(OPINION) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) received Communion Wednesday, despite her pro-abortion stance, during a meeting with Pope Francis. Although Pelosi’s archbishop in San Francisco has banned her from the sacrament, she was administered Communion in the VIP diplomatic section of the papa Mass in St. Peter’s Basilic.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has said Pelosi must either repudiate her support for abortion or stop speaking publicly of her Catholic faith. Pelosi has done neither. She called the recent Supreme Court ruling removing constitutional protections for abortion an “outrageous and heart-wrenching” decision that fulfills the Republican Party’s “dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.”
Pope Francis presided over the Mass — which was held to mark the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul— though the pontiff did not administer Communion to Pelosi. Instead she received it from one of the many priests taking part in the service. Pelosi did, however, receive a blessing from the pope during a meeting with him earlier in the day.
She was accompanied by her husband Paul, who was charged in California last week with DUI causing injury following a drunk driving arrest over Memorial Day weekend. It is not common for Pope Francis to administer Communion, as he has sought to avoid politicizing the sacrament.
Wednesday’s Mass took place one month after the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, barred Pelosi from receiving Communion until she repents of her public pro-choice stance.
“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,” Cordileone wrote in a public notification. “Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’”
“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,” he continued.