Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 20, 2022 / 15:37 pm (CNA).
Editor’s note: Below is the full text of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone’s notification to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, informing her that she should not receive Holy Communion in her home archdiocese, the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cordileone made the following letter publicly available on Friday, May 20.
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress Nancy Pelosi
The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Church in the Modem World, Gaudium et spes, reiterated the Church’s ancient and consistent teaching that “from the first moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes” (n. 51). Christians have, indeed, always upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in keeping with his predecessors, has likewise been quite clear and emphatic in teaching on the dignity of human life in the womb.
This fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society. Pope St. John Paul II was also quite consistent in upholding this constant teaching of the Church, and frequently reminded us that “those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them” (cf. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4, §1). A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons “are not to be admitted to Holy Communion” (Code of Canon Law, can. 915).
With regard to the application of these principles to Catholics in political life, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to the U.S. bishops in 2004 explaining the approach to be taken:
“… when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist. When ‘these precautionary measures have not had their effect … ,’ and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’”
In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters. Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September. That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion “rights” or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
As you have not publically repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come. Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be “concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.
Please know that I stand ready to continue our conversation at any time, and will continue to offer up prayer and fasting for you.
I also ask all of the faithful of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to pray for all of our legislators, especially Catholic legislators who promote procured abortion, that with the help and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they may undergo a conversion of heart in this most grave matter and human life may be protected and fostered in every stage and condition of life.
Given at San Francisco, on the nineteenth day of May, in the Year of our Lord 2022.
Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archbishop of San Francisco
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Archbishop Corlione is the worst kind oh hypocrite. Instead of judging others maybe the Catholic Church should clean up its own messes. So many of my friends and family have left the church because you preach but take no responsibility for the horrific deeds priests have committed. At least Senator Pelosi has integrity. Oh and I know you won’t print this because you don’t accept different points of view.
Kelly Greelis Green, Grateful Episcopalian.
I almost expected to read “Grateful Dead” at the end of your sad little screed.
Kelly Green wrote:
“At least Senator Pelosi has integrity.”
Um, really? Because she’s frank about being in favor of killing children?
So molesters are monsters but those who abet millions upon millions of murders are virtuous?
(Virtual emoji: exploding head.)
Are you sure you’re not one of those Elon Musk Twitterbots?
And integrity isn’t the only thing Senator Pelosi doesn’t have.
A seat in the Senate is another.
the catholic church is a private institution and as long as it understands that personal private volition has nothing to do with individual liberty and public policy it is free to be as deluded as it pleases about the meaning of an afterlife –
Negative liberties represent protections , independence and individualism .
Positive liberties represent endowments , dependence and collectivism .
e pluribus unum means individualism and democracy against individualism conspires tyranny by majority .
Catholic and Lutherin charities should NOT be entitled to federal subsidies to inundate the us with illegal migrants . NOTORIOUS for facilitating POVERTY by prohibiting birth the control , in answer to their foolishness , the holier than thou excuse is they are communists .
The Catholic Church has a responsibility to God’s truth even if it offends others. Jesus Christ word offended others because they did not want to accept the truth. Abortion is murder , if that offends anyone then you are blind with ignorance!
Face it, the church doesn’t have a whole lot of arrows in its quiver when dealing with the government. But the archbishop did finally seem to find his backbone and took the time to call Pelosi the hypocrite that she is.
The real question is will she abide by the letter & repent or will she just ignore it, continue her political posturing, and continue on with her life as if it never happened?
If she chooses the former, then the archbishop has helped to stop the wanton slaughter of innocents.
If she chooses the latter, then her motives for all these years are highlighted in sharp contrast to her words.
Either way, the Democrats lose and so I thank the archbishop for finally standing on his convictions. I won’t even ask him what he’s been waffling on for all these years?
As for the rest; I was raised catholic, I refused confirmation, and asked to be excommunicated by the RC church (which they declined to do). So I testify before you as a simple atheist aka “the natural man” (1 Corinthians 2:6-16).
However, given the option of aligning with anything on the Democrat political platform and standing shoulder to shoulder with the church, I’ll stand with the church, because the Democrats are depraved in ways too gruesome to discuss in matters that have nothing to do with spirituality or human dignity.
Archbishop Cordileone is not ‘dealing with the government.’ He is counseling one individual who claims she is Catholic. Ms. Pelosi is an individual servant-representative of the people of the democratic republic of the U.S. The citizens pay her salary.
I thank God you are honest enough to recognize and not hold the hypocritical position (as does Pelosi) of claiming Catholicism as your faith which acting in opposition to its teaching. Good for you that you recognize the Democrat party positions as depraved more often than not. As a Catholic, I believe that depravity affronts human dignity and spirituality.
(You probably lean more Catholic than you realize…)
Worth notice is the failed attempt at literacy and reason with which the pro-abort proponents advertise themselves here. It’s amazing that they didn’t learn in the start of kindergarten that such stuff doesn’t stick.
Once again, I am gravely disappointed in the Church. Rather than take a proactive position to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the Church seeks to blame those who have taken an oath upholding separation of Church and state. The hypocrisy of a public repudiation, contrition, and penance is laughable after years of first denying and then protecting (and still protecting) pedophile priests. The Archbishop needs look no further than his mirror to find a culprit, cococonspirator, and accomplice. Rather than strengthen the dialogue, the archbishop has thrown a bomb that will only spread animosity and suspicion. If the Church has its way on this, what is next? Griswold (contraception), IVF, gay marriage? The archibishp’s actions will only force women and the electorate to think twice about voting Catholic or, for that matter, confirming Catholic justices.
1) It’s spelled ‘Cordileone’.
2) Who is Senator Pelosi?
3) Life begins at conception and that which has been conceived begins to grow and so this conclusion is entirely reasonable – if it’s growing it’s alive.
This is disgraceful politicking, and rather hypocritical. I don’t recall seeing a single priest involved in molesting minors suffering this fate. To quote His Holiness Pope Francis, “Holy Communion is the bread of sinners, not a feast for saints” and you are using your position to engage in political action. Beware the consequences.
As far as I know, no priest ever spent 30 years openly abusing minors while nothing was done to him while claiming that what he was doing was perfectly good and wonderful. But numerous guilty priests have been defrocked and more than a few have gone to prison. All of these desperate attempts at playing the hypocrisy card just reveals the actual hypocrisy on the part of the culture of death crowd.
I am infuriated at forbidding Pelosi to take Communion. Jesus ministered to sinners with love. He allowed Peter and Judas to come to the Last Supper. This is a political act, not the act of a pastor and shepherd to his people. Even the Pope has said that denying Communion is wrong. I wish he would reconsider but know that he thinks he is above the Pope and does not have to act as Jesus would with his flock: with love and compassion. But he gives Communion to priests who have defiled children nonetheless. Truly hypocritical.
Mr. D’Sousa, to your point, I also heard of a priest once who got a speeding ticket, and another who tended to drink too much.
But I’m not sure how they invalidate the Church’s teaching on killing babies. Could you please explain?
Are you saying that no one is accountable for any sinful act until and unless all priests are perfect?
Could it be you have no memory? Could it be you are blind?
Denial of Holy Communion due to persistent obstinate manifest grave sin is not a fate to be feared and hated but an act of truth in charity for which gratitude is the only appropriate response.
Thankyou Archbishop Corlione I am very greatful for your actions, it is right and just. I can only imagine what the prince of lies will be throwing at you, I will be adding your name to my prayers for priests. Again Thankyou if you have the time I would be glad to hear from you and recieve blessings and or advice.
I applaud Archbishop Cordileone on taking action in this situation. I think it is unfortunate that it has come to this, but the Code of Canon Law is clear on the proper procedure. Many Catholics (and other denominations, as I’ve seen from these comments) seem to have a misunderstanding of how sacred the Eucharist really is. I sincerely hope and pray that they will come to realize that it is impossible to be Catholic and assist/support the atrocity of abortion. I will pray for Speaker Pelosi that she may see the error of her ways and adjust them appropriately. I pray also for all bishops that they may have the confidence to act in the best interest of those entrusted to their care.
It is about time polosi was called out! The church should not stop here,every single politician that is pro abortion should receive the same letter right down to the local level. Politicians think they can disconnect their faith from policy.they are not politicians forever but are Catholics and part of church for life.
Yes well to put it really really simply one has to follow the rules if they claim to be part of the team. Or else find another team with different rules
May God bless the Catholic Church. May it grow into a more loving and understanding instrument of God. May the Cardinals adopt a less paternalistic approach and understand that faith is about the individual conscience, not merely about barking orders at the faithful.
Dogs bark. Cardinals barking orders? Pray tell, please give us an example of a cardinal barking an order.
Archbishop Cordileon, a true Catholic in name only. I feel sadness and disappointment that Catholic leadership continues to disparage believers- members of their own community and brotherhood- whom Christ loves unwaveringly. Clergymen and women should maintain a sense of obligation and accountability as it pertains to the teachings of Christ. They need abstain from interjecting themselves in matters of politics and law in toto, but particularly in cases in which significant harm can befall a sizeable portion of our population as a direct result. I pray our leaders can find the grace to banish the hate from their hearts and love unconditionally as the Lord intends. Restore the true meaning of the sacrament instead of diminishing it.
Ms. Pelosi’s membership in the Church is debatable. Assuming that she is/was, a bishop calling out a member of the institution in which he holds lawful authority and jurisdiction is not disparagement. He acts on behalf of the Church whose mission it is to call its members from sin and to assist them in saving their souls. He would be negligent in his duty if he allowed his members to damn themselves.
Nancy is free to worship any idol she chooses. If she wishes to worship the God of Catholicism, she does best to learn what God’s Church commands and teaches and requires her to uphold.
Teaching and counseling are not disparagement. Even if a person persisted in this obstinate error of seeing teaching and counseling and aid to saving as ‘disparagememt,’ a sin of disparagement, when compared to support for abortion, ranks far lower on any ranked scale of severity of sin. Miss Pelosi, for some 40 or so years, has aided, abetted, and supported murder. The sin of murder is MORTAL for many–the victim, the perpetrator, and the ‘legal’ enabler.
Nancy’s continued receipt of Holy Communion, the Body of Christ, while espousing the legality of murder, will continue to be considered sacrilegious in the eyes of Christ’s Church.
If Nancy is to learn anything about God and the Church in which she claims to belong, her review of God’s Law in the Sixth Commandment is the first place she should start.
Support for those who commit the sin against God’s Law in the Sixth Commandment excludes one from a place in line toward salvation. To receive the Body of Christ while supporting murder does the greatest harm and damage to the Body of Christ and thus to Ms. Pelosi’s own soul (and temporal mind).
It is about and on behalf of time – ETERNAL TIME – that Archbishop Cordileone acts. Praise God for gifting His Church with an Archbishop Cordileone.
Now let’s talk about hate. Next time?
What took soooooop long?
Nelson Maniscalco wrote:
Nelson, Nelson, Nelson! Whom did the good archbishop disparage? He made a heartfelt plea to Pelosi to repent, renounce her sin and return to the sacraments in good standing.
As any good shepherd ought.
* * *
This makes no sense. Why would spiritual leaders and women only concern themselves in issues of little human consequence, while abstaining from matters where human lives are actually at stake?
* * *
Nelson, if the Blessed Sacrament has any meaning at all — if it embodies the actual Person of Christ Jesus Himself — it must be obvious that reception of Him by an individual who is in a state of serious sin, who is obstinate in her sin and who has publicly stood in opposition to one of the Church’s most fundamental teachings for decades on end, is a desecration of the most serious kind and cannot be countenanced by our community or its leaders.
In your platitudes and your talking points, you are forgetting someone, Nelson. In fact, the millions upon millions upon millions of human beings whose lives *are* at stake here.
The lives of the children we will never know, who will never have a chance to live, to breathe, to love, to strive, to improve our world, to make their own unique, God-intended contribution to the human story. Creatures beloved by God with a chance to build lives.
(Disproportionate numbers of them minorities, by the way.)
Nelson, you may be fooling yourself with the lofty, virtuous rhetoric you spout, but you’re just exposing the unassailable fact that those on your side of this issue care nothing for either truth or human life.
I am thankful that the church is starting to call out “Catholic” pro abortion politicians. Ms Pelosi advocates for unlimited abortion rights and policies while at same time publicly talking about her Catholic Faith and receiving Communion daily. She is using her association with the church to gather political support. How can she do this ? Its brazen hypocrisy. I will pray for her – but I also think its time she stops this lie.
Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments were noticeably tilted toward a masculine target. I understand the intention and the declarations global humanistic consequence. It is a quibble that a woman was not targeted and Lord knows the Church can quibble. Personally I would like to have seen the Archbishop rightfully deny the Speakers Eucharistic graces but encourage her to approach the Sacrament for a blessing with hands crossed over the heart.
Taking a stand for abortion is one thing…, however to be fair – where is all the outrage for gun violence? Gun violence that happens daily? Gun violence in all communities within the United States of America? Why not take a stand for ALL human life?
Hopefully, standing up for HUMAN life will UNITE us, not divide us.
Last I looked, the Church’s teaching about murder and taking innocent life—whether by poison, forceps, guns, knives, or bare hands—is very clear.
Part of the problem is a confusion of categories. Just as forceps and other medical equipment are morally neutral, so too are guns. The issue is the use of such objects, while the access and available of such objects is also part of the discussion. The Church is just as much against murder by guns as she is against murder by forceps or saline.
Further, however, who is out there promoting murder by guns as a healthy and necessary action? Or saying that is Group A wants to use guns to kill members of Group B, that’s their right and personal choice?
Anyone who is against murder must logically be against abortion. And abortion is particularly vile in nature because the unborn child is completely innocent and vulnerable.
By the way, Abp Cordileone has spoken out about gun violence, saying in 2015: “We do have a gun culture in the United States and the inclination of violence easily leads to the use of firearms.”
Jesus didn’t implement the sacrament of the Eucharist as a political bargaining chip nor as as means to subvert ones free will. What Jesus also said in scripture is to separate Church from State affairs. It seems like this leader of the faith has forgotten these principles. Granted, abortion is wrong. But if you are to offer your prayers to God, pray that women make the right choice to protect their child. Pray that politicians support free will and democracy in this country. Pray that Church leaders have the responsibility to use better discernment on leaving the faithful rather than polarizing an already divided populace that needs compassion and not oppression. Stick to the teachings of Jesus rather than politicians and religious who worship power.
Unfortunately, you mischaracterize abortion as a secular event. Abortion is murder, pure and simple, and premeditated (first degree) at that. That is against a Commandment. That is a law of God, not the state.
Thy shall not kill is the teaching of Jesus. Evil thrives when good men fail to act!
Pelosi is perfectly free to go on promoting abortion all she wants. She’s just not free to do this AND receive Holy Communion. Problem is, she wants to have her cake and eat it too. That’s not the way reality works, dearie.
𝙐𝙣𝙗𝙤𝙧𝙣 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙨 deserve due process.
𝕌𝕟𝕓𝕠𝕣𝕟 𝕙𝕦𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕤 have right to a day in court.
𝓤𝓷𝓫𝓸𝓻𝓷 𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓸 𝓼𝓪𝓹𝓲𝓮𝓷𝓼 are due the sine qua non of habeas corpus.🦗
Thank you for the love and truth you have revealed. It is so encouraging and support that you stood on the Spirit and word on God revealing His love for the unborn and children and morality. Also His love for Ms. Pelosi.