wrote in a seven-page add-on that he waited to share his thoughts on the issue until after the 2020 election to avoid “confusion among those who would misperceive this as ‘politicising’ the issue”.
Archbishop Cordileone wrote: “Regardless of which political party is in power at a given moment, we all need to review some basic truths and moral principles.”
The Conference of Catholic Bishops will gather in June to decide whether to draft a document on the issue of communion.
While the conference carries some heft, only the Vatican holds actual authority over bishops. Local bishops and their priests hold varying views on how to treat politicians who support abortion rights. Some priests have called for President Joe Biden to be denied communion.
Joe Biden was stopped from receiving communion at a church in South Carolina while on the campaign trail in 2019.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice