- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2022

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will no longer be served Holy Communion in her home city of San Francisco due to her stance supporting abortion, the church announced Friday.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone made the announcement, notifying the California Democrat that her views on reproductive rights are not in line with the Catholic Church.

“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,’” Archbishop Cordileone wrote to Mrs. Pelosi.

He said the decision was “pastoral” and not political, noting that he had discussions in the past with Mrs. Pelosi about her stance on abortion.

The archbishop previously issued a letter to Mrs. Pelosi in April, asking her to repudiate her pro-choice views or to disassociate herself from the Catholic Church, which views abortion as a moral evil and a failure to protect human life.

Mrs. Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some members of the Catholic Church have pursued similar efforts to bar communion for President Biden, a practicing Catholic who holds pro-abortion views.

Mr. Biden was denied communion at a parish in South Carolina, and a group of conservative American bishops has pushed for a total ban on the president from receiving the host.

However, the president said that when he met face to face with Pope Francis at the Vatican in October, the Pope gave his blessing to keep receiving Communion.

“We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion,” Mr. Biden said after the meeting.

The decision to bar Mrs. Pelosi from Communion comes amid heightened attention on the abortion issue after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the reversal of Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Mrs. Pelosi doubled downed on her support for abortion rights following the leaked opinion and has also referred to her Catholic faith to defend her stance on the issue.

“It’s really scary and I say that as a practicing Catholic,” Mrs. Pelosi said in December. “This shouldn’t even be a political issue.”

Catholics for Choice, a dissenting pro-choice Catholic organization, accused the archbishop of attacking women with his decision to bar Mrs. Pelosi from receiving Communion.

“Speaker Pelosi is devoted to her Catholic faith, and it is not lost on me that, as a woman, she is being singled out in this continued battle,” the group said in a statement. “It is one more step in a long line of attacks that the Church hierarchy has waged on women and their reproductive rights.”

Meanwhile, pro-life groups celebrated the archbishop’s move.

“Catholics across America commend Archbishop Cordileone and his pastoral leadership in handling the scandal posed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” said Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote. “For too long Catholic public officials have created confusion and disunity by advocating for policies that destroy innocent human life — in direct contradiction of the teachings of the Catholic faith.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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