Vatican City, Oct 9, 2021 / 05:20 am (CNA).
Pope Francis met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday.
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.
At the time of publication, the Vatican had released no information about what the pope and Pelosi discussed, in line with its usual custom for papal meetings with non-heads of state.
But it noted the audience in its daily bulletin for Oct. 9, saying that the House Speaker was accompanied by her husband, the businessman Paul Pelosi, and entourage.
Photographs released by the Vatican showed that Pelosi also met with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and “foreign minister” Archbishop Paul Gallagher.
The day before, the 81-year-old discussed the environment, migration, and human rights during a visit to the Vatican.
The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the visit on Oct. 8 in a post on its Twitter account.
Pelosi was accompanied to the Vatican on Friday by Patrick Connell, the chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.
On the same day, the White House announced that former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
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 abortion.
“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.”
“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.
Pelosi had a 15-minute audience with Benedict XVI in 2009.
The Vatican said that the German pope “took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.”
Pope Francis is expected to receive Joe Biden on Oct. 29, in the U.S. president’s first official visit to the Vatican since his inauguration, according to sources at the Apostolic Palace.
Joe Biden, the second Catholic president in U.S. history, is due to attend the G20 summit in Rome on Oct. 30–31.
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