Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 20, 2022 / 14:41 pm (CNA).
Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver released a statement Friday in support of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s decision to deny Communion to Nancy Pelosi because of her persistence in supporting abortion.
“I support and commend my brother bishop for making this courageous, compassionate, and necessary decision,” Aquila said. “I know Archbishop Cordileone to be a shepherd with the heart and mind of Christ, who truly desires to lead others towards Christ’s love, mercy, and promise of eternal salvation.”
Cordileone’s announcement came out Friday at 3 p.m. EDT and explained that the reasoning for his decision is ”purely pastoral, not political.”
Aquila says that Cordileone’s notification to Pelosi and his separate letter to the priests of the archdiocese “clearly articulates the Church’s teaching on abortion, details the extensive efforts he made to have dialogue with Speaker Pelosi, and explains the canonical and pastoral reasons for this decision.”
Aquila encouraged the faithful of his archdiocese to read the separate letters that Cordileone issued.
Aquila quoted Cordileone saying, “conversion is always better than exclusion, and before any such action can be taken it must be preceded by sincere and diligent efforts at dialogue and persuasion.”
Cordileone “has made every attempt to try and avoid this step,” the Denver archbishop added.
“As I have previously written and Archbishop Cordileone makes clear as well, this issue is not about politics or simply enforcing Church rules, but rather about love — love for the individual and love for the entire community,” Aquila wrote.
Aquila continued: “Church teaching is clear that people endanger their souls if they are separated from God because of grave sin and then receive the most Holy Eucharist in an unworthy manner. If the Church truly loves them, as she does, then it is more than appropriate to call them back to an intimate relationship with each person of the Trinity through repentance before receiving the body and blood of Jesus in a way that risks their eternal salvation. Jesus as he begins his ministry, calls people to ‘repent and believe’ (Mk 1: 15).”
“And when that person is a public person,” he said, “love for the community means guarding against scandal and confusion and allowing others to be led into sin if they don’t see the issue addressed in an appropriate and compassionate manner.”
Aquila added that he “would encourage the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver, including our own political leaders, to read the letters written by Archbishop Cordileone, and to ask the Holy Spirit with an open heart to clear away any doubt or confusion you have about this issue, and lead you into a more intimate and full relationship with Jesus.”
“What Peter and the apostles told the authorities and those in power in their day, ‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5: 29), is still valid today,” he said.
Aquila concluded by calling for prayer for “all political leaders, that they may govern in a way that promotes and protects the God-given dignity of every person, from conception until natural death. And let us pray for our state and country, that we may once again view every precious life as a true gift from our heavenly Father.”
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