House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said she was “pleased” with the Vatican’s recent letter to U.S. bishops on Communion for pro-abortion politicians.
Pelosi, who is Catholic, was asked by EWTN News Nightly correspondent Erik Rosales about the topic of Communion on Thursday.
“I think I can use my own judgment on that,” Pelosi said of receiving Holy Communion.
The Speaker has long supported legal abortion and has advocated for taxpayer-funded abortion by repealing the Hyde Amendment. She has also supported the Equality Act, legislation that the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) has warned would “punish” religious groups opposed to the redefinition of marriage and transgender ideology
Pelosi added that she was “pleased with what the Vatican put out on that subject” of Communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians, claiming that the Vatican’s statement “basically said ‘don’t be divisive on the subject’.”
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) wrote the head of the U.S. bishops last week regarding admission to Communion.
The bishops’ conference was reportedly planning to consider a statement on the Eucharist this year, either at their spring meeting in June or at their fall meeting in November. They were planning to address the topic of admission to Communion of Catholics in public office who support permissive legislation on intrinsic evils such as abortion or euthanasia.
However, the bishops had planned to frame any statement on Communion within the larger context of general worthiness to receive Holy Communion.
The Vatican’s statement, from Cardinal Luis Ladaria, exhorted the bishops to “serene” dialogue among themselves, to ensure that they “agree as a Conference that support of pro-choice legislation is not compatible with Catholic teaching.” Then the bishops should dialogue with Catholic politicians who support legislation not compatible with Church teaching.
After this, Ladaria said, the bishops should consider the next step. If they decided to issue “a national policy on worthiness for communion,” they would need to do so as a unified conference, respecting the rights of local ordinaries, and framing their statement “within the broad context of worthiness for the reception of Holy Communion on the part of all the faithful, rather than only one category of Catholic.”
They should also should not appear to say that “abortion and euthanasia alone constitute the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest level of accountability on the part of Catholics,” Ladaria continued.
The matter of Communion for pro-abortion politicians has resurfaced recently. President Joe Biden, a Catholic, supports taxpayer-funded abortion, as does Pelosi.
In January, Pelosi criticized pro-life voters on a podcast with former U.S. senator Hillary Clinton. Pelosi’s ordinary, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, responded that “No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion.”
Appearing on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly the following week to discuss his statement to Pelosi, the archbishop was asked about the matter of denying Communion. Catholics, he answered, need to rediscover the Church’s teaching on worthiness to receive Communion in order “[f]or that kind of action [denial of Communion] to make sense to a lot of people.”
Regarding denial of Holy Communion, Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states that Catholics who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
In a 2004 memo to U.S. bishops, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote that a Catholic politician who is “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” is engaging in “formal cooperation” in grave sin, cooperation that is “manifest.”
These Catholics should not present themselves for Communion, and if they persist in their errors despite the admonition of their pastor, they must be denied Communion, he wrote.
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