DC archdiocese mistakenly gives candid response on Pelosi Communion denial

Jonah McKeown By Jonah McKeown for CNA


Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington takes possession of Immacolata Concezione di Maria a Grottarossa in Rome, Sept. 27, 2021 / Courtney Mares.

Denver Newsroom, May 23, 2022 / 17:43 pm (CNA).

The Archdiocese of Washington’s communications office erroneously told a reporter Monday that media requests related to Nancy Pelosi’s denial of Holy Communion by her bishop “will be ignored.”

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, the local ordinary of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, announced Friday that Pelosi may not be admitted to Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, nor should she present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she publicly repudiates her longstanding support for abortion.

Since Cordileone’s announcement, numerous bishops have publicly made their support for Cordileone’s action known. Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa — which includes a vacation home of Pelosi’s in Napa — has said that he, too, will uphold Cordileone’s decision not to admit her to communion and has instructed his priests as such.

A reporter writing for the Washington Examiner had contacted the Archdiocese of Washington, led by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, for a comment on the matter, since Pelosi spends much of her time in the nation’s capital. The reporter received an emailed response from the communications office, apparently sent in error.

“Just sharing for you to know what comes in,” the email reads. “Email since Saturday, when I last checked the comms inbox has just been a couple of random people wanting to tell the Cardinal to bring down the hammer on Pelosi. Aside from Jack Jenkins at [Religion News Service], this is the only new media inquiry. It will be ignored, too.”

When the Examiner requested clarification, archdiocese spokesperson Patricia Zapor told the reporter that Cardinal Gregory would not be commenting publicly on the matter.

“I apologize for the mistaken email. We have not been responding to inquiries on this topic because Cardinal Gregory’s position has not changed from what he has said in the past,” the followup email reads.

“Cardinal Gregory has no new comment about the issue of Catholic politicians receiving Communion. The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse Communion to anyone.”

Pelosi has long advocated for the legalization of abortion and announced in September 2021 that she would seek to codify Roe. v. Wade into U.S. law. Despite the ban on her receiving in San Francisco and Santa Rosa, Pelosi reportedly received Communion May 22 during Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Cardinal Gregory told a reporter — Jack Jenkins at Religion News Service — in 2020 that he would not deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

During the U.S. bishops’ spring meeting in June 2021, Gregory cautioned against drafting a teaching document on the Eucharist that would include language on worthiness to receive Communion, especially among Catholic public figures. Some bishops critical of the motion warned that it would be interpreted as a partisan denunciation of pro-abortion Catholic politicians, especially President Joe Biden.

In a May 20 letter addressed to lay Catholics, Cordileone explained that he issued the instruction in accordance with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote in the letter.

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  1. Cordileone’s letter to Pelosi also relies on canon 383 in stating: “… Christ’s faithful entrusted to his [diocesan Bishop] care …”.
    Vatican 2 “Declaration on Christian Education”, GE, 1965, 3 states: “… those others to whom the parents entrust some share in their duty to educate …”.
    Both statements are in error.
    It is “those others” who entrust their custody of those the parents educate to the family.
    These errors are the cause of the worldwide catastrophe of tax embezzlement and insurance fraud by familyist family members of invalid marriages grooming psychologically and or emotionally vulnerable family members with the occult as hidden, incest connected as substitute mate, non-economic status inducement of “higher vocation” of celibacy to male-female marriage. Oliver Clark, oliver_clark5@telstra.com, widower father of nine, catechist of roman catholic religion in the rc Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia

  2. What a total lack of IMAGINATION by Cardinal Gregory’s lieutenants and himself, as well as the remaining 280 active bishops yet to publicly support at least minimal clarity on Eucharistic coherence—in collegial harmony with Archbishop Cardileone, their brother-bishop!

    Regarding abortion, the Holy Father very recently spoke on the “sanctity of ALL life,” clearly also an allusion to Laudato si…

    What is needed, then, is the imagination to see BOTH the unborn child in the amniotic sac as a microcosm of our unique global ecology within the oceanic/atmospheric sac (spaceship earth!) that supports current and future human generations. AND, in turn, to see the global ecology as a macrocosm of each unborn child within its tiny universe (spaceship Mom!).

    Maintaining essential distinctions (as St. Pope John Paul II did in Centesimus Annus, nn. 37, 38), we then could (a) bridge between the distinct and “authentic ‘human ecology’” and the “natural ecology,” as if there’s also some interrelatedness, while (b) firstly proclaiming, still, that each child is created in the image and likeness of God, “the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake” (Gaudium et Spes).

    With a touch of imagination, even Cardinal Cupich and his tribe might find a way to get beyond his “rabbit hole” disdain and the threadbare “seamless garment” metaphor—toward the solidarity of “integral human development” within an undiluted New Evangelization.

  3. This split within the Hierarchy, similar to Poland hierarchy refusing D&R outside the Church, when across the border German bishops permit such communion, stems from then CDF prefect Cardinal Ladaria’s instruction that US bishops must permit each diocesan ordinary to make their own private decision on whether to apply canon 915. We can be assured Ladaria had Pope Francis’ approbation if not requirement.
    A doctrinal duality that highlights Francis’ papacy on all significant moral issues. If we question further where Pope Francis’ predilections lie, despite Archbishop Cordileone’s faithful quotations of the pontiff – it’s putatively seen in the ranking granted Archbishop Cordileone, who should be a cardinal of a major diocese and prelates Blase Cupich, Wilton Gregory who are cardinals Gregory made cardinal immediately.
    I doubt there’ll be any repercussions from Rome aimed at Cordileone. There is no need to show his hand [as in a poker game] when the deck is stacked to favor instability and absence of doctrinal coherence. The overall drift will be away from Apostolic Tradition consistent with the weakness of our fallen human nature.

  4. Since Speaker has supported abortion, I agree and disagree. If her position states, as the Church does, exceptions for rape and incest and the mental/physical threat of the life of the mother.

    I would ask the Speaker to stare into the magnificent eyes of her grandchildren and ask, which one of these babies would you have aborted?

    Pray that the Lord will shed his grace on all.

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