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San Francisco archbishop responds to Pelosi: ‘No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion’

In a Jan. 18 podcast with former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that support of pro-life voters for former President Donald Trump was an issue that “gives me great grief as a Catholic.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA

San Francisco, Calif., Jan 21, 2021 / 01:20 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of San Francisco on Thursday responded to the Speaker of the House accusing pro-life Trump voters of being sellouts.

In a Jan. 18 podcast with former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that support of pro-life voters for former President Donald Trump was an issue that “gives me great grief as a Catholic.”

“I think that Donald Trump is president because of the issue of a woman’s right to choose,” she said of abortion, implying that pro-life voters boosted Trump to victory in 2016. She added that these voters “were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

On Thursday, Pelosi’s archbishop responded to her comments on abortion and voting.

“No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Pelosi’s home diocese, in a statement issued on Thursday. “Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop.”

Pelosi has long supported abortion despite her Catholic faith. In 2008, she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” regarding when life begins, “over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.” She said that her Catholic faith “shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.”

On Thursday, Archbishop Cordileone clarified that “Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church.”

“And on the question of the equal dignity of human life in the womb, she [Pelosi] also speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years,” Cordileone said.

The archbishop added that Pelosi’s use of the phrase “right to choose” in reference to abortion “is a smokescreen for perpetuating an entire industry that profits from one of the most heinous evils imaginable.”

In 2010, the previous archbishop of San Francisco—George Niederauer—called Pelosi’s support for abortion “entirely incompatible with Catholic teaching.”

Pelosi signaled in August that she intends to bring up spending bills in 2021 that do not include the Hyde Amendment—thus allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions in Medicaid. It is unclear if Democrats would have the votes in both chambers of Congress to ultimately repeal Hyde.

Cordileone, in his statement on Thursday, said he would “not presume” why individuals voted for Trump. “There are many issues of very grave moral consequence that Catholics must weigh in good conscience when they vote,” he said.

Cordileone also supported Archbishop Jose Gomez—the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference—who issued a statement of prayer and congratulations to new President Joe Biden, and who noted areas of agreement and disagreement between Biden and bishops.

Gomez, in his statement upon Biden’s inauguration, reiterated that ending abortion is the “preeminent priority” of the conference due to its threat to families and the sheer number of abortion victims.

The language on abortion received opposition from within the conference, including by Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago who issued a scathing statement of criticism of Gomez’s words, CNA reported.

Cordileone on Thursday thanked Gomez for restating the conference’s priority and added that just because abortion is a “preeminent” concern does not mean it is the “only” concern of the conference.

“In his inaugural speech yesterday, President Biden gave a moving call to unity and healing,” Cordileone said, and added that Pelosi’s accusations against pro-lifers were “not the language of unity and healing. She owes these voters an apology.”

“Christians have always understood that the commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ applies to all life, including life in the womb,” Cordileone said. “Pope Francis continues this unbroken teaching.”

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  1. Okay, AB Cordileone can follow up his comments by telling Pelosi, Biden, et al that they are not permitted to take Communion at 1) any Mass in his diocese or 2) any Mass at which he is the principle celebrant (outside his diocese).

  2. The breathtaking ignorance of both practicality and comprehension in regard to Pelosi and the Church borders on a demonic willfulness.

  3. The absolute “right to choose”? Recall here Pelosi’s earlier pontification that partial birth abortion is nothing less than “sacred ground…”

    St. Augustine warns us that real freedom “cannot be reduced to a sense of choice: it is (instead) freedom to act fully. . .” and to resist what he termed “fantastica fornicatio”—the prostitution of the mind to its own fantasies, e.g., the Pelosi bubble-world of abortion rights, sodomy, fanciful gender theory, etc.

    The Big Lie is biggest when it insinuates itself into not only our defensive rhetorical platform, but into our very selves…This experience is what the Prussian military strategist Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) called the “drop of poison”. We give in so many times that when we finally do catch on, we are incapable of choosing to resist–the falsified right to choose.

    How is the Church to guide–and how is Christ to convert–those post-Christians suffering from widespread cultural brainwashing, what in individual cases used to be called “invincible ignorance”?

  4. Archbishop Cordileone’s faithful support of Archbishop Gomez’ witness to the truth, Cordileone’s defining good conscience in respect to Pelosi’s misrepresentation, this despite Cardinal Cupich’s self revealing objections to Gomez is the example for all bishops to follow. That would surely help reverse the disillusioned trend away from the Church. Who in the Church could in good conscience object?

  5. No Catholic in good conscience can favor Unbridled Capitalism, a military budget of two thirds of a trillion dollars to murder the poor, as the US Contribution to the Genocide of Yemen, unjust war.
    No Catholic in good conscience can favor a WALL, defiant to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, cloth the naked.
    No Catholic in good conscience can look on to a nation of 5% of the Worlds population with 25% of the human prisoners, that jails people in profit for a few, not reform or social justice.
    No Catholic in good conscience can look on to a nation that ignores and destroys the orphanges in housing and providing for the orphane, the homeless children.
    Or destroys the family structure in mass unemployment in slave and debt wages in profits to the stockmarkets and the rich, minute few that hoard the wealth today..
    Many women who would LOVE to have children, have no means to raise them, shelter them, and to feed them, due to unbridled capitalism destroys family structure, by debt and wage slavery… the US has destroyed the system of orphanges, shelters for the homeless children.

    Unbridled capitalism, has destroyed the system of one works to suport a family in the USA today. As Health insurance now takes an entire paycheck for a family… alone, and soon food will as well…

    • Spoken like a true socialist. You my friend are what’s happened to our once Great Country which is systematically being destroyed by you and your president, “creepy joe.”

      • So true….They need to take a trip to Venezuela and witness what a Socialist Country looks like. Biden was put in by the Democrats because the Far Left Liberals know he is easy to manipulate into their agenda. So sad that some “so called Catholics” promote this anti-Catholic agenda!

    • Abortion is still murder. Plain and simple. Archbishop Gomez said we should be guided by Catholic principles not partisanship and that the “preeminent concern” is abortion, it is not the “only” concern, but the preeminent one.
      Peace begins in the womb.

    • Follow the rules, work for your bread, be honest, do what is right.That is the mindset which made AMERICA great. Christianity is NOT the same thing as COMMUNISM, no matter how much you and extreme liberal priests ( you know, the kneelers) at EVERY level wish it to be. CAPITALISM, where those who work hard at their goals can shine,and keep the fruit of their labor, is what has allowed MILLIONS the world over to improve their lot. This is undeniable. Look at the lives of the folks in Cuba, China, North Korea and tell me if you would rather live THERE, or here in the USA??? How anxious you are to move to those dictatorial paradises? Thats your choice. Anyone who wants to live in the atmosphere of Lenin and Marx, please move there and stop damaging the country by voting in that discredited garbage here like the three blind mice.

    • Just stop.

      Abortion destroys more souls than all of these things combined – by an order of magnitude. You may prefer to treat the patient’s skin abrasions while he bleeds out from a severed artery and that’s fine.

      Just stay out of the way of those who care enough to actually save the patient’s life.

    • Lyle your response here and elsewhere indicates you agree with Archbishop Cordileone on the Eucharist and unworthiness to receive. You list all your perceived grievances contra the US. Now it’s your responsibility to act on all of them rather than continuously imply that US policy grievances somehow extinguishes responsibility toward the Eucharist.

  6. The episcopate has provided decades of the long leash to individuals such as Pelosi, Biden and the legion of the self-deceived and self-promoting who do not merely turn a blind eye to the atrocity of abortion, but advocate for it. This is simply disingenuous. It is not a gentle patient spiritual intervention with the goal of softening hearts and minds, it is a capitulation and in the final analysis complicitous. It has achieved nothing but to provide scandal. The appropriate response to grave public rejection of the Gospel by a self-declared Catholic is public excommunication. Why is this not done? I can only believe it is to “keep the dogs at bay.” It is no secret any longer that there is ample legal fodder for the adversaries of Christ to level an equal response against the episcopate and the faithful. Given the present rabid socio-political evisceration underway in Western society against the Church — the metamorphosis so far highly successful — it is time for the Church to get off the matt and respond to the demonic subterfuge. Let us start to do “adult Christian” and shed the pretense of passive “kind understanding.” The enabler at a certain point is as guilty as the perpetrator. This game is up.

    • You wrote down my thoughts, James. This is the reality of “kind understanding”, that there are limits, there are boundaries and ultimately, consequences. “Kind Understanding” is a process to the truth, not the conclusion of the discussion. The tacit endorsement of many politicians who support abortion sends a terrible signal to Catholics and society as a whole. The process can take time, kindness and understanding, but it is a finite process and it must have a consequence in the face of bold defiance.

  7. Cordileone’s articulate and temperate response in setting Nancy Pelosi straight is exactly what’s needed. Thank you, sir.

  8. The Archbishop talks, but will he enforce Canon 915 in his diocese? I haven’t heard anything from him that would indicate that he will.

  9. Imagine Pelosi in the antebellum south: “I’m personally opposed to slavery, but I support a plantation owner’s right to choose it for themselves.”

  10. No one is pro-abortion, Gloria Steinem has said. The question for Catholics is how much we tolerate. No matter how strong the legislation, abortion will happen and at great physical risk to the mother. Catholic attention must be directed to minimizing that risk through discouragement, through counselling and financial support for the mother who chooses to keep her baby. Without lowering our standard, we can accept contrary opinion.

    • “No one is pro-abortion, Gloria Steinem has said.”

      And she was wrong. Probably even lied–at least to herself. But that was trotted out by then-Sen. Obama many years ago. So Reply

    • Raymond,
      No matter how strong the legislation & criminal code, child sexual abuse will still occur also. We don’t have the power to end every possible occurrence of violence against women & children but the very least we can do to prevent that is to make those acts illegal.
      If we take the victims of violence & abuse seriously then our code of laws should reflect that. Not legally protecting mothers & their unborn children tells of how little we value them.

  11. I have always maintained that there’s some kind of insanity at work in a woman who would end the life of her unborn child. It is an insanity which doesn’t recognize that power to conceive and give life to another being is not of man but of God. We should pray for the women who feel so miserable with their own lives that they would take the life of another. I mean, they must feel horrible about it. . . . what person wants to take the life of another person? This taking of life has happened in wars throughout the centuries, but particularly in the twentieth century. Perhaps if the governments gave up murderous wars as a political option, their citizens would be more inclined towards a live-and-let-live attitude in their personal decisions as well. Something to think about!

  12. Mrs. Pelosi has a problem constantly kicking at the goad of the chain she has fashioned for herself. She is a baptized Catholic, however, it appears that what she calls her “faith” and her understanding of the natural law are quite distorted.

    God created human beings out of love, pure love. We are created by Love for love. Being created by Love for love, that is, to love God and to love our neighbor, I cannot understand how Mrs. Pelosi can be greatly grieved, as a Catholic, because pro-life voters apparently supported former President Donald Trump and that voters “were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

    Citizens, created by God, including former President Donald Trump, still have the right to vote for the life and well-being of their neighbor out of God given love. As Mrs. Pelosi is greatly grieved that maybe some voters are also greatly grieved, that some one million little American brothers and sisters are destroyed yearly by the unloving instrument of “choice” baffles the mind.

    St. John Vianney was assigned to Ars by his bishop. His bishop told him that there was no love in the parish of Ars, but that he (John) would put it there. St. John encountered pure hate when he arrived – he was threatened with death. Pastor John commissioned a large gold heart-shaped locket into which he placed the family names of his parishioners. He had this heart locket sealed and fastened to the a life sized statue of the Holy Mother of God. This same statue with the gold heart is still in the parish church to this day. He prayed and sacrificed for his charges’ conversion to God, to Love Incarnate. Love did finally prevail, because Father John was willing to sacrifice for his parishioners. He gave of himself for the salvation of the souls in his care.

    I hereby beg St. John Vianney to intercede for Mrs. Pelosi and all of us, we Americans, both born and those awaiting birth, that we truly come to realize that we are created by Love, for love, in the Image of God. Amen.

  13. Bishop and Archbishops, why must we continue to just talk and take no action? We must work with the USCCB (if they have enough guts to do so) and collectively, across the country refuse communion to these types of politicians! Period! We must take a collective stand, guided by an authority with punch. Can anyone think of one? It is time, far past time for the Catholic Church to take action! Period! If we don’t more innocent children will die. These Bishops and Archbishops who continue their current path should think about what they will do when they are face to face with God…….and beware of anyone walking around carrying a mill stone! It’s time practicing Catholics, its time!

  14. Those who say it is not charitable to condemn those who flout Church teaching have got it wrong: it’s much more charitable to call them out and give them a chance to rethink.
    I personally would not tell anyone they were going to Hell – serious matter I can see, but full knowledge and intent I cannot know (not being Padre Pio) and have no right to ask. That must be left to his confessor.
    There is evidence that the Kommandant of Auschwitz made a good confession immediately before his execution, so you never know.

  15. The fact that Nancy Pelosi claims to be a catholic gives ME great grief as a Catholic.

    For all the bishops who are marching in lockstep with their tails between their legs, the fact that just this one MAN stands and says “enough” gives the rest of us hope.

    Someday soon somewhere – there will be a Priest who will refuse Communion to Sleepy Joe, aka POTUS – it is inevitable. I for one wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the WH checks beforehand every week already to prevent this from happening.

    Then the excrement will surely hit the air circulator.

    • Yes, but that’s only if he decides to show up for Mass. He’ll probably need to make an appearance when he’s up for re-election.

  16. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, et al are not Catholics,in any way, shape, or form.
    We must all call them out on that.
    Joe Stalin, that saintly socialist, and mass murderer, was in a Russian Catholic Orthodox seminary when he was young.

  17. There is no way presently that a Catholic or even Christian can aspire to the presidency, or even a high office and profess to be a Democrat. Both Biden And Pelosi are not “for” abortion, meaning in their own lives. The Republicans have learned that they must be Pro Life politically, and stick to that for dear life. In their own lives, have often committed the sin of abortion. Trump is a monster, guilty of every sin imaginable, and it is public knowledge. Even his association with Epstein, which ultimately led to his paying out 30 million dollars to the children involved. And there were even more not listed. His entire term was concerned with destroying all Obama had done, the environmental issues and every other bill he could find to destroy, even though they had been lauded as good when Obama installed them. But all the evil Trump committed was overlooked and allowed, because it was good for the Republicans careers and earnings. As Christians, look on line for number of Republicans accused of sexual scandals and you will be shocked. And now, the insurrection that occurred is beginning to be played down by them and would be overlooked if not for the Democrats. But more important I would like to suggest the Catholic church working with Biden and Pelosi to look for alternates to abortion, which is what Obama hoped for when he campaigned, but Republicans quickly put a stop to that idea. There are so many things that can be done by the Church in this area. There has never been a difference in the number of abortions done when either party was in power. So when you say Biden supports abortion, how is that different from what the Republican party does when the numbers are counted.

    • “But all the evil Trump committed was overlooked and allowed….”

      Yes, the reverence shown for the man over the past few years has been remarkable.

      • America gave the Judeo-Christian world abortion on demand in the contrived Roe v Wade on the basis of a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. That right had already been legislated when the pill became legally available and proved very successful in preventing unwanted pregnancy. Unfortunately, women have chosen to substitute abortion for prevention using the pill. People like Pelosi and Biden would do well to experience Norma McCorvey’s (the fictitious Jane Roe of Roe v Wade fame) work in an abortion clinic and witness a surgical abortion. Like her, they would find it very difficult to support abortion after witnessing tiny pieces of legs and arms and a still-beating tiny heart lying in a pool of blood in a kidney dish before being swilled down a drain. Wake up America, put your hand on your collective heart and ask God to guide and forgive rather than demand that “God love America.” john frawley – Australia

      • Please list all of the things that Trump did that were so horrible or anything he did that would be similar to taking the life of an unborn baby. I’m so curious about this and I request that someone make up this list so that some of us can know what kind of soul Trump has compared to Pelosi and Biden. This matter doesn’t constitute people using this issue for “political reasons” but for the protection of the unborn babies and God’s laws. In Jesus’ name I pray.

  18. Suppose the Mars rover found a zygote on the surface of mars? Would the scientific community announce “there is life on Mars!”? And if so, shouldn’t the same be said for a zygote in the womb?

  19. This article did not age well. Rubin Verstagui was arrest for having, making and spreading Child Pornography….

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Biden Eats and Drinks His Own Spiritual Death and Causes Scandal upon Scandal | Defenders of the Catholic Faith | Hosted by Stephen K. Ray
  2. San Francisco archbishop responds to Pelosi: ‘No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion’ – Catholic World Report | The Press

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