Nancy Pelosi discusses environment, migration, and human rights at Vatican

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

Nancy Pelosi in the Vatican with Cardinal Turkson / Twitter @VaticanIHD / Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development Prefect

Vatican City, Oct 8, 2021 / 11:30 am (CNA).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discussed the environment, migration, and human rights during a visit to the Vatican on Friday.

The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the visit on Oct. 8 in a post on its Twitter account.

It said: “We welcome Speaker Pelosi from the U.S. House of Representatives. We talked about caring for the environment, in the light of [Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical] Laudato si’, migration issues, human rights, health in times of pandemic, and the work of the Vatican COVID Commission.”

An accompanying photograph showed the 81-year-old standing between Cardinal Peter Turkson, the dicastery’s prefect, and Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, the dicastery’s “ad interim” secretary and coordinator of the COVID Commission.

Smerilli tweeted that the meeting was “great and inspiring.”

The House Speaker was accompanied by her husband, the businessman Paul Pelosi, and Patrick Connell, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, which currently lacks an ambassador.

A photograph showed Turkson presenting the Pelosis with a copy of the book “Why Are You Afraid? Have You No Faith?” released by the Vatican Dicastery for Communication to mark the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” blessing as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world.

The first Italian-American Speaker of the House was in Rome to give the keynote address at the opening session of the G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit. She also met with the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Pelosi, a Catholic mother of five, has clashed repeatedly with the archbishop of her home diocese over her support for abortion.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone launched a prayer campaign last month aimed at inspiring “a conversion of heart” among politicians supporting the practice.

“A conversion of heart of the majority of our Congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” the San Francisco archbishop said.

“I am therefore inviting all Catholics to join in a massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting for Speaker Pelosi: commit to praying one rosary a week and fasting on Fridays for her conversion of heart.”

Cordileone urged Catholics and people of goodwill to sign up for the “Rose and a rosary for Nancy Pelosi” campaign.

A rose will be sent to the Speaker “as a symbol of your prayer and fasting for her,” he explained.

In May, Pelosi said that she was “pleased” with a Vatican letter to the U.S. bishops which addressed Communion for pro-abortion politicians. She claimed that the Vatican had instructed the bishops not to be “divisive” on the issue.

In response, Cordileone said the Vatican was in fact promoting “dialogue” between bishops and pro-abortion politicians, “to help them understand the grave evil they are helping to perpetrate and accompany them to a change of heart.”

“I’m happy to know that Speaker Pelosi said she is pleased with the letter,” the archbishop said.

“Speaker Pelosi’s positive reaction” to the letter, he noted, “raises hope that progress can be made in this most serious matter.”

In July, Cordileone criticized Pelosi after she cited her Catholic faith while defending efforts to permit federal funding of elective abortions.

“Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it,” he said.

Cardinal Turkson was drawn this week into the debate over whether Joe Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, should be denied Communion over his support for abortion.

In an interview with Axios on HBO, the Ghanaian cardinal said: “If you say somebody cannot receive Communion, you are basically doing a judgment that you are in a state of sin.”

“It sounds like you don’t think that should happen in the case of President Biden,” said the interviewer.

“No,” Turkson replied. “You know, if, you know, a priest who’s distributing Communion sees — unexpected all of a sudden somebody he knows to have committed murder, he’s meant to protect their dignity and the respect of that person.”

“So it’s for extreme cases?” the interviewer suggested.

“Yeah. Those, for extreme cases, OK?” Turkson commented.


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5 Comments

  1. As much as I admire Archbishop Cordileone for his Apostolic faith he’s dreaming dreams regarding Speaker Pelosi as she lives in her own secularized Christian dreamworld. Cardinal Turkson, an admirable prelate, responded politically rather than honestly to the interviewer’s query on communion. The closer good prelates in the chain of command are to Francis the more unwilling they are to appear in contradiction. A rose for Pelosi is touching though I doubt effective. Unless a storm of prayer and sacrifice changes her. Nevertheless a dose of hard truth directed to her by Cordileone would have the required added effect. Ms Nancy is well inured to complaints from orthodox Catholics. What would Bishop John Fisher Rochester England have done? Back then Henry VIII had him decapitated. Today he would, I’m confident, address issues with Pelosi, the Pontiff directly. Francis’ letter on face value was a deterrent to Cordileone or any bishop to invoke canon 915 and begin the process of counsel warning final refusal if she persisted in her heresy [the decision to write a statement of faith on communion will not reveal to Pelosi, Biden anything they don’t already know]. What would today’s king have done? What could he do if a prelate brings this ongoing charade to an either or resolution? Whatever the king might do openly, or engineer stealthily if opposed by a modern day John Fisher would address a larger issue. The king’s adherence to Church doctrine. My point is we need men like Turkson and Cordileone to take a just stand in loyalty to Christ not the king. Just as Bishop John Fisher did then and would surely do now.

  2. A must addition is Optics. What Catholics see compared to words spoken or written mean far more in today’s disillusioned world. Cardinals nuns giggling smiling with the House Speaker at the Vatican she centered as the attraction is a devastating message, a visual confirmation for the skeptic’s opinion that Church teaching on Eucharistic coherence, worthiness to receive is worth a sarcastic chuckle or two. This is impossible. We’ve got to do better.

    • Other comments express similar thoughts. Although who knows whether someone who has convinced herself and hardened in her belief that a rebuke would have the opposite desired effect. That perhaps a rose may speak more eloquently to the heart permitting an entry for the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Cordileone also has Nancy Pelosi’s salvation as his intent within this Eucharistic crisis, and whatever our personal perspective he deserves our prayers in his effort.

  3. Archbishop Cordileone recently told Eric Sammons that he “wasn’t ready” to deny Pelosi Holy Communion. Pray tell, when will that momentous day ever come? By continuing with all the empty talk about how a Catholic cannot support abortion, he only damages the cause he purports to defend. The most charitable explanation of the discrepancy between Cordileone’s words and actions, is that he knows that any attempt to discipline Pelosi will meet with a swift rebuke from the Vatican. The photos accompanying the article certainly offer more proof, if we really needed any, that she is in good standing with the Vatican. But by all means, let’s persist with the charade that the great majority of the hierarchy thinks that stopping the slaughter of innocent babies is particularly important.

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