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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., mistakenly emailed a reporter seeking comment on its position regarding the San Francisco archbishop’s decision to bar House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from receiving Holy Communion due to her stance on abortion after Pelosi reportedly took Communion in D.C. on Sunday.
When The Washington Examiner reached out to the archdiocese for comment, the outlet received an email stating that media requests on the subject “will be ignored.”
“Just sharing for you to know what comes in,” the email stated. “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 RNS, this is the only new media inquiry. It will be ignored, too.”
After the Examiner followed up, a spokesperson acknowledged the email had been sent by mistake.
“I apologize for the mistaken email,” the spokesperson replied. “We have not been responding to inquiries on this topic because Cardinal [Wilton] Gregory’s position has not changed from what he has said in the past.”
“Cardinal Gregory has no new comment about the issue of Catholic politicians receiving Communion,” the follow-up email to the Examiner stated. “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.”
Gregory largely dodged the issue of whether to give pro-choice politicians Communion in an interview with Crux Now in Sept. 2021. He said that the bishops are “not there as police, we’re there as pastors, and as pastors, we certainly have to teach the faith of the Church, we have to be true to the Church’s heritage of faith, but we also have to bring people along with us. It is not simply a matter of pointing out their errors.”
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, announced Friday that he would bar Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion due to her stance on abortion. Cordileone clarified that his move had “nothing to do with” the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which would strike down Roe v. Wade, but rather with Pelosi’s “advocacy for codifying the Roe decision into federal law—it’s becoming more and more extreme and more and more aggressive.”
The archbishop insisted that he was following the advice of Pope Benedict XVI – who sent a letter to bishops on this issue in 2004 when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“He gave us advice on how to approach this, specifically with politicians, Catholic politicians, and specifically on the two issues of abortion and euthanasia,” Cordileone said. “He said we need to meet, to dialogue, to try to move them down the path of conversion. And if after several attempts it comes to the point where it’s clear [that] this is not going to happen, then the bishop or the pastor, [Ratzinger] says, is to declare that the person is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
The archbishop defended his decision to make the decision public, saying, “If she’s not to be admitted to Holy Communion, our priests and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, all those who are Communion ministers need to know that.”
Despite Cordileone’s clear declaration, Pelosi received Holy Communion at the 9 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity in Georgetown, Politico Playbook reported.
The San Francisco Examiner’s editorial board urged Pope Francis to remove Cordileone for his move to bar Pelosi from Communion. The editorial board blasted the archbishop for “punishing” Pelosi, instead of “right-wing politicians” who “[vote] against health care or funding for the poor.”
“Cordileone’s chief loyalty is not to Christ, but to the cabal of far-right American bishops led by Raymond Leo Burke, a Catholic prelate who has led a continual campaign to undermine Pope Francis’ authority,” they wrote, before demanding the Pope remove the “radical conservative” from San Francisco.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is unambiguous on the question of abortion, both in procuring one and assisting in the practice: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”
“Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense,” the catechism states. “The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”
Democrats have full-throatedly supported abortion following the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the draft that overturns Roe. Although Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the draft is genuine, it dates back to February, and it does not represent the current or final opinion of the Court.
Activists targeted Roman Catholic churches for protests on Mother’s Day.
Vandals also targeted a church in Boulder, Colorado, earlier this month, spray-painting “bans off our bodies” and “my body my choice” on the building.
Protesters have also picketed Pelosi’s home, despite her 100% rating with the pro-choice activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America.